School Textbook Sparks Fury For Showing Brazilian-Style Wax On Pregnant Woman
By Izza Sofia, 19 Aug 2019
Image via Shutterstock
A school textbook has been the subject of backlash after parents claimed it was teaching students to “sexualize” women’s bodies from an early age.
The 2017 version of the GCSE Pearson Human Biology textbook featured an illustration of a pregnant woman with a cross-section of her stomach to show her fetus. Other parts of the female anatomy were also present, including her pubic hair shaved in a “landing strip” style.
One outraged Twitter user has described the imagery as “utterly disgraceful” with its depiction of a “Brazilian” wax on the pregnant woman. Others have called on the textbook’s creators to remove the illustration from the text, as it is being shown to 14- and 15-year-olds.
The publisher, Pearson, has released a statement detailing that the 2018 edition of the textbook no longer contains the graphic. It tells HuffPost UK that the main point of the diagram was to focus on the fetus in the uterus, acknowledging that displaying other parts of the woman’s anatomy wasn’t necessary.
Pearson estimates that about 500 copies of the 2017 textbook have been used in schools, sparking a debate about how children have been conditioned to look certain ways from young. On forum Mumsnet, one parent expresses that the seemingly “trivial” diagram could be unhealthy, as it might affect women’s self-esteem.
The publisher adds that it did not mean to offend readers, and would be happy to replace older textbooks with the updated version if they wish.
Disgusted by @Pearson_UK and @PearsonSchools for publishing this image of a pregnant woman with a Brazilian in a GCSE textbook. Utterly disgraceful. They should formally apologise. SHAME ON YOU pic.twitter.com/Rty7PEWkda— Glacius White (@glaciuswhite23) February 9, 2019
I strongly disagree. What is being shown in the illustration is an incorrect depiction of natural pubic hair, which could cause children to believe that they need to change their appearance to fit with an erroneous norm.— Elizabeth (EC) Fremantle (@LizFremantle) February 11, 2019
Teaching biological science to kids using hyper sexualised images is symptomatic of a generally heedless system, one which chooses to marginalise, miseducate, and put its own interests first, putting aside morality for another day.— Slippy Underfoot #FBGC XY🎖🏁 (@6thfret) February 13, 2019
Nobody is claiming there's pressure for women to have natural pubic hair, because there isn't. But sticking a Brazilian wax on a diagram in a biology GCSE text is a bit weird and it makes sense to point that out.— Caoimhe MG MSc (@caoimhe_mg) February 13, 2019
[via HuffPost, opening image via Shutterstock]
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