Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WTH Wednesday-Wow, so glad this isn’t my mom


The April issue of Vogue is already sparking controversy and it hasn’t even released yet. In here you will find an interesting article on a weigh loss journey by socialite Dara-Lyn Weiss. I know what your thinking…“Who gives a rat’s arse, Tori.” Personally, I thought the same thing. Until I realized the weight loss journey was not of Ms. Weiss, but of her 7 year old daughter, Bea.  Now, in Ms. Weiss’s defense, and trust me, after you read the whole article, you’ll realize this is her only defense, Bea’s pediatrician told her that her daughter was clinically obese. So after that and a school teasing episode, Ms. Weiss decided to put her child on a Weight Watchers diet program.

I took a particular interest in this article because my pre teen daughter also has a weight problem and was diagnosed as pre diabetic. Her Dr. (a metabolism and juvenile diabetic specialist) told me that she had to lose weight and get her sugar levels down before medication became a necessity instead of an option. He advised me to lose the fried foods, lose the sugar, and exercise more.

Some problems I had with Ms. Weiss  is she used her daughter’s weight and the word “diet and obesity” as a way to shame her into losing weight. I found her methods cruel, vanity based, and emotionally abusive. In one excerpt Ms. Weiss admits to …

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.”

Seriously? But wait, there’s more.

“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.”

The one thing I have never done is call it a diet in my house. I just call it eating better and made my entire family join. No one in the house gets to eat anything that we all can’t eat. I never once berated her in public for her food choices. I never dramatically flung food around in grand gestures to imprint on my child how important this all was. I admit we argued in the beginning as I was trying to explain to her the better choices we had to make and why. But I never let her feel like she was a bad person for the way she looked. I taught her how to make the better choices for herself. I also maintained an open line to the Dr to make sure everything I was doing was correct. The last thing I would ever want to do is cause my child to develop issues that will effect her negatively in the future.

What really jumped out at me is that nowhere in this article does Ms. Weiss place any real empathize on exercise or teaching Bea to make better choices in a non confrontational setting. Instead she claims that the key to slimming down is by making the child eat less and then bitches about how annoying it was to listen to a child constantly whine about being hungry. All the while snacking on the very foods she verbally bashed her child for wanting.

She goes on to talk about her own personal struggles concerning her body image and her weight as a child and teenager.

“Who was I to teach a little girl how to maintain a healthy weight and body image?" she asks, given that she's spent the past three decades "[hating] how my body looked and [devoting] an inordinate amount of time trying to change it." Among other destructive habits, Weiss took laxatives as a teen and "begged" a doctor friend to score her appetite suppressants that had been proven to cause heart-valve defects. "I have not ingested any food, looked at a restaurant menu, or been sick to the point of vomiting without silently launching a complicated mental algorithm about how it will affect my weight."

We do learn that Bea hit her “target” weight, (16 lbs lighter), after a year and is now the proud owner of  a whole closet of cute little dresses and mini skirts. And best of all? She has all of mommy’s love. *insert sarcasm* Do I think Ms. Weiss loves her daughter? Yes I do. But being a parent doesn’t automatically prevent you from making bad decisions and choices concerning your child. Ms. Weiss does add that, “Only time will tell whether my early intervention saved her from a life of preoccupation with her weight, or drove her to it," but I have to disagree. Bea gives the answer loud and clear at the end, and all but assures us that she will indeed have problems concerning her weight and self image when she gets older. 

 "That's still me," she says of her former self. "I'm not a different person just because I lost sixteen pounds." A tear rolls down her cheek. "Just because it's in the past," she says, "doesn't mean it didn't happen."

Nice going mom.

On a high note *insert sarcasm again*, Ms. Weiss got a slamming book deal out of Random House Ballantine Imprint for shaming her daughter into losing weight. YEA Random House!!!! So not only did she embarrass and humiliate her daughter for a whole year, she is also going to continue to do so AND make money off of it. 

Go mom.

I think Ms. Weiss should bank that advance for her daughter’s future therapy sessions.


*article source

1 comment:

Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka said...

I <3 you.

No child should be shamed into losing weight. The focus, if it's needed, should be on health. As I mentioned the other day, Mini-Me has a horrendous sweet tooth. I haven't made candy a forbidden food, but it is an "ask first" food. She has free rein to have fruit, veggies, and yogurt pretty much whenever she wants. She only has to ask about the candy because it's *bad for her*.

I'm mainly disturbed that Random House rewarded craptastic parenting with a book deal. That makes me almost physically ill.