From cribs to camp to cars, kids grow up at warp speed. It leaves parents wondering where the time went.
For personal trainer and mom of two Julie Venn of Glennview, Illinois, her 13-year-old daughter Riley’s annual medical check up is a chance to stop and appreciate how she’s grown in every way.
“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,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
Her excitement was short-lived when the nurse practitioner entered the room. According to Venn, she started grilling Riley on everything from her diet to exercise to sleep before asking her the cringe question “Tell me Riley, how can you explain all of this weight you’ve gained?”
That’s when, Venn says “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 then ushered Venn into another room, where she was asked to explain her reaction.
Venn let her have it.
“I explained in no uncertain terms that she was out of line in the way she dealt with my daughter,” Venn wrote.
“Our girls need to be empowered and supported and celebrated. They already have to compare themselves to the ridiculous social media bulls*** standards”– Julie Venn
Her post has been shared over 850 times, with scores of commenters coming to her and Riley’s defense.
“Thx for posting! The way the nurse shared that was completely inappropriate! Thank goodness you were in the appointment with her,” one commenter said.
“She looks like ALL athletic young teens that are very active in sports. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her weight, and anyone saying so is ignorant and brainwashed by the media view of how women should look. Great job, momma!,” encouraged another.
Yet another commenter warned of the dangerous impact of the nurse’s comments.
“Having been through the struggles of anorexia with both of my daughters, I applaud you and your daughter is so lucky to have you as her mother!”.
Empower our daughters
Venn told PEOPLE that the reaction was overwhelming.
“I’m shocked how many private messages I’ve received from women all over this country with similar stories that happened to them,” she says. “Many led to eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, lifelong body image issues and even suicide attempts. I thought the post might hit a nerve but am blown away at the viral run!”
However, she has a message for daughters everywhere.
“YOU ARE PERFECT just the way you are. As you mature you will be responsible for more things that pertain to your body – hygiene, activity, menstruation, exercise and healthy eating. This is just the beginning of a long, confusing, sometimes scary road to becoming a woman but it is worth it!”– Julie Venn
A girl’s road to becoming a woman is tough as a it is. They shouldn’t have to worry about their weight or diet as they go through it. What they need is our support and encouragement, like Julie Benn gave her daughter.
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