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Article: What’s Wrong with This Photo?

bad words

What’s Wrong with This Photo?

whatswrong-fb   Do you think there’s anything wrong with this photo? This is a lesson from my daughter’s preschool, where she started just 3 months ago, and has been doing great. Each week the teachers put her completed lessons in her “Little D” file so we can follow her development. It’s been fun to see her lessons about drawing shapes, identifying letters and things, writing numbers and then, obviously based on the above, learning words that rhyme. Can you tell what word I had an issue with? I’m asking you, dear readers, because I value your opinion, honestly. Remember when I asked you about these signs at a local store? You had a lot to say. BlogPost_pollsign Am I being ridiculous making a hubbub about seeing the word “fat” in my daughter’s lesson? Aren’t there so many other words that can’t be used in a hurtful way? (I guess “rat” could be too. Or maybe people don’t like being called a “cat” either?) Couldn’t she have used the word “hat” instead? I know her teachers are sweethearts and by no means would they teach that word to be used in a judgmental way. Hell, maybe they were talking about the fat of food, having a fat bank account. Should I ask them? A friend of mine said at her daughters’ preschool they aren’t allowed to bring in books with that word, so it’s clear they’re sensitive about the use of the word. Let’s face it, most women are. While all the women (not just mothers) I showed the lesson to all immediately had a reaction to the “fat” content (ranging from, “yeah, they could have used another word,” to “oh…yeah” and a frown), most of the fathers I showed it to didn’t think it was a big deal. In our household that is among the three-letter words we don’t teach or speak, but more on bad words later. So tell me… Would you suggest cutting out or ignoring the “fat?” Sound off below!   Our song pick of the day to make you think on this: “Do You Realize??” from Lullaby Renditions of The Flaming Lips. Click link to listen to it on Spotify and buy your own copy of the album HERE. 027297968127    


I think this is an overreaction, for sure. If you’re concerned about your child learning certain words within our language, re-teach the words in the context you prefer. Teach your child that there are multiple uses for some words and that he or she shouldn’t use any words in a hurtful way.


Fat is not a bad word, the way it is used can make it bad. You should teach your child the difference, not eliminate a word from use. Children need to be taught the good & bad of everything. Ignoring or eliminating it all together does not make it go away. Don’t make the word fat among the three-letter words you don’t teach or speak. Teach the right and the wrong of it. Teach your child to know the difference and make the right choices about the use of the word. TEACH your children to think for themselves, be kind to others and to know the difference between right and wrong. You will be happy you did when they are older.

Regina M.

I actually see nothing wrong with it, for a few reasons. First, when most children are taught to rhyme then are shown to go through the alphabet creating words as they go. Second, there are other uses to the word than it being demeaning. And thirdly, I believe that this word, despite it having time and place, is a word that can create discussion within your family. This assignment could be used as a sit down tool to find out how one’s child understands the word(s). Focus should not be around the single world, rather to touch on all words. The word really only is demeaning if we let it be. If the child leads the discussion into negativity – ask questions, politely correct, offer other terminology, give other definitions to the word. Because really, it is something we all have….humans or animals, it is necessary for our bodies to function.


You know how they say kids will learn things in school that you don’t want them to learn? This is one of those things.

Still, I’m betting the word has come up for your daughter before… in conversations with schoolmates. Garfield, after all, is a very fat cat. So are some of the sesame street characters. It’s not always said in a bad way but it’s a word that’s part of the normal lexicon. You can’t protect from everything.


I think banning the word fat is ridiclous, its a word, unless they sent home a project that says “name the people you know that are fat” or something to that degree, its just a word! I have fat, a little more then some, but we ALL have fat, or we’d die. No need to overreact to a simple word.

nicole w

You’re being ridiculous. Sorry. What do you call the white stuff on your meat? Do you take a black sharpie to the nutritional content labels on all your food? It’s just a rhyming exercise.

P.S. I’m female. And a mom. And not a size 2.


Can we get past the PC crap in our society already?! Fat is a word that rhymes with cat and hat and rat and mat. So? Yeah, I’d say there was a little oversensitivity there.


It could be that in the English language, the word fat is not only an adjective as you are trying to automatically define it, it is also a noun. Fat, carbohydrates, and proteins are needed in a healthy diet. I think the focus on the behavior of calling someone fat not the demonizing of the word fat is important. We are being conditioned and conditioning our children that the word is bad instead of our behavior of using words improperly is bad. Hold responsible those who choose words to be mean and leave the inanimate, innocent words alone!


Oh come on! It’s responses like this that make “fat” unacceptable. It’s up to you as a mother to ensure that your child has a good body-image, no matter what his/her body type. teach them to live healthy, excercise in an enjoyable manner and build a positive self-esteem. Then words like ‘fat’ and ‘stupid’, when thrown around by the ignorant idiots that unfortunately make up the majority of the world population, won’t have any effect, except to show your child how not to behave.

Nikky Olivier

No, I would not suggest censoring a descriptive word from the English language because it makes you personally uncomfortable. Wow. Is this for real?


I think that this is an extreme over reaction. It is a word. It is not being used to harm anyone. They are just learning what words rhyme with each other. I am seriously appalled at your and your friends’ reaction to this. This is what is wrong with society. Our children are being sheltered beyond reasonable measures and will grow up with misunderstandings on how the world works.


Thanks to everyone who commented. Really, I mean it. I sincerely appreciate hearing everyone’s thoughts on this. I shared this lesson because, yeah, I wanted to know if anyone would have the same initial reaction.

This is my first experience sending my daughter to school (though she did attend daycare for a year prior to this), and she’s certainly going to be exposed to a lot of things I do have issues with, but this just got to me, so I wanted to talk about it, however irrational to some people my feelings may have been. But in my family and extended family, I find so often that relatives and my own sisters have used the word “fat” to be critical of each other (or themselves) in way that has been hurtful and has made me sensitive to its use.

I talked to one of the administrators of the school about how I felt about this too, because I wanted to get his take on it, at the same time telling him it would be nice if they spelled my kid’s name right. :) We often get lessons back with her name misspelled, which is a drag.

Thank you especially to all of you who provided valuable guidance on how to handle words like these and all the good, the bad and the shitty. Points taken. I look forward to more of your lessons in parenting in the future.


A sensitive First-Time Mommy
Or should I sign “Sensitive, because I’m a mommy?”

First-Time Mommy

Wow. People have gotten way too sensitive. This is a little girl learning about rhyming, and people are going to make a big deal out of it? If it offends the parents, let them teach her that although someone may be fat, don’t ever say that. But to make something out of the fact that she wrote a word that rhymes seems a little, no a lot ridiculous. It makes me kind of angry to know a school has banned books that have fat in them. Maybe instead of sheltering our kids from every little thing that might be mean, let’s teach them the truth. The world isnt always fair or nice. When my kid grows up, he’s going to know that shit happens, not everyone can always win, and sometimes people suck. And he’ll be one of the smartest, most self reliant people in his generation. Stop being so damn overprotective that your kids won’t be able to make it in the real world. Thanks for reading my rant.


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