When a nurse body shamed this mother’s 13-year-old at a yearly checkup, Julie Venn set the record straight.
Venn is a personal trainer and mom of two. She went into the appointment with her daughter, Riley, to see how much she had grown throughout the year.
“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,” Venn, 48, said in a Facebook post.
But as the nurse practitioner walked into the room, Venn said that she quickly questioned Riley about her diet, exercise, sleep habits and school.
Riley plays softball and basketball. Then the nurse asked the following question…
“Tell me Riley, how can you explain all of this weight you’ve gained?”
The nurse explained that based on her last appointment, the amount of weight Riley put on did not match up with her height. The nurse continued to press if anything else was going on in her life, and did so multiple times.
The Glenview, Illinois mother wrote:
“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!’ ”
Riley was “speechless” but handled the situation, the mother shared with PEOPLE.
After the examination was over, the nurse asked to step out of the room with Venn — asking why she had such a strong reaction.
“I explained in no uncertain terms that she was out of line in the way she dealt with my daughter,” Venn posted. “Our girls need to be empowered and supported and celebrated. They already have to compare themselves to the ridiculous social media bulls— standards. They are flooded with images of perfection via tv, youtube, FB, Instagram and Snapchat. Their whole freaking lives have a filter on them!!”
Venn shared that the pair will not be going back to that doctor’s office anytime soon as she believes the nurse was not properly trained.
“I think she said those things because she is ignorant and insensitive,” Venn tells PEOPLE. “Riley did gain weight this year. She also did grow like 4 inches. She definitely began to hit puberty. I believe this woman just has no clue. She’s never been properly trained and she was too lazy or misguided to do better.”
When Riley returned to the car after the appointment, she said to Venn:
“Mom, this is why kids have anorexia or feel like they want to hurt themselves.”
Venn wanted to share their story in a Facebook group that is designed for parents as she understands how hard body confidence is at Riley’s age.
She was met with an overwhelming response.
“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!”
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