Dara-Lynn Weiss: Vogue Mom will not have a fat kid!

My plan to get a book deal was going to be teaching my little girls the way to mix martinis and how to french inhale cigarettes, but apparently I have been one-upped by a one Dara-Lynn Weiss who not only (regretfully) shamed and humiliated her 7-year-old into losing 16 pounds by slapping hot chocolate out of her hands in public and refusing to let her eat dinner on occasion, but illustrated the ordeal in a Vogue essay. Shank eye for stealing my thunder, Dara-Lynn!

A quote from the essay:

“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 can see the concern that brought the mother to a frenzy. Her daughter was deemed “obese” by the medical community and technically there are cases of children being removed from homes due to obesity concerns. And I have to admit, I wouldn’t be happy either if my Bee (coincidence!) was “obese” but that’s one of the million reasons to  . . . just eat a healthy diet in the first place? Seriously, it’s not that hard, guys. For starters, when you order hot chocolate at Starbucks have them use skim milk. When you order coffee, have it black. When you get hungry, pop a few pills and start dancing. See? Fitness is easy.

Kidding. I’m trying to figure out how to work in the fact that my kids are vegetarians without getting into judgity territory where you think I’m trying to tell you what to do. I actually feel a little bad for Dara-Lynn Weiss because parenting is hard shit. It just seems like the clear answer to me isn’t slapping hot chocolate out of a 7-year-old’s hand, it’s making informed decisions when that child takes her first bite of solids. Slow and steady wins the race, turtles.

Considering food manufacturers are hiding pig rectums in your packaged goods and cheese contains concentrated opiates, a vegan lifestyle is currently afloat in my house. The kids still get greek yogurt, but other than that, we are some almond milk and soygurt fools. A convenient by-product of this decision is that none of us are obese.

Other healthy tips for having a child who is not headed for therapy because you said she ran out of calories and doesn’t deserve dinner:

– Cut juice with water
– Spend lots of time playing
– Encourage mustard instead of mayo and by “encourage” I mean buy that and put it on the table
– Dessert is for special dinners, not every dinner
– Bake with applesauce instead of oil
– Always have a banana in your purse

See, Vogue Mom? Aren’t you wishing you had discovered this blog before starving your child and writing that essay for Vogue? Or maybe that sweet book deal you got out of it makes the whole mess worthwhile.



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  • I feel like I'm not getting all the facts here, but this is pretty appalling no matter how you look at it. Maybe she should look at her kid's activity level, sign her up for dance or gymnastics, or watch what kind of food she keeps in the house and has for snacks. Or maybe the kid is just awkward at 7 like a lot of other kids that age and she'll grow out of it. Either way this is not worth a book deal, but it may be worth some joint mother/daughter therapy.

  • In reply to Chohenzy:

    The Vogue essay makes zero mention of exercise! Bizarre.

  • OY.
    Thank you for your candid article. My co-author and I (Dr. Maria Rago) delve into these issues dramatically in our book and blog, too, "Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!" (www.shutupskinnbitches.wordpress.com)

    The bottom line: Dieting/chronic dieting does not work. It often leads to eating disorders and body image issues. Our hearts go out to the young daughter, whose self-esteem may have been shaken in this entire process. We must all have to learn to accept ourselves and our bodies, and relearn our natural hunger and fullness cues. it's really not about "the food." it's about what you're really hungry for underneath ... that is not being fed. Thanks again for drawing attention to this because Dara-Lynn is just one mother out there doing things like this. It borderlines on abuse. _GREG ARCHER

  • In reply to garcher:

    I'm honored you commented here - thank you!

  • Actually, the original Vogue article did briefly talk about exercise and said Bea got an orange belt in karate during the diet period. The
    Jezebel article didn't say anything about exercise. Not that I am defending that beast of a mother; she is vile and repugnant. I cried my eyes out reading it and cancelled my Vogue subscription after being a paid subscriber for more than 25 years because of it.

  • In reply to code14j:

    I'm going to show my ignorance here, but I thought karate was more of a mental discipline, like yoga. Is there really cardio involved? I think of those guys who meditate for a full minute then kick a board. I must have missed that day in gym class.

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