I believe there are many reasons why people of size are discriminated against, and in this month’s issue of Vogue, we see one of the main reasons. A mom counting calories for her seven year old daughter and denying her dinner.
Dara-Lynn Weiss, the author, was told by her pediatrician that her daughter was clinically obese at 4’4″ and 93 pounds. What was her reaction? Dara-Lynn decided to monitor everything her daughter put in her mouth. Weiss is quoted as saying ” 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.”
As a mother I could not imagine doing something like this to my daughter. If there was a problem, I would initiate ways for her to have a healthier relationship with food and increase her physical activity, but again only if there really was a problem. This is being fat-phobic. Teaching your daughter to value what you look like more than your health is morally irresponsible. This is one of the reasons why we have young girls throwing up, starving themselves and growing up to hate their own bodies as they develop into young women. Not all women are supposed to be tiny, wake up people!
Bea lost 16 pounds after her mothers monitoring and had this to say to her mother, “That’s still me,” she says of her former self. “I’m not a different person just because I lost sixteen pounds.” I protest that indeed she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is a thing of the past. A tear rolls down her beautiful cheek, past the glued-in feather. “Just because it’s in the past,” she says, “doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”
I’m no expert in these matters but I truly believe if this behavior continues, this little girl will suffer from an eating disorder and low self-esteem. In order to not disappoint her mother she will sacrifice her body unless someone can intervene. Where is child protective services when you need them?