An Open Letter To The Girl Who Was Suspended From School 24 Times For Smelling Bad

Dear 8-year-old-girl,

I read about how you’ve been suspended from school 24 times this year because of your “foul” body odor. Your mom claims she took you to the doctor and they said there was nothing medically wrong with you, but still the school continues to send you home about twice a month. Students and teachers have complained about your smell and said that it’s so strong that they can’t concentrate on school activities when you’re around. A spokesman at the school district says that your odor is so overpowering that you will have to be removed from the school until your family complies with hygiene standards.

Your story broke my heart. It activated just about every ounce of shame I have in my body. It reminded me of every time I was made fun of in elementary school. And how I just wanted to be normal. And how I cried myself to sleep lots of nights praying that I could just be like everybody else. I don’t know all the details of what’s going on at home, but it sounds like the way you smell isn’t your fault. It must be awful to think of yourself as smelly or gross or different in any way. I want to let you know that no matter what the rest of the world says, you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. Being unique is a gift. You’ll grow up and understand that better. I know it. These challenges in our lives, especially when they happen to us at a young age, only make us better people. They make us strong. I know we don’t know each other, but if you need a friend, I will be your friend. I don’t care what you smell like. Seriously. 


Ami Angelowicz