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Mother speaks out after Southaven Middle School offers shapewear to girls

The middle school has now canceled the program which was offering shapewear and bras to help girls with body image.

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss — A Southaven Middle School mother is speaking out after her daughter brought home a letter offering shapewear to girls struggling with body image, and her response is making national headlines

She's hoping her response sparks a wider conversation.

“It was a little surprising,” said mom Ashley Heun.

Heun was also angered that in a letter Southaven Middle School counselors offered free shapewear to her eighth-grade daughter along with other girls in the school.  

“I had to read it a few times just to see if it really said what I thought it said,” she said.  

The letter speaks on negative female body image being linked to depression and mental health conditions

“You get to the bottom and it starts talking about shapewear,” explained Heun.

   

The mother believes the middle school had the right intention, but the wrong execution in addressing body image. She took to Facebook to speak out.

“I really just wanted to reach the other parents in the community to see if they got the letter, what they thought of it,” said Heun. “Kind of to rally the troops to let the school know this wasn’t okay.”

The mother said her 13-year-old daughter doesn’t have a problem with body image. 

“She thought it was stupid, which I love,” Heun shared. “I loved that answer. Because she wasn’t affected by it at all.”

Heun said the school received a large donation of items including the shapewear. She recently spoke in a sit-down with Southaven Middle’s principal. 

“He was very apologetic he said that he knew the counselors had the best intentions,” she said.  

DeSoto County Schools said in an e-mail, the school discontinued the plans for the shapewear program. 

Heun said she does applaud the school on providing bras and other health and essential items girls don’t have access to.

“I feel like maybe this did happen for a reason to maybe start those conversations that really need to be had.”