Young Girl Writes a Book on Being Fat

June 3, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. teased (adj.) – to be annoyed or made fun of with harmful words
Example: I get teased when I make a mistake.

2. struggle (n.) – problem or battle (which someone experiences)
Example: I was able to deal with my struggles in school by studying well.
3. bully (v.) – to scare or frighten someone with words or actions
Example: Some say that children who bully others lack attention at home.

4. disorder (n.) – a disease; specifically, a lack of order in the function of the body
Example: People with disorders should seek for immediate treatment.

5. retain  (v.) – to hold or keep something for a long period of time
Example: I was able to retain a healthy lifestyle through discipline.

Read the text below.

Six-year-old LaNiyah Bailey is one of the many young girls who get teased at school for being fat.

But instead of feeling sorry for herself, LaNiyah chose to write a book retelling her struggle with kids who constantly bully her. With the help of her mother, LaToya White, LaNiyah created the book entitled “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be.” LaNiyah said that through this book, she hopes to let other children understand that bullying others because of how they look is wrong.

LaToya revealed in an interview that her daughter’s weight is not something controllable by diet nor exercise. At a young age, LaNiyah is suffering from a number of health problems and one of those is a disorder called Polydipsia, a condition similar to ‘water diabetes’. Polydipsia, a disease unknown to many, causes a person to experience excessive thirst, forcing them to drink lots of fluids. Despite healthy diet and regular exercise people suffering from this disease usually become overweight because their bodies retain too much water.

Both mother and child were interviewed in CNN and they shared their experience which inspired them to write the book.

Excerpts from “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be” by LaNiyah Bailey:

I always tried to hold back my tears, but they came anyway. "BJ called me a big-fat elephant girl."

I sobbed. "And they all call me fatty pants."

My mom would hug me tight and say, "Don't cry honey. Don't give them the pleasure. People often judge others by how they look on the outside. They don't take time to discover the beautiful person that's on the inside."

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think of the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover”?
·         How do you usually judge a person? (Do you judge them by the way they look, the way they act, their activities, etc.)

Discussion B

·         What do you think can parents do to prevent their children to bully or to get bullied by others?
·         Do you think it is okay for parents to encourage their children to fight back when they are being bullied? Why or why not?

June 3, 2011