There is a woman in North Dakota who feels it’s her duty to save obese children from themselves this Halloween. She has decided to hand out “fat letters” to children to whom she deems are obese while giving candy to the other kids. I am left to wonder if she is doing any diabetes or dental checks on the normal sized kids. After all, the reality is that candy is not “good” for anyone.
But it’s Halloween, it’s the time of year kids to get to dress up as their favorite character and go walk about the neighborhood with their friends. That is unless you are the FAT kid. Then finding a costume, especially of a favorite character, is most likely not going to happen. Definitely, NOT going to fit into a store bought costume. So maybe you’re creative and have the means to create an awesome DIY costume, which I was THAT fat kid a few times. Yes, I wanted to be an alarm clock! What kid doesn’t want to be an alarm clock? No, I wouldn’t have rather been Rainbow Brite or Jem. (of course I would have) But my sister and I were GENIUS and cut out a round piece of cardboard, put some numbers on it, and tethered it around my neck. I was an alarm clock! Let’s go get some candy!
Trick or Treating was by far the most intense workout I got as a kid. I walked to school every day, but that roundtrip was nothing compared to the Trick or Treat challenge, cover the neighborhood in 1.5 hours. Yes, where I grew up Trick or Treat was scheduled. My friend’s mom led a small group of us around and kept us on task. We only went to houses where people were outside on their porches (wasted no time knocking on doors), we zigzagged across the street, then circled around to the next block. I really should stop and calculate the number of blocks we covered. The entire time it was “go, go, go”, we walked up steps, and up hills. And trust me, every huff n puff moment as trudged along as a clock I knew I was FAT. I didn’t need any well meaning neighbor giving me letter of notification!
But like most other things in my life, I wasn’t going to let my weight stop me from participating. I was not going to let being FAT keep me from enjoying the night out with my friends, trying to accomplish our mission of getting to every house on our route in the allotted time. Honestly, Halloween was NEVER about the candy. There was candy at home, the GOOD candy that my mom bought to pass out for Trick or Treat. If all I wanted was to stuff my face with candy, I could have sat at home and just ate what I wanted. No, Halloween like other holidays is about the experience.
The experience is same the reason I am excited about participating in Halloween as an adult. As a fat adult the costumes can still be a challenge, but my creativity and DIY abilities have served me well. Yes, I wanted to be Honey Boo Boo…I actually WON a costume contest as Honey Boo Boo! As for Trick or Treat, this year will be the first time in many years I will actually be at home, and live in a neighborhood where there will be Trick or Treaters. I do not have kids and I do not know many of my neighbors. I could easily turn off my porch light and stay inside. Instead I am excited that I can participate in Halloween, and I ordered toys to pass out. No candy. I admit I fear being seen as the “fat lady” handing out candy. I also know taste vary so much I could never possibly please all the kids with my choices. Then there are kids with food allergies. Choking hazards, we used to buy safety suckers to give the toddlers. Also, I just LOVE toys, and I picked out some really awesome toys. I also asked my parent friends on Facebook if they would be upset if their child was given a noise maker? As you can already read I’m putting way too much thought and effort into this….just buy some candy already.
Perhaps I’m too considerate of other people; perhaps the woman in ND should take a lesson from me. If her concern is really for the well-being of children then there are many better options she could do instead of fat shaming kids. How does a letter telling a parent their kid is fat help reduce childhood obesity? Yet she is STILL handing out candy to other kids, does their health not matter? Also health is not just physical, it is emotional too. Fat shaming kids on a day that is supposed to be FUN, is just mean and will hurt kids not help them. She could donate money to help local parks and recreation center, volunteer for local Halloween carnivals, or organize a Halloween themed fun run/walk for her community.