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School Lunch Lady - Essay Example

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Since childhood, a single image of the school lunch lady has been fixed in our minds; an obese woman covered with moles, wearing a hairnet, thick glasses, a long dirty dress, and who doesn't have a tiny bit of sympathy for the children. This has been the stereotype of lunch ladies since the 1860's, and a similar image is often used even today to scare young kids…
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SCHOOL LUNCH LADY Since childhood, a single image of the school lunch lady has been fixed in our minds; an obese woman covered with moles, wearing ahairnet, thick glasses, a long dirty dress, and who doesn't have a tiny bit of sympathy for the children. This has been the stereotype of lunch ladies since the 1860's, and a similar image is often used even today to scare young kids. The main reason for this stereotype was the expansive existence of boarding schools in those times. The wealthy children were home taught while the average children acquired knowledge in boarding schools. Most of the children found in boarding schools were either orphans or ill-behaved kids put away by their parents to learn some etiquette. Hence, the staff in those schools was extremely strict, especially the lunch lady, so that the students learn to adjust to the harder way of life. She used to make the same porridge everyday, and gave only fixed amounts of food to everyone, to keep the children away from any kind of luxury.
Although the image of that lunch lady is still in the minds of children today, not one school has a lunch lady of that caliber. Today, children are not scared into doing something, but are politely made to understand between right and wrong, and their consequences. For instance, if children need to be stopped from eating a lot of candies, they cannot be forced or scared into doing it, but be explained the harmful effects of doing what they are doing.
I believe that this image of the lunch lady should have been gone with the extinction of old boarding schools, but media was always there to save it from dying, and has still kept it alive. Fairy tales and other children's books have played a major role in keeping the lunch lady alive. The stereotype can be seen in stories like Hansel & Gretel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and others. Although the scary woman in each of these stories might not be a lunch lady, but the characteristic features have helped in fixing the same image in children's minds. Furthermore, the presence of illustrations in these story books together with the vivid scary ladies that the children are now able to see in almost every cartoon or young horror movie have made such a solid picture in their minds that it is now very difficult to wash away.
The only way the image can be brainwashed is through media itself. The same way it has kept the lunch lady alive all these years, it can completely change the way it presents lunch ladies in schools from now on, without any kind of reference, whether it may be descriptive or illustrative, to the old lunch lady. It is definitely the responsibility of the media to play a major in this conversion as it did otherwise, because now, when it is high time children should take hygienic food and a balanced diet in order to prevent any unnecessary pathology, they are scared to go to the school canteen and turn up outside to buy from street vendors.
Nowadays, it is extremely necessary for children to use the school canteen. Due to the presently common allergies among children, like the peanut allergy, it is mandatory to inspect what the children eat at school. For this reason, qualified nutritionists are employed at school canteens so that a professional person observes hygiene of the food; any kind of common allergen is prevented from being added into the food, and appropriate amounts of all food essentials are put into a variety of eatables.
As the environment is not so friendly nowadays, for example, due to excessive pollution of all kinds, proper health care of young children through appropriate diet is extremely necessary. And when children stay away from the school canteen buying improper snacks from outside, then yes, I would say that the once funny stereotype is really causing problem for nutritionists. Therefore, the old lunch lady has to go at last. Read More
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