Monday Madness: Vogue Writer puts 7 Year old daughter on diet

March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized



Savannah and I went to the grocery store today to get a few things for this week.  Savannah is my oldest daughter–16.  As you can imagine, she picked up the latest cover of Vogue.







 I’ll admit I don’t normally read this magazine as my fashion sense consists generally of jeans and a t-shirt but a blurb on the cover stood out




vogue


I sat down to read this article with great interest.  It was an article called “Weight Watcher” written by Dara-Lynn Weiss, a mother whose 7 year old daughter, Bea, was clinically diagnosed as “obese”.   What followed was her story of trying to attack the problem.







I found this compelling not because any of my children are overweight or appear to struggle with overeating.


But rather because I (obviously) have food issues of my own and it’s something that  is always on my mind.  


Making sure that I become the example my children need.  


That if they ever do have weight issues, that I handle them in a healthy way.


Initially, I could relate to this mother.  She confessed that she had “suffered through my own issues with food” adding that “Over the last 30 years, I’ve been on and off Weight Watchers, Atkins, Slim Fast, LA Weight Loss, Jenny Craig, juice diets and raw-food diets”


Wow.  If she had just thrown in Nutrisystem and the cabbage soup diet then we would have been twins.  I can totally relate to this woman already!!!


She went on to say “I was constantly battling my weight gain….I hated how my body looked and devoted an inordinate amount of time to trying to change it.”  In additon to this, she said that she “dabbled in the occasional laxative or emetic, and once fainted at a summer program in Vermont after three days of near fasting.”


I have been on laxatives and I fainted once in college after a long bout of fasting . Man…this woman and I are totally seperated at birth.  I can completely relate to her struggles with food and her desperate attempts to lose weight.


I was totally sucked into this article. I totally get this woman!!!


She went on to add that she “begged a doctor friend to score me the prescription appetite suppressant fen-phen EVEN AFTER it was found to cause heart-valve defects and pulmonary hypertension”


CHECK! Yep that’s me.  I actually remember having my husband drive me to this little tiny house somewhere on the other side of town where a doctor in a white coat was writing prescriptions to dozens of people crowded in the living room….I mean “waiting room”.


I know what it means to be so desperate to lose weight that you would risk anything to make it happen.


The writer then adds that “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”


Ok this woman and I are on the same page.  I could have written that myself!!


I have literally been sick with the flu…diarrhea and vomiting….and thought HAPPILY…

At least I will lose some weight because of this



But then things seemed to take a drastic turn. Suddenly me and my seperated-at-birth writer of the article were suddenly nothing alike.


AT ALL


First she called her daughter “fat” which for me is something I personally wouldn’t do.


I mean I’ll call  MYSELF fat.


I’m fat—there I said it.


In fact I’m not even fat.  I’d have to lose another 100 pounds to be considered just “fat”.


But to me…fat is one of those terms that probably carries a hurtful connotation.  So I would never call my child “fat”.  Even if they were.  I’m not saying I would deny the issue existed.  I’m just saying that I would not call them “fat”


Because while I know that I am  fat and I’m not in denial….I’m also a grown 39 year old woman.  And I can handle being called fat.


And I also know that being called “fat” at 7 years old publicly in writing by your mother…probably stings.


She also called her son “Skinny”….I wonder if that has the same sting… not sure….


It’s interesting because this woman seems to recognize that she has her own food issues and that she probably is not the best person to be dealing with this issue.


In fact she admits “Who was I to teach a little girl how to maintain a healthy weight and body image?”







I would be thinking the same thing.  With my background and food issues, who am I to handle this??


But you know what?  Life doesn’t always give us problems that we are expertly designed to handle.  Sometimes we are given problems that are completely out of our comfort zone.


But because our name is “Mom” or “Dad” it becomes our job anyway.  Our duty.  Because it is our child.  And our responsbility to be there for them.


No matter what.


You know, I’ll admit that as a mom I am very protective of my children.


Not in an over the top way (to my knowledge) but still I’m protective.


And as someone who has had food issues my whole life, I think I’m uniquely sensitive to the emotional aspect involved in being overweight and having your private problem become clearly public.


Because being overweight is PUBLIC.  I mean people see you.  They KNOW.


You can’t hide that you’re overweight.


So I would assume that this mother being personally aware of this would be sensitive to that fact.


But instead, I found myself reading about a woman who publicly shamed her daughter in every possible way so that she could lose 16 pounds.







In case you couldn’t read that…here is the text below….


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 wonder what her daughter, Bea, was feeling when her mother “dramatically” grabbed the drink out of her hands and poured it into the garbage storming out?


How would I feel if I was an overweight…oh excuse me…FAT….7 year old standing in a Starbucks holding a cup of hot chocolate when my mother dramatically ripped it from my hands and poured it into the trash in front of everyone.


I imagine the packed Starbucks with everyone on their laptops furiously typing away and engaged in converstions until suddenly they stopped to see this woman “dressing down” the Starbucks barista for not knowing if the hot chocolate was 120 or 210 calories.


The trauma that those 90 calories brought to little 7 year old Bea’s day.


And I’m thinking adding whipped cream or not might have been the 90 calories differential.   


Just a thought.


And she deprived her child of dinner because she had participated at French Heritage day at school involving a baguette and brie?


So she deprived her of dinner? The same exact woman who a few paragraphs earlier discussed fainting due to fasting too long? And how she had her own disordered view of dieting?


Since when is skipping meals and depriving a good way to handle your food issues?


She went on to add


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. 


So she “derided” her child….


——————————————————————————————-

World English Dictionary
deride  (dɪˈraɪd) 
— vb
tr to speak of or treat with contempt, mockery, or ridicule;scoff or jeer at
[C16: from Latin dērīdēre  to laugh to scorn, from de-  + rīdēre to laugh, smile]
——————————————————————————-


Do you think she meant to say that she mocked and ridiculed her child?? Perhaps not.  Except that she’s a professional writer so I’m assuming she knows what the word means.


And she admits to making public moments “awkward” for her daughter and engaging in “heated PUBLIC discussions” with her about what she was eating.


I could go on but I won’t.


Suffice it to say that her daughter lost 16 pounds and is now considered “normal”.


But what do the emotional scars she gained over the course of that year weigh?


I guess her mom writing in the article that “tears of pain” fill her daughter’s eyes “as she reflects on her yearlong journey” explains it all.


“That’s still me” her daughter says of who she was 16 pounds heavier.  “I”m not a different person just because I lost sixteen pounds”


But her mother (the writer of this article) insists…PROTESTS she writes….


THAT FAT GIRL IS A THING OF THE PAST


Wow.


What else can I say but that?


I find this little 7 year old girl to be insightful and aware.


Her mother–not so much.


I have an 8 year old daughter and so I am keenly aware of that age. 


And when I imagine saying these things to my daughter…..


I just can’t.


Childhood obesity is a serious issue.  But there has to be a better way.


And I hope that Bea will be ok.
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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie - ASassyRedhead.com March 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Consider writing to the magazine. Along with hundreds of others who will, as well about this.

People who have issues of their own but choose to burden others with them (especially their own children) are very low in my book.

From reading this, I don't understand how this couldn't be considered a form of child abuse.

Just because she didn't stick a lit cigarette to her arm or strike her across the back doesn't mean the pain is any less or the scars won't still be there years from now.

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Gilly March 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Hmm…that woman and MY mother could have been twins. Except my mum was fat…so at least she had that going for her. I'm intensely protective of this kind of CRAP around my 8 year old niece, since she tends to favour her auntie gilly in the ass-width department. This article, or what I've read of it, makes me nauseous! Like someone should be dispatched to this bimbo's house to investigate her for child abuse…that's how strongly I feel about it!

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Brenda March 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm

My heart aches for Bea. As a mother I can not imagine treating one of my girls with such contempt. I know how awful it is for people to be rude because of weight issues. I can not imagine the eating disorders Bea will have to deal with because of her mothers ridicule. Shame on her!

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Banded With Favor March 25, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Oh Holly, I could only skim over this post because it is so very close to home…and it is such a tragedy that Bea is going to have to learn how to deal with all of that rejection and judgement from the very person or 1 of the very peoplecwho is to love her unconditionally…Change that mother to a Father for me… No my dad never had arguments with Starbucks or poored out my hot cocoa, but made me feel so guilty about whatever it was I was eating or drinking that I threw it out myself…I have tried to make such a very conscience effort and decision to NOT approach weight with my children by a " well what if they do have an unhealthy eating habit of some kind later on in life", state of mind…My weight issues are mine, I must work through and deal with them. I would never wish them on my kids ever. They are my issues not theirs, and to burden my children with such a manner of thinking is a travesty…my heart aches for Bea…

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Czesia March 25, 2012 at 7:43 pm

WHOA…I could slap that woman. She's only 7 years old! She'll probably hit puberty in the next few years and blossom out of it. When I hit 3 grade (I hit puberty in 4th grade..way early bloomer) I gained 40 lbs, plus reached my adult height of 5'3 (i tell everyone I'm 5'4 SHH! 5'5 with teased hair HA)..I was awkward, I had a George Washington haircut, my friends were all tiny, I knew I didn't fit in. My family told me how beautiful and unique my looks were and not to try to fit into that box of what a 3rd or 4th grader was "supposed" to look like. The turning point of my weight loss journey happened because (I'll never forget this) I went to a doctor who berated and chastised my mother in front of me who basically traumatized me. Here I was thinking that being different was perfectly normal, but that all came crashing down. After that I was constantly telling myself I wasn't good enough, nor pretty enough. I never had the confidence to try sports, or go to friends houses because they might see me eat…I WAS IN 4TH GRADE! How sad. So I think that is why this article struck a serious nerve with me. This woman has created a thought process in her child's mind that will forever change her. She will turn out like me, turn to food, and diet just like her mother..chasing away the pounds when she should be chasing away her demons. I'm saddened by this. It took me a LONG time to realize where my demons stem from, and I hope this child has thicker skin than I ever had.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm

So far all of your comments have really been right on the mark with me!! I knew my bloggy friends would feel strongly about this one!!

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Cee March 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I can guarantee that Bea is not done with her weight loss battles, she is just getting started thanks go her "mother". There were so many other ways she could have helped her daughter lose weight. Healthy, confidence building ways. I also don't think Bea is the same person she was, even though she says so. Her mom changed her in ways that she will have to deal with for the rest of her life. My heart breaks for that little girl :(.

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Staci's Slimdown March 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm

🙁 Why not just get the kid outdoors more to play instead of letting her sit in front of a TV or computer??? Maybe she did do that, but oh my. Did the mother still drink HER hot chocolate and let the daughter do without because THE MOTHER was EMBARRASSED of her daughter's weight (truth be known). There is a big difference in battling childhood obesity and berating and scarring your child! So sad. My oldest daughter has tendencies to be heavy. I can see it in her. She has a totally different body frame and figure than her siblings. She is built like… ME. But I don't make ugly remarks to her. Instead, I control portion sizes for her AND her siblings. That way, she doesn't have to feel left out or different. Everyone got that same amount of dessert or food. She is no different. The other kids could definitely have more and never gain an ounce from it, but she can't. So I limit them all to help the one child who needs help, and none of them ever know the difference. This Mom seems like she thinks she is some sort of hero, but she is a ZERO! So, so sad.

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Beth March 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I suspect this girl has more weight struggles in her future because of this. I also suspect she will have problems in her relationship with her mother in years to come.

I haven't read the article- did the mother mention what, if anything, her pediatrician said about all of this?

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Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan March 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Good god that is so heartbreaking. My parents had me on a strict diet from ages 8-10 with Diet Centre. I was even featured in one of their magazines. I still struggle with the idea that I do not have love or approval from my parents unless I am thin. It is horrible reading about a parent doing the same thing is such a public forum.

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Michelle Jackson March 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I am so totally disgusted by this! My mother was an extremely obese woman, and back when I was growing up she used to ridicule me for being fat. I was about this girl's age the first time she made a snide comment about me being fat and needing "husky" jeans. Then she proceeded to feed me nothing but fatty, starchy, junky foods…and encouraged me to have seconds. Our house was always full of ice cream, cake, cookies, chips, etc. And there was no concept of portion control. But my mother sure knew how to point out how fat I was. Back in high school I was a 14/16 and she treated me as though I was fatter than she was. I KNOW that the way she taught me to eat and the way she tore down my self confidence led me to become exactly what I saw myself as when I was young….it let me to become obese myself. Back in high school I weighed about 170…at my highest I was 313. Now I would be thrilled beyond all belief to get down to 170 again. And my father was no better. For my 16th birthday they had a cake made for me as a "joke". The cake read, "Happy Birthday Short Fat Fanny"….like the old 50's song. There was a real cake that was covered in flowers and just said happy birthday, but they thought they were SO funny! They just laughed and laughed when I ran my fingers through the cake and said I would NOT serve it to my friends. Then during the actual party my father played that stupid song and "dedicated" it to me for my 16th birthday. He also used to tell me that one of my real parents (I was adopted) must have been black because there was no way a white girl could have a butt as big as mine. Did I mention my dad was a racist? Anyway, it took me years to get past all the negatives my parents put in my head. 20 years to be exact. And though I don't believe those things about myself anymore, it still hurts and angers me when I think of how they scarred me. And this poor girl has been scarred too…whether her mother wants to admit it or not. Grrr!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Michelle–I am so sorry you had to endure this treatment. You are a beautiful, wonderful person who did not deserve this. All of us who read your blog know what an incredibly special person you are. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life. It will help us all to understand how people who have endured this trauma feel.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 25, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Beth–only that the pediatrician told her that her daughter was clinically obese and referred her to a nutritionist

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me March 26, 2012 at 2:35 am

🙁 I have a 5yo daughter that just shared with me that it's hard for her to see another girl in a prettier dress. SHE'S FIVE!!!! AND she's homeschooled~so her pressures are not coming from her peers! (Are they innate for us girls?) She's not at all overweight, but girls have enough stacked against them without being torn down by their mother!!!! 🙁

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Sweety Darlin March 26, 2012 at 3:51 am

So I have two daughters one is smaller than a double zero and she hates that she can't find clothes that fit. The second is a size 4-6 and she compares herself to her "skinny" sister. She thinks she is fat because her sister is so small.

They are different builds physically and as they have grown they have changed shape. When did 16 pounds on a growing child become "fat"?

My baby girl held onto about 10 that just wouldn't go away, then she turned 13 and she grew a few more inches and abracadabra she wasn't overweight anymore.

I say all of this to say that mother should not procreate! She has no business being a mom, and that article is disturbing! That poor child will end up having an eating disorder because her mother has given her body dismorphic disorder subconsciously. I am glad the little girl "gets it" but I worry about the long term results if her mother continues to talk this way!

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Sweety Darlin March 26, 2012 at 3:54 am

So I have two daughters one is smaller than a double zero and she hates that she can't find clothes that fit. The second is a size 4-6 and she compares herself to her "skinny" sister. She thinks she is fat because her sister is so small.

They are different builds physically and as they have grown they have changed shape. When did 16 pounds on a growing child become "fat"?

My baby girl held onto about 10 that just wouldn't go away, then she turned 13 and she grew a few more inches and abracadabra she wasn't overweight anymore.

I say all of this to say that mother should not procreate! She has no business being a mom, and that article is disturbing! That poor child will end up having an eating disorder because her mother has given her body dismorphic disorder subconsciously. I am glad the little girl "gets it" but I worry about the long term results if her mother continues to talk this way!

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mommykinz March 26, 2012 at 4:08 am

What a horrible horrible article. We view the word Fat as just another F word in this house. We don't use it. My kids know that treats are to be eaten in moderation but they can eat whatever healthy fruits and veggies they want. My hubby and I work out to be healthy and strong NOT to stay thin.
That being said I did give in to the pressures to look good many years ago and had lipo. Thankfully my kids were too little to know about it. Now I know better and try to embrace myself the way I am. That poor 7 year old will have a more complicated relationship with food because her mother is obsessed with it and probably many years of therapy and dieting!
But I may buy the magazine because of the synchro article – will have to check it out.

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Lady Amanda March 26, 2012 at 4:42 am

It has been a few weeks since I read this article- but the things I remember are how sad the child looked in the pictures, how the mother would yell and get into arguements with people over serving her child food that she had not accounted for, and how the child just seemed miserable. And I agree with others that say- she will go on later in life to most likely indulge when she gets angry with her mother- she will probably go and eat a box of donuts as a private jab at her mother. I know that she said that the doctor was riding her about her child's weight- but I also think that the area where they live and the people they associate with had a lot to do with it too. I think the mom was feeling more peer pressure from her peers than from the doctor. Atleast that was the feeling that I got from the article. I was actually very stunned that the woman agreed to let the story be written because I would think she is going to get a lot more grief from this than praise. Also, a comment in the article that I remember was how the mom said that they still follow a certain nutritional plan but that she disagreed with some of the portions so she cut back the amount. I kept thinking to myself- did you get a degree in nutrition? Because it seems to me that they would know what they are talking about and if you child is allowed to have a certain amount of fruit a day according to the plan then LET HER! Some people are just more naturally hungry than others. Maybe her body is craving Vit. C and she can't keep it in her body unless she eats a bit more fruit than what the mom thinks she is supposed to have- even though it is written in the nutrition plan for her to have that amount. I know I am that way about Vit. D- my body doesn't hold onto it like it should. I think that childhood obesity is a horrible thing. It really is. But there has got to be a better way for doctors to approach things with parents and there definitely need to be some programs designed to help parents deal with things. They need to be taught how they can sneak fruits and veggies into meals- also how to make low-cal desserts so the child doesn't feel deprived, etc. and then they also need to be told bluntly that you don't take your child to starbucks or mcdonalds or anywhere else that isn't healthy. When she was arguing over the hot chocolate I kept thinking to myself- you have your child on a strict diet yet you were actually going to let your child DRINK that many calories (even if it was around 120)- but yet she couldn't be like the other kids and have a cookie at a party! What is wrong with this picture!

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Diane Fit to the Finish March 26, 2012 at 4:53 am

This makes me sad and angry. I realize it is just one article, one family, but how many times is this being repeated all over the world. The consequences can be so far reaching.

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tz March 26, 2012 at 5:24 am

good lord that's my mother..I wasn't even fat as a kid, my mom was afraid I would get fat and put me on drastic diets at young ages…as an adult I became her worst nightmare…a fat daughter, who didn't wear make up. The thing is, especially when dealing with children, the best way for them to lose weight is to incorporate activity, reduce screen time and eat healthy balanced meals…if you concentrate on their weight and on weight loss they will feel even worse about themselves. And at seven, unless there's a serious issue, the goal shouldn't be to lose weight but to maintain weight and have them grow taller into their weight. This very issue is my master's thesis project. I get so angry when I read stuff like this.

I do think the mom thinks she's doing what she needs to for her daughter. it's ignorance on her part…i mean this is a woman with food issues who works for vogue a place where those issues will NOT get resolved but rather perpetuated. I'm sad for her and I'm sad for her daughter…

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Katie March 26, 2012 at 6:42 am

Wow that is the first thing that came to my mind. I really do not understand the way people think now days. My heart breaks for that little girl.

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MandaPanda March 26, 2012 at 6:44 am

Her daugher will end up being a morbidly obese adult if she doesn't get counselling for it at an early age. Seriously, her mother just did a world of harm to this young girl. But it's acceptable because now her daughter is "healthy." Society will say her mother handled it well because the daughter lost weight. It's absurd. This approach is absurd and shouldn't be touted in a magazine seen by millions all over the world. My husband and I are fat (but we're getting thinner. lol) and worry our girls will be fat. So we try to keep them active and show them us doing active things and try to cook them healthy meals. In my opinion, being healthy should be a positive thing. And the second it stops being a positive thing, you've created a problem. This article made me angry because I know this Bea is going to have permanent scars from this even if it was never published.

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Joy March 26, 2012 at 6:57 am

Painful article! I was put on a diet at 10 and never stopped. If I would have had support in helping me make good food decisions. Like not having chips and cookies in the house all the time and if my family was more active (we watched a lot of TV), then maybe things could have turned around naturally. Just so sad!!

Keep focused!

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Kim Gibson March 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

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Brenna March 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

Unbelievable. What a horrible experience for that child. An acquaintance of mine recently told me that she had suffered with eating disorders and she knows that her daughter might be more susceptible to them because of her mom's history so they have banned the word "fat" in their house. I like that idea. I wonder if I can undo any damage I've caused by commenting on my own weight negatively?

Currently my eight-year-old son has taken to teasing his (normal weight) sister by calling her "fat." We had a talk about how serious that is and he seems to have gotten it, yet he then started calling her "chubby." I guess we'll need to discuss all the synonyms for "fat." It seems that the pressure to be thin comes from everywhere, and it starts at a very early age.

Kudos to you for your weight loss and for sharing your experiences with the world!

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vickyd March 26, 2012 at 9:32 am

That article has me seeing red!! My mother had many weight issues herself (whe was overweight when I was young and is now morbidly obese) and, although well-meaning, she made my childhood hell when it came to food. I ended up learning how to sneak food at every opportunity and I honestly believe that becoming obese myself was my way of showing her that I can do what I want to do for a change…sick, but that's how my mind responded to it.

She may see her daughter as "normal" now but I just hope that she hasn't done too much emotional damage to her. I have two boys who are both obese (one is a teenager and one is an adult) and I do struggle not to be over-bearing with them regarding their weight…I don't (and would never) ridicule them or snatch food out of their hands but I do try to suggest healthier options while still recognizing that they need to take responsility over their own health.

This woman needs a major reality check!!

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If Only She Were Thinner March 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

I don't know who I am more upset with…the mother for her shameful behavior or Vogue for publishing the article. I know that childhood obesity is a nationwide issue and is a hot topic for all forms of media but I do not think that Vogue is the appropriate magazine to discuss such a sensitive subject. It should have come with a warning of how NOT to handle the issue. Ugh! So sad for her daughter. Her mothers actions and harsh words are sure to haunt her for years and while I am not a violent person, I can only imagine one day this little girl will give her mamma a high-five…in the face…with a chair.

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terbear287 March 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

oh how I hate this article. I have never used the word "fat" until recently because I have gained so much weight in the last year that when people see me I know they are thinking "holy cow she has gotten really big". You know how you can see it in their eyes…. I had a friend that constantly talked about her weight and her this surgery and that surgery and blah blah. It would tick me off so much having her say these things in front of our daughters. My daughter is beautiful and amazing and perfect. I have noticed that she has gained a little weight but I would never say one word. She is 11, 11 she is going to hit puberty and her entire body will change. I am certainly not going to criticize her when I can't get myself under control. Instead I try to provide healthy eating options like whole grains and lean meats and fruit and veggies. I try to limit the junk in the house. This is how we as parents teach our children how to eat, not by berating them in public. My dad used to make comments about us "girls" when we were young and I hated him for it. To this day he is single and won't date a "heavy" girl". So sad!!!! I love my dad and I know he struggles with his own weight issues and I know he was trying to help.

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Mercy D'souza March 26, 2012 at 10:14 am

It's sad the way this mother handled the situation. If she really needed to lose the weight, I'm sure there would have been better ways to handle it. Perhaps all she needed was a little more exercise, and some words of encouragement from her mother.

I remember when I was 10 or 11, my stepdad used to call me "gorda" even though I wasn't and it made me feel fat. In fact, I was a normal weight all my life until I hit puberty and started eating more and exercising less cause I hated it; naturally I gained some weight but I was never very overweight except after my pregnancies. Right now I am working to rid myself of the last 10 kgs. and it isn't easy. Just this past month I started exercising daily again after months of little or no exercise. I am seeing results but it is going slow and I am tempted to get discouraged or feel like I will never look like I did before I had kids. I probably won't, but I know I shouldn't let it bother me.

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Andrea March 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

Wow, that's crazy! I'm not a parent, but I think unfortunately instead of helping her daughter she probably made things worse.

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Ducky March 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

Oh my heart aches for this little girl and the woman she will become. 🙁

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Karen Butler Ogle March 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

My mother dragged me to every weight loss and fitness center in the area from the time I was very small. I had no weight problem at all them but she made such an issue of my brother being thinner and because of her own obesity she prophesied me into being a fat person by the time I graduated from high school. Tell children often enough that they are something and they will become it. I ended up about 350 pounds before my surgery. I still have eating issues related to how she influences my relationship with food. I resent the hell out of her sometimes but I know how it is my own choices that have me where I am. I feel sorry for Bea. She is in a dangerous game with her mother.

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bbubblyb March 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

This is hard for me to read. My husband forwarded another article referencing this. I have struggled with obesity my whole life and I have given my children issues related to food. I know I have been wrong many times. I know my 10 yr old daughter wants my approval when it comes to food choices, I feel terrible I have done this to her. I know I would never take food from her hands or try to shame her but I know at times I have and not even meaning to. I can only hope my daughter like Brea will have more sense than I have at times and some how come out a better person for having went through this journey with me.

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Anonymous March 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

bbubblyb – the difference here is that you recognize that you may have harmed your child by your behavior and in that recognition you have the opportunity to mend those scars by reinforcing your love for her and changing the way you approach this issue. I pray that you are able to do that and not just wish you hadn't done it in the past.

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Sandy March 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Ugh. I hope she has lots of money for psychotherapy for the daughter because she has now scarred her for life and probably an eating disorder. If only they knew–you DO NOT put 8 year olds on diets. Or like my doc did when I was 10-amphetamines. This made my heart sink in sadness.

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spunkysuzi March 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I honestly had to wait before commenting because I was very upset by this article.
I cannot believe that the magazine published this or that the mother was able to get away with her behaviour!! I was so upset reading about how she talked/behaved with her daughter.
My daughter was 7 when she was told by another child that her thighs were fat. This is a girl who know is 5'7" and 120 lbs she has never been overweight and yet it took me years to convince her that she was not nor was she ever fat.
The damage this woman has done to her daughter will probably affect her for the rest of her life.

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Michon March 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

*headdesk* Comments like hers CREATE issues with food. *points at self*

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

bbubblyb…i agree with anonymous. You are trying to be self aware of what you're doing. The fact that you feel badly about something shows that you're aware of it. And besides which…i have 4 kids and I know I have things I feel guilty about. And many of them are food related things like the bad example I set for too many years. Don't feel bad at all!! I can see from how much you care that you're an awesome mom!

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Julie March 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

WOW. How a mother's love could have handle that so differently.
Thank you for sharing and caring to share this. I am hoping it helps others to think before acting. A child can be hurt forever over something like that.
Thanks for stopping by. Take care Holly. Blessings!!

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Ali March 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I am also appalled that Vogue would publish that article. I hope they get the right kind of feedback so they know how damaging that can be to a child. That poor little girl!

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Steelers6 March 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Well, maybe since Ms. Weiss is a professional writer she & Vogue are trying to create controversy by writing/publishing this article. Shame on them. I see no reason to even write about this subject, a healthy mother would wish to protect her child from further scrutiny/focus. But it is painfully evident that Bea does not have a normal, healthy mother. [I wonder if there is a father to help protect Bea?] Another few lines to underscore my point:

“When she was given access to cupcakes at a party, I alternated between saying, ‘Let’s not eat that, it’s not good for you’; ‘Okay, fine, go ahead, but just one’; and ‘Bea, you have to stop eating crap like that, you’re getting too heavy,’ depending on my mood. Then I’d secretly eat two when she wasn’t looking,” wrote Weiss.

I particularly hate the "wah, wah, wah" from Weiss regarding her very difficult job of getting her daughter to lose weight. She says; "It is grating to have someone constantly complain of being hungry, or refuse to eat what she’s supposed to, month after month. (can't you just feel the love? Wow.) and "exhausting managing someone’s diet." (yes, motherhood IS exhausting.)

No, Holly, I don't think Bea will be ok. SO SAD!! I imagine she will probably sneak food, among other things, and will have to fight very hard not to be like her very unstable sounding Mommy Dearest.

Thumbs way down Vogue, for using this material.

Chrissy

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djf March 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I AM Bea! …35 years later…. :/ Poor kid.

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Chinagirl April 1, 2012 at 9:29 am

Thank you for writing this. I have a 8 year old daughter and I realize, that I have to consciously let go and NOT tell her, that I think, she might have a little bit to much for her age. I haven't researched it (yet). I will be MORE careful now and just try to give her more healthy choices. That's the key anyways!

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