Mom Calls Out Nurse Who Body-Shamed Her 13-Year-Old Daughter During Physical

Mom Calls Out Nurse Who Body-Shamed Her 13-Year-Old Daughter During Physical

There is no excuse for actions and words that make people feel bad about themselves. This is why body-shaming is such a big issue today. However, it is the absolute worst to get body-shamed by the people we trust to take care of us at our lowest.

Most doctors would agree that it is vital to schedule annual physicals for children to assess their growth and address any possible concerns. Julie Venn, a mother of two and personal trainer, was even excited when she took her 13-year-old daughter Riley to the doctor. However, her post on the Facebook page Moms of Tweens and Teens shows how misplaced her enthusiasm was.

“As we entered the examination room, I was excited to see how tall Riley would be this year; she has grown a ton! The coach in me has loved seeing her strength and size finally come along and the mom in me has loved watching this beautiful young girl begin to become a young woman.” 

Not your typical physical examination

The physical examination began well enough. A physician’s assistant came in to take Riley’s vitals, including her height, weight, and blood pressure. After she wrote these down and left, a nurse practitioner came in next and began asking many questions.

“What’s your bedtime? How much exercise do you get? Are you involved in sports? Do you get enough dairy in your diet?” [1]

What caught Julie’s attention was when the nurse asked her daughter multiple times if there was anything else going on that she should know about. Oblivious that anything was wrong, Riley remained friendly and tried to answer all of the nurse’s questions openly and honestly.

She explained that she was slated to play in two sporting competitions soon, softball in the fall and basketball in the winter. She also answered questions about her sleeping habits, saying that she usually goes to bed around 10:30 pm and doesn’t have trouble sleeping.

To Julie’s chagrin, the nurse practitioner continued pressing Riley about her continued participation in sports, mentioning that she would not be able to balance her sporting activities with school.

However, Riley was unaffected by this and kept on answering questions about school and whether she had gotten her period. The nurse practitioner took down her answers and then looks down at her computer and back up at Riley’s face and said to her:

“Tell me, Riley, how can you explain all of this weight you’ve gained?” [2]

Understandably, this leaves the young girl speechless. The nurse explained that Riley had gained a lot of weight compared to the previous year, and the numbers didn’t correlate with her current height. She went on to ask if Riley has been eating junk food or whether her activity level changed. At this point, Julie decided that she wasn’t allowing this line of questioning.

“I LOST MY MIND. I had a literal, physical reaction. I put my hand up and said ‘STOP! You need to stop talking to my daughter about her weight. She is 13, she is strong. She is healthy and she is PERFECT. You need to move on!’”

The nurse seemed surprised at this but continues her examination. When she was finished, she requested that Julie should follow her to an adjoining room and asked her why she had that reaction to her questions.

To this, Julie replied that she was out of line in the way she dealt with Riley. “Our girls need to be empowered and supported and celebrated. They already have to compare themselves to the ridiculous social media bullsh*t standards. They are flooded with images of perfection via TV, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.” [3]

Julie insisted that since she did the grocery shopping, if Riley has a problem with her weight, then the nurse should have spoken to her and not her daughter. With this, she left the doctor’s office with the promise that she won’t go back.

“The reason I am sharing this is because it is dangerous. Riley’s response when we left was ‘Mom, this is why kids have anorexia or feel like they want to hurt themselves.’ She is exactly right!”

So, what do you think? Was the nurse wrong to ask about Riley’s weight during a physical examination or not?

Reference:

  1. “Mom calls out nurse who body shamed her 13-year-old daughter during annual physical.” Newsner.
  2. Gianne Nicole Thome on Facebook.
  3. “Nurse Body Shames 13-year-old Girl And Her Mom Calls Her Out.” Inner Strength.
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