Stratford Press - - Driven.co.nz -

With school hol­i­days upon us, please spare a thought for the older gen­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially those with lim­ited mo­bil­ity.

Used to do­ing our shop­ping and er­rands dur­ing the day, we sud­denly find our­selves com­pet­ing with scoot­ers, skate­boards and bikes on the pave­ments.

Left ly­ing out­side shops these are a trip haz­ard, and it is un­nerv­ing to be walk­ing (slowly) along a street and sud­denly have a young per­son hoon past you on some form of wheels. Of­ten one comes on ei­ther side, leav­ing lit­tle space to get out of their way.

If you have chil­dren, and let them roam around dur­ing the hol­i­days, please take five min­utes to re­mind them to be cour­te­ous to oth­ers, and aware of our needs on the streets. T SMITH.

It was great to see some young chil­dren get­ting a close look at some lambs in last week’s pa­per. Grow­ing up my brothers and I al­ways had pet lambs and learn­ing to care for them was a great les­son for us all. I en­cour­age all par­ents to give their chil­dren the op­por­tu­nity of own­ing a pet lamb, calf or other an­i­mal as the lessons learned last through life, of car­ing, em­pa­thy, com­mit­ment and love. A DAVY

Thank you. Thank you Emma Helleur for your beau­ti­ful ar­ti­cle on the im­por­tance of men­tal health and body ac­cep­tance.

Like you, I have spent many years ashamed of my body, feel­ing in­ad­e­quate and ugly com­pared to the pa­rade of stick thin women on tele­vi­sion and in mag­a­zines.

I was no size 6, but nor am I am size 30. I, like many New Zealand women, sit some­where in be­tween, a size 16 in most cloth­ing brands. Yet I felt ele­phant sized.

I felt ugly and unattrac­tive be­cause every­where I looked the only fe­male role mod­els were minute com­pared to me and I felt I didn’t fit in with this coun­try’s idea of beauty.

How of­ten have I stood in line at a shop in town to hear some­one tell an­other woman “you look great, have you lost weight?”

Or when I walk past some­one on Broad­way and I hear them mut­ter to their friend “who ate all the pies..”

yes, that has hap­pened to me. In Strat­ford. More than once.

I’ve been at the swim­ming pool and heard some­one re­fer to me as a whale. I’ve been in the su­per­mar­ket and heard some­one com­ment I should be buy­ing less food. I’ve heard a child, no more than 8 or 9 say “that lady is fat” as I walked past.

Weight loss surgery is be­com­ing more and more com­mon, with women younger and younger tak­ing it up. Well done to them if it is for health rea­sons, but I worry they are buy­ing in to the idea that beauty only hap­pens when you can wear size 10 dresses.

I hope ev­ery­one reads Emma’s words and un­der­stands the point. By fat sham­ing, peo­ple are telling chil­dren beauty is re­lated to size, and that is a dan­ger­ous mes­sage. Please, tell your daugh­ters and sons they look fan­tas­tic, no mat­ter their size, and recog­nise the beauty of good men­tal health. NAME WITH­HELD ON


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