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Olivia Harvey
July 05, 2017 8:22 am

As part of an online health class, students were asked to partake in a virtual discussion regarding the societal effects of digital manipulation. After her classmate responded to the prompt by calling plus-sized models “disgusting,” one teen clapped back with eloquence and we’re giving her a virtual high-five.

Anna Sweetland, 16, from Wilsonville, Oregon, found her fellow male student’s body-shaming comments unacceptable. After reading one of the articles assigned, the male student wrote the following in the discussion area:

“In a part of article 5, it talks about how Target is starting a body positive campaign, and are also using ‘plus-size’ models, which is disgusting.”

This hurtful comment left a bad taste in Sweetland’s mouth and, according to Yahoo Style, stood apart from the rest of the discussion, in which most students agreed that photo manipulation is wrong and body acceptance is crucially important.

So, Sweetland decided to speak up.

“I would like to start by saying that calling anyone’s body ‘disgusting,’ isn’t really called for, and you should be careful with your choice in adjectives,” Sweetland wrote. “I agree with you that obesity is a bad thing, and it is a problem that our world is dealing with right now. However, I do not believe that plus size models are contributing to this disease.”

She pointed out that unhealthy fast food chains and mental disorders are the main contributors to obesity in America. Sweetland also noted that weight is definitely not always an indication of health, with some people simply being genetically predisposed to larger body types.

Sweetland concluded, 

Boom. Sweetland dropped the mic and we’re giving her a standing ovation.

Sweetland told Yahoo Style that her classmate never responded and most likely doesn’t understand that lack of representation in advertising is a cultural issue. Sweetland’s passion for spreading awareness comes from her own background in feeling insecure with her own body as a younger girl.

Her confidence improved when she began seeing plus-size models who looked like her in advertising. She emphasized that of all the bad things happening in the world right now, incorporating plus-size models into mainstream advertising is certainly not one of them. We completely agree.

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