Parents outraged after middle school sends home letter about girls’ body image

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Parents of children at a Mid-South middle school were left outraged after receiving a letter about girls’ body images.

Girls at Southaven Middle School got a letter that offered them shapewear to help with body image. FOX13 spoke with families concerned with the effects that could have on the teens physically and mentally.

Ashley Heun said that when the letter about body image and offering shapewear came home with her daughter, she immediately asked for a meeting with the principal.

”It’s not good for them emotionally to feel like they need to alter their bodies to please other people,” Heun said.

Heun said the top part of the letter was positive, focusing on the struggle children, especially girls, have with body image.

But when she got to the bottom, the letter read, “We the counselors of Southaven Middle School would like to have an opportunity to offer some healthy literature for your daughter on maintaining a positive body image. We are also providing girls with shapewear, bras, and other health products if applicable.”

“It is restrictive and uncomfortable to make yourself look slimmer, to firm up any bumps or lumps, and it’s to alter your appearance, and middle school girls have no business being in that. It’s not good for them physically,” Heun said.

Rhonda Reynolds said her 14-year-old granddaughter came home with the same note.

”I disagree with it. I think they are trying to get our kids to grow up too fast. I don’t agree with Spandex and body shaping. That’s just too much,” Reynolds said.

Heun said the principal told her the items were donated to the school, and the school was just trying to figure out what to do with them. The program has since been canceled.

”I contacted the principal, and he sat down with me, and he apologized profusely, and he said the counselors had the best intentions, and I truly believe that,” Heun said.

FOX13 has reached out to DeSoto County Schools for comment. We have not heard back yet.