The freak-out over this teacher's selfies is straight-up body-shaming
An Atlanta elementary school teacher has made headlines, but not for her teaching methods. Thanks to a pink bodycon dress and a pair of skinny jeans, she's gone viral, been labeled the "sexiest teacher alive" and even has her very own hashtag: #TeacherBae.
Her real name is Patrice "Tricey" Brown, and she teaches fourth grade. She's clearly well-educated and she looks like she'd be a fun, enthusiastic teacher. But who cares about any of that when we can debate whether she's dressed inappropriately to teach a bunch of 9-year-olds?
In images posted to her Instagram account (which has now been made private), Brown wears a range of cute outfits. There's no cleavage in sight. All her skirts fall to the knee. So what's the big deal?
Let's be honest, this isn't really anything to do with what she's wearing. It's the shape of Brown's body — something she has no control over — that people are deeming "inappropriate." If she was a thinner woman without curves, nobody would have batted an eyelid. It's blatant body-shaming, and it's absolutely disgusting.
Forget the form-fitting dress and the high-waisted jeans. What critics are really saying here is that Brown is too sexy to be a teacher. Take a moment and consider how ludicrous that is. Can you imagine hearing the same thing said about a male teacher? Can a man be too toned, too handsome, too tall to teach kids? No, because society only has a problem with a sexy woman also being intelligent or professional.
To the parents who wouldn't want Brown to teach their 9-year-old sons in case they are too distracted by her butt to learn anything: Your issues go way beyond a woman in a tight dress. Fourth graders don't desire the way adults do. In fact, many of them aren't yet at an age when they are aware of desire or even understand what it is. But in any case, it's perfectly normal for young boys (and girls) to develop crushes on teachers. Still, they're far more likely to have a crush on the little kid sitting next to them in class.
If we want our kids to grow up with a healthy body image, we have to be seen to support bodies of all shapes and sizes. We have to set an example to our sons and daughters by talking about the parts of a woman that can't be measured by measuring tape.
Brown's ability as a teacher is the only thing parents should be concerned about. It's interesting that these images of her aren't the ones that went viral over the weekend.
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