We used to live near a neighbor who gave out toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste for Halloween. She was an endodontist, so… yeah. Mari and Lila loved her to pieces, but they thought stopping at her house on Halloween was more trick than treat. Keeping it 100? I dug it—hell, the toothbrushes were top of the line, floss is expensive and I love me some Crest, so if I could have gotten away with getting the girlpies to swing by Ms. Karen’s house a couple times, I sure would have. One place my kids wouldn’t be going to is the house of the woman giving out Halloween “obese” letters to the trick-or-treaters she thinks are too fat for candy sweets.
Oh, what—you didn’t know? Yes, honey: there’s a woman in Fargo, ND, who’s planning to give kids she thinks are “moderately obese” a letter that reads: “Your child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.” It continues: “My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.”
The lady, who refused to identify herself, said in a morning radio interview with Y94 that she simply wants “to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight… I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it.”
I just… I… wow. I mean, I know she calls herself trying to be “helpful” and all, but really lady? So fat-shaming babies and wagging fingers at the mothers who raise them is how they do Halloween in Fargo, now? This is far beyond toothbrushes and a dentist’s plea for parents to be vigilant about making kids brush after enjoying their Halloween stash; this is a woman—a stranger—eyeballing kids and deciding that they’re fat and it’s their mothers’ fault, despite that those kids may be eating plenty fruits and veggies and getting in lots of exercise and are, according to their pediatricians, quite healthy. One could easily eyeball one of my girls and think that because they’re not as thin as some of their friends, they’re overweight and eating poorly and inactive, when nothing could be further from the truth for my athletic, extremely active, muscular daughters, whose food choices include way more healthy meals than crappy ones.
The thing is, telling a 7-year-old who may look overweight she’s fat and chiding her mom for allowing her to enjoy sweets from time-to-time is not my idea of a fun time. In fact, calling a kid fat just might do more harm mentally for that kid than any handful of mini-Snickers bars could do. Not to mention, it could convince a mom to march over to your house and smash a couple of… pumpkins. You just don’t play with peoples’ kids like that.
Plus, the kids aren’t the ones you should be worried about. If they’ve got parents anything like me, I’m the one in serious need of the toothbrushes and a gentle reminder not to eat all the candy at once. Yes, I’m that mom. A bucket full of chocolate, Now & Laters and gummy bears ain’t safe around me. If you don’t know, you better ask Mari and Lila. *drops head in shame*
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.