Mom Who Put 7-Year-Old on Punishing Diet Stole Her Childhood

hot chocolateI am far from perfect as a parent. Forget perfect, there are times when I feel far from adequate as a parent. Which is why I try, whenever possible, to avoid criticizing the way other people raise their kids.

Glass houses, you know? Let's just all try our best and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

But I must make an exception for the socialite who put her 7-year-old daughter on a year-long "diet" program (light on calories but heavy on shame) and then half-bragged, half-whined to Vogue about the experience as if it were some great exercise in maternal sacrifice.

Because somebody needs to set Dara Lynn-Weiss straight, and soon. Before her now "svelte" daughter is lying in a hospital bed getting force-fed through an IV.


Apparently the little girl was legitimately overweight, by medical standards (a chubby kid in America?! Shock!). Okay, fine. This would have been justification to cut out junk food as a family, spend more time on the tennis court, switch from chocolate milk to water ... sensible adjustments in the name of "good health." The approach Lynn-Weiss took was anything but sensible or healthy. In the article, she writes:

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.

(If you're fantasizing about pouring hot chocolate over this woman's head right now, just fyi: ME TOO.)

I don't know what Lynn-Weiss thought she was doing for her daughter, but I do know what she did TO her daughter.

Here are the things Lynn-Weiss did to her daughter, in no particular order:

Made her feel worthless

Made her feel like her body is something to be ashamed of

Made her feel like nothing she does will ever be good enough

Made her feel like she'll never measure up to her mother's expectations

Warped her relationship with food for the rest of her life

Saddled her with intimacy issues (these won't show up until later, when she's dating) stemming from the body shame

Set her up for years of laxative dependency and abuse of appetite suppressants (including but not limited to diet pills, cocaine, amphetamines, cigarettes)

Ruined her chances of having kids (infertility is a risk of long-term eating disorders)

Derailed her future academic and professional careers (it's hard to concentrate when you're starving and/or in a treatment facility hooked up to an IV)

Just to name a few.

But I guess it's all worth it, right? Because one thing Lynn-Weiss never has to worry about is her daughter being called "fat."

And I'm pretty sure that's the only thing that matters to her.

Do you think Lynn-Weiss has any idea how much damage she did to her daughter?


Image via soleiltoile/Flickr

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