Put a 7-Year-Old on a Diet and Write About it for Vogue? Brilliant Parenting!Meredith Carroll
I’m the first to admit that I am overly sensitive to the subject of weight, and have written ad nauseum about the portrayal of pin-thin models in fashion campaigns and how that “ideal” affects young girls.
I also cringe whenever Michelle Obama discusses the Body Mass Index of her daughters, particularly because it’s always in the context of how she was alarmed to see that their BMI’s were too high (translation: the girls were getting heavy).
All of that, however, is nothing — nothing — in comparison to a single fucked-up mother named Dara-Lynn Weiss. She has written a piece in the April issue of Vogue about how she put her 7-year-old daughter Bea on a diet, according to Jezebel. And that just makes me want to find a dark corner and hide. Imagine how her daughter must feel.
I can’t speak to whether Dara-Lynn’s daughter needs to lose weight, although if her doctor, indeed, said that the girl is clinically obese, clearly something needed to be done. But why on earth would this woman feel compelled to write about it in Vogue?
Clearly the girl has problems of some kind already, whether physical, emotional or both, if she’s that age with a problem deserving of that kind of classification. What, exactly, does this woman think she’s helping her daughter solve by writing about it for the world to read? Even if her problem is physical now, having your friends and the entire world read about your weight problems can certainly lead to emotional problems, which, to some people, can manifest into the need to overeat as a way of quieting the shame.
The whole article is nauseating. Because you read it and worry about the girl’s weight (although apparently she has already lost lots of it), but you worry more about the affect her fucked-up mother will have on her. Dara-Lynn writes in Vogue:
I once reproachfully deprived Bea of her dinner after learning that her observation of French Heritage Day at school involved nearly 800 calories of Brie, filet mignon, baguette, and chocolate. I stopped letting her enjoy Pizza Fridays when she admitted to adding a corn salad as a side dish one week. I dressed down a Starbucks barista when he professed ignorance of the nutrition content of the kids’ hot chocolate whose calories are listed as “120-210” on the menu board: Well, which is it? When he couldn’t provide an answer, I dramatically grabbed the drink out of my daughter’s hands, poured it into the garbage, and stormed out.
I cringe when I recall the many times I had it out with Bea over a snack given to her by a friend’s parent or caregiver … rather than direct my irritation at the grown-up, I often derided Bea for not refusing the inappropriate snack. And there have been many awkward moments at parties, when Bea has wanted to eat, say, both cookies and cake, and I’ve engaged in a heated public discussion about why she can’t.
But here’s one of the(many) worst parts:
It is grating to have someone constantly complain of being hungry, or refuse to eat what she’s supposed to, month after month . . . and exhausting managing someone’s diet, especially when her brother has completely different nutritional needs.
Yeah, it sucks to be the bad guy, er, the parent to your child, n’est-ce pas?
Oh, sure, Dara-Lynn cops to her own body image issues (shocking!). But despite how fucked-up she is about what she sees when she looks at herself in the mirror, and what she thinks about when she looks at her daughter, and how she went about getting her daughter to a healthy weight, the most fucked up part has to be that she wrote about this in Vogue.
Poor, poor, Bea. What else is there to say? (That would be nothing, by the way. For Bea’s sake, let’s hope her mother has nothing more to say on the topic — at least publicly.)
What’s the worse part about this, in your opinion?
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