Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Body Image, Discrimination, Child/Adult- BIG Subject

I don't generally jump on a soapbox, especially on my blog. Nor do I purposely lash out at society and throw my opinions out there to be lashed back at, but I'm going to do it now. Sunday, my brother was openly discriminated against by an airline for being 6'5" and 380lbs. I encourage you to read the complete story at my SIL's blog at LizzyDear's Life Review's before you continue on with my post.

On Monday, after almost 5 weeks of me being cooped up inside the house unable to walk due to a sports injury (a fractured ankle), that I got from trying to lose weight and keep in shape because I deal with my own weight issues since having Kaybrie, at 5'9" and 190lbs, my family takes my dear son to get his football equipment.

Braden is playing his first year of tackle football. He is an 8 year old, 3rd grader this year. He will be 9 in December. He has two years of flag football behind him and we feel as a family that it is time for him to move up. He will be playing by the rules of the INFC. The first things done when Braden arrived was being measured and weighed. He is 4'11 and 89lbs. Whoa, they said, this boy can't touch the football, he can only play on the defensive line, to play offense he must weigh less than 75lbs. What? He's too big to play offense, he might hurt someone. Well, so what if we let him play with the 4th graders, um that'll work as long as he doesn't gain 1lb and weigh in at 90lbs before each game.

So, does anyone see where I am going with this post? I certainly do not want my 4'11", 89lb son to hurt any of your smaller children, but really, his heart is still the same size and when my baby boy makes the comment to me on his way to take his sports physical yesterday about how is he going to stay under 90lbs so he can play the sport he loves, with kids that he does not even go to school with because he's a 3rd grader playing on a team of 4th graders, my response is "Baby, you are not going to go on a diet, if anything you can quit drinking Dr. Pepper"!

BTW, at the Dr's office, fully clothed he weighed in at 91lbs, and the doctor said once practice started and school started chances are, Braden will drop 1 to 2lbs and have no problems weighing in at requirements in his skivvies and also next Tuesday at the Combine, due to Braden's height and size, those Broken Arrow coaches are gonna be blown away!

Does weight discrimination truly start at such a young age? And why 2x in one week in MY family? I mean come on. My Braden is not an obese kid. I have the growth charts to prove it. He has been in the 95th percentile his entire life. And, I do not want to hear the comment from another persons mouth that DEFENSE wins ballgames, that was not the point of my sons weight issue with the so-called rules. And also, I know that in 7th grade, size, won't matter anymore because Broken Arrow will have already picked its chosen players, but that is 4 years away. No, I don't expect an apology or anything big out of my post, just an awareness of how comments/rules make kids/adults feel. No, there is no guarantee that Braden will be a fantastic offensive player, but he should be given a chance just like any other young player who has the heart to go out after something.



Liz said...

Yeah, this is definitely an issue, and I can say personally, having "smaller" children that there can be discrimination against them as well.

But A child should never be made to feel inferior because of their genetic makeup, and because they might be different than their peers in any way!

I wish there was a way to come to some kind of conclusion or solution to this issue!

ShaRhonda said...

As for solution or conclusion, there won't be, its just up to us as parents to let our feeling be "known" and maybe that will make other be a little more sensitive to the next person who comes along!

Baloney said...

This happened to a neighbor of ours a few years back. He was switched to diet drinks in hopes of keeping his weight down.
Sorry this happened to your boy.
Sports are just getting ridiculous if you ask me!