It is with extreme pleasure that I present to you a story from within the pages of Vogue Magazine, not a story of fashion; but rather, one of controversial, restrictive dieting, one of dramatic weight loss. Strictly managed, calorie counting, freaking-out-on-Starbucks-baristas kind of weight loss. Of a seven-year-old.
Our elementary-aged New York sophisticate of subject, dressed in Milly and Lisa Perry, is so very green that refusing a “Frisbee-size” apres-dinner salad of oil, tuna, eggs, potatoes, and olives exists solely at her mother’s ‘my way or the highway’ food policing regimen; yet is also so very mature, humbly remembering, as “a tear rolls down her beautiful cheek,” about “that fat girl” of yesteryear.
Bea, our former “fat girl,” as dubbed by her mother, is now eight. And thin. Her mother, control freak and lifetime disordered eater, Dara-Lynn Weiss, has brilliantly written of her daughter’s successful weight loss journey, details of which grace the April pages of American Vogue. I find Weiss’s essay to be fantastically written; and I even more so passionately support Weiss’s management of her daughter’s former fat situation, deeming the management as admirable and model worthy. My opinion, however, is not the popular opinion.
Journalistic backlashing, presented most harshly at the Jezebel blog article entitled, “Mom Puts 7-Year-Old on a Diet in the Worst Vogue Article Ever,” accuses Weiss of implementing “abrasive, often irrational weight-loss strategies,” citing them as being “truly disgusting.” The author at Jezebel continues, “The ickiness of the essay is only overshadowed by the accompanying photos, in which Weiss and her now-slender daughter . . . don miniskirts and giggle girlishly over tea.”
Donning miniskirts, giggling over tea, and having it photographed by Vogue to inspire others to manage their bodies for health? Can anything be more perfect? More inspiring? More fairy-tale-dream-come-true? Goodness gracious, I would feed upon white carbs to have my success story told in Vogue, with the intent to inspire others whilst modeling gorgeous fashion.
The Vogue essay reports that pre diet, Bea weighed 93 pounds at four feet, four inches tall, therefore establishing her rights to a lifetime of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and perhaps a lifetime of obesity and disordered eating, not to mention plus-sized dresses in a society that attaches respect to thin lines. Needing to correct her daughter’s health and dress size, Ms. Weiss created an effective plan. She did what any American would do: she put her daughter on a diet, characterised by the simplest, most obvious of diet rules:
When Calories In < Calories Out, Then -> Weight Loss!
Clearly, at least according to Jezebel, it’s blasphemous to correct an obese child’s weight by following this simple formula. But assuming that all other conditions are constant and ‘normal,’ when a standard Joe consumes less calories than expending, weight loss is achieved. Yes, shame on Ms. Weiss for embracing the laws of objectified science. Shame on Ms. Weiss for sipping tea, dressed to impress, celebrating with her daughter on a year of grand weight loss success. Shame on Ms. Weiss for writing a gorgeous, fashion-adorned story of fat triumph for Vogue. Shame on Ms. Weiss for laughing fashionably to the bank, holding hands with her gorgeous thin girl, dressed in couture, celebrating the new book deal that has resulted from this grand diet and from this controversial article as published by Jezebel.
I am so happy for the Weiss family.
Jezebel, a fashion faux pas in its own right, need not throw stones when their writers, especially the one who attempted to ferociously annihilate Ms. Weiss on her daughter’s weight loss success, should truly focus upon losing stones in another context, from the context of their hips! (For my American civilian readers, a stone is a measurement, equivalent to 14 pounds). Fatties have no right to spill hatred unto the successfully skinny. And vice versa.
Yes, Ms. Weiss did a deplorable job with teaching proper nutrition to her daughter during the precious developmental years, clearly leading to Bea’s former state of obesity. Shame on Ms. Weiss, truly, for that. But, she’s not alone. Look at America! Look at the author of that Jezebel article! Look at me. Despite my birthright to wonderful parents, I was the obese bulimic. Parents can’t control everything.
But clearly, Ms. Weiss is so ballsy that she doesn’t give a damn about what America thinks – she’s simply written about what has worked oh-so-phenomenally for her family, just as I do about managing my life-long eating disordered tendencies. I’m backing Ms. Weiss 100 percent, pulling out my Ayn Rand card on this defense.
Ms. Weiss created a solution to a problem. Although her solution does not align with my particular eating philosophy, (imagine processed carbohydrates and diet soda as nourishment), she did a good job, so much in fact that she also passionately ‘Freaked out on the Starbucks Girl‘; but in the case of Ms. Weiss’s experience, it was the Starbucks Boy:
“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.”
A girl needs to do what a girl needs to do, regardless if it means trampling upon the Starbucks crew. They are paid to get verbally trampled upon by bitches who don’t want cream in their coffee. (This does NOT apply to my local Starbucks crew who have worked with my ‘quirks,’ earning my deepest respect and admiration).
And from a health perspective, in the midst of their attacks, Jezebel is failing to acknowledge the significant outcome of Ms. Weiss’s experiment. Our seven-year-old is better off than she was one year ago. Ms. Weiss and Bea are reveling in the glory of their success, and rightfully so, fashionably so! Cheers to Vogue for offering this forum to Ms. Weiss. Change happens over time, and Ms. Weiss and Bea shall continue to adapt their eating and healthy lifestyles to the moment. Jezebel wants for everyone to be the same, it seems. Ms. Weiss has stepped outside of this socialist box, doing what works for her family, making her family better off than existed last year. Before anyone, especially Jezebel, attacks Ms. Weiss for her process and therefore success, critics need to respect that she did something good in the name of health. THE PEOPLE AT JEZEBEL ARE NOT RESPECTING THIS.
In summary, my humblest of opinion exists such that Ms. Weiss is the quintessential of weight loss managers. She is a capitalistic vulture, one who is my new inspiration. She is a compassionate, excellent mother, someone with whom I’d probably enjoy a martini or two, given our paralleled platforms of confidence on our individualised health management systems. She achieved a goal. Her daughter lost weight. Her daughter is reportedly happier. Her daughter is reportedly healthier. And her daughter can fit into cute dresses! The photographs in Vogue are so lovely.
Congratulations to Ms. Weiss, a courageous lady with a brain. She’s been published in Vogue. She’s secured a book deal. And now that healthy weight, for she and her daughter, has been achieved, the body must be nourished and sustained for operational longevity. So what’s next? In addition to securing a SECOND book deal, she must secure a nutritional counselor, one who can teach her family how to really eat.
Ms. Weiss, may I please have the job?
Yes. I am very pleased to have spotlighted this story at my blog.
Readers – What do you think about Ms. Weiss, about her management system, and about Jezebel’s opinion?
© Nicole Marie Story and nicoleandgwendolyn.com, 2011, 2012.