English teacher Aimee Grey said she views everything as a mother and as an educator. She said CEO Jeffries’ comments appall her, and she considers them to be mainstream bullying.
“It’s acceptable to want to make a profit, but not at the expense of the self esteem of the young adult population,” Grey said. She added that Jeffries makes a judgment call by calling larger people uncool but these comments make them seem less worthy of respect.
Recently, Grey conducted an activity in her freshman English classes about self-perception. She asked students to illustrate themselves so half the image depicted who they are now, and half depicted who they aspire to be.
“It hurt my heart to see how negative they are,” Grey said of the resulting images. She said her students’ self-portraits did not capture her images of them, nor were they loyal to their peers’ views of them.
“We hold ourselves to a standard of beauty that is fabricated,” Grey concluded.
A version of this article appeared in print on 5 June 2013 on page 5 of The Shakerite