Dear Cheryl,

13678266-largeThat’s your name, according to this article, though you refuse to give your last name. I don’t blame you. If I was going to do such a douchebag thing as give out fat-shaming, emotionally damaging letters to innocent kids, I’d hide my identity too. The thing is, I consider myself to be an intelligent, even-tempered person of reason. I respond thoughtfully and reflectively to triggering topics such as the debate between Bella and Katniss, or the recent controversy about the “What’s Your Excuse?” meme, but I cannot even begin to understand or justify what you plan on doing tonight.

Instead, I’m going to point out why what you’re doing is an absolute asshole move, how it will have a NEGATIVE impact on the cause you claim to care about, and what you could do, and should do, that could actually make a positive, life-affirming difference for all the children who come ringing your doorbell tonight. (And I’m going to swear a lot while doing it. I don’t normally swear much on these blogs, but I’m making an exception for this, because FUCK YOU.)

Let me first start by saying that I would actually love if people stopped giving out candy on Halloween. We try to be really healthy at our house. Our kids are healthy and likely wouldn’t be targeted by your fat shaming bullshit. But we don’t want them having enough candy to feed a small country for a year. However, they love trick-or-treating, so we have worked out a deal with them. They get to trick-or-treat, and they get to eat a few pieces of their candy, then they ‘donate’ the rest to the Sugar Fairy (a little game we play), and in exchange, they get a fun book they’ll really enjoy. That way, they get to dress up and enjoy the night of going door to door, without a week’s worth of stomach aches and sugar highs.

Since one of our daughters has a lot of food allergies, this is also an issue for her, as she can’t eat a lot of what she gets anyways.

Let me also say that we don’t give out candy. We bought a bulk bag of fun treat-sized Halloween toys at an online store for cheap, and we’ll be handing those out to ALL the kids who come to our door, not because any of them are ‘moderately obese’ or because we have the right to judge any child’s health by looking at them, but because we know how hard it is to work with food allergies and diet restrictions, and we want all the kids who come to our house to get something they can enjoy on this fun holiday.

So, first, let’s talk about how your plan is an EPIC FAIL.

1. You’re not telling them anything they don’t already know.

I can guarantee you that the kids who get your fucked up, bitchy, bullying letter already know they have a weight issue. They don’t need your nosy ass telling them. So, you’re not really doing them any favors with this one.

2. This will scar them for LIFE. 

These kids will NEVER FORGET the bitch who gave them that letter that made them cry ALL NIGHT LONG and ruined their Halloween. They will carry it with them forever, and that kind of shame doesn’t usually motivate people toward healthier choices. In point of fact, it often has the opposite effect. Likely, your letter will inspire more binge candy eating from depressed kids, than if you had just given them a candy bar and a smile and called it a night.

3. You can’t judge a person’s health by their size.

You’re making a fucking big and WRONG assumption that kids who look ‘moderately obese’ (and I’m sure you’re trained to determine this and have all the tools handy to test them before punishing them with your letter?) are going to be the most unhealthy or most adversely affected by a sugar high. Not so. Those kids could be healthier than their thinner counterparts for a variety of reasons, and giving candy to the kids you deem thin enough won’t do them any favors either. Sugar is bad for all of us, regardless of size.

4. Studies show that positive messages are more powerful and effective than negative messages.

What you claim to want to happen won’t actually happen this way. As noted above, you’re creating the opposite impact.

What you SHOULD be doing instead.

Now that we’ve talked about your epic failures as a human being, let’s talk about what you could be doing instead.

Give the gift of an apple.

Give the gift of an apple.

1. Offer healthy alternatives to ALL kids

Want to promote healthier eating habits? You think it takes a village to keep the village children healthy? Then offer healthy treats to EVERYONE! Get boxes of raisins or nuts or little baggies of carrots and hand those out instead. You can even include a note that says “Here’s to a healthy, happy Halloween.” See there? You did something positive and healthy without SCARRING THE PSYCHES OF INNOCENT CHILDREN.

2. Go non-food with your treats

Don’t want to deal with food? Try non-food treats. Mini toothbrushes and toothpaste, if you want to win the hearts of local dentists. Or do what we did and stock up on little Halloween toys. They weren’t more expensive than candy and work great for trick-or-treating. Again, include a POSITIVE note if you want to, but keep it friendly and targeted to ALL CHILDREN coming to your door.

3. Incapable of playing nice? Turn off your fucking lights and don’t give out anything.

This is a valid alternative. If you can’t play nice, then don’t play at all. Make a statement by not saying a word. GO AWAY. Nobody wants your self-righteous fat shaming for their kids. The parents you claim you want to send a message to are NOT GOING TO APPRECIATE your letter at all. Seriously, woman, have you ever MET A PARENT of a child? If I got this letter, firstly, it likely wouldn’t be the first time I’d noticed my child had some potential health issues, so again, you wouldn’t be telling me anything I didn’t already know. But I can guarantee you that if you shamed my child this way, there would be HELL TO PAY.

4. If you ARE going to send a note to trick-or-treaters, make sure it’s spelled correctly and has correct grammar.

This is shameful. How could you subject our children to this mess of a note? Do you NOT CARE about their literary health? About literacy in general? Do we want to raise STUPID children, even if they are all thin because of your valiant efforts to single-handedly stop obesity? (Because I’m sure that one candy bar that little Tommy DOESN’T get from you will be the VERY THING to make him the ‘perfect weight.’)

From a quick glance at your letters, you are missing several critical commas, you abused a semi-colon in a shameful way, and you used an incorrect word in one instance. It was so bad, in fact, that all the news outlets reporting on this story had to add a (sic) to your quote, so readers would know THEY didn’t fuck up the spelling, that it was all you. If you’re going to be a bitch, at least get the spelling right, okay?


And I’d like to add a note here to those who think what you’re doing is swell and dandy and just what this country needs to get rid of all those fat kids. To you people, FUCK OFF. Firstly, obesity and weight issues are complex. It is NOT just a matter of eating right and exercise for most people. Genetics, disease, food allergies and a million other things plays a HUGE part in it. Two kids can eat and play exactly the same and one can have weight issues and the other not. Stop making moral judgments on people because of their size. You have no right. NONE WHATSOEVER. Being overweight is not a moral failing. It does NOT make a person bad, or lazy, or stupid or anything else. That is a cultural judgement that is absolutely RIDICULOUS!

I’m not saying we shouldn’t safeguard the health of our children or ourselves. We obviously take the health of our children very seriously and work hard to nourish them appropriately, but there are a lot of factors at play in someone’s body that make it impossible for you to make instant judgments about them based on how they look.

So again I will say FUCK OFF. Mind your own damn business and let these parents raise their children as they see fit.

There are a lot of things we can do to make eating healthier and handling health issues easier for parents. Shaming kids on Halloween is NOT ONE OF THEM.

*rant over*


You know me, most of you anyways. You know I am usually positive and even-tempered. You know I care about people, especially kids, and give people the benefit of the doubt. But this letter, this woman’s mission, is so dangerous, that I had to speak out in a way I normally do not. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below. And by the way, we judge NO ONE for giving candy to their child. Because of our unique health situations, we’ve chosen to minimize this particular tradition, but that is our choice for our family and not something we judge others for. Celebrate in whatever way brings you most joy, love and happiness (and spooky scares!) this Halloween.