Dara-Lynn Weiss might have faced backlash for her Vogue essay detailing the methods she utilized to get her 7-year-old daughter, Bea, to lose 16 pounds; but the buzz surrounding the Weight Watcher has landed her a book deal.
New York Magazine reported on Monday that Dara-Lynn Weiss scored a book deal with Random House after the publication of her Vogue essay. Her upcoming book will be called The Heavy. The publisher describes it as an experience that epitomizes the modern parenting 'damned if you do/damned if you don't' predicament.
However, NY Mag noted that there's an extra dimension to that quote that's missing, of course - the 'damned if you're cruel enough to write about said predicament in an international fashion magazine.'
Dara-Lynn Weiss' name began to circulate after the release of Vogue's April issue, the Body Issue, which included an article by Weiss, entitled Weight Watcher. The article detailed the strict and oftentimes humiliating methods Weiss took to put her then-6-year-old daughter on a diet after a doctor said she fell into the overweight category at 4-feet, 4-inches and 93 pounds.
Dara-Lynn Weiss put her then 6-year-old daughter on the Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right diet, a form of Weight Watchers for children. Though her push towards a more healthful diet could be considered a beneficial effort, Weiss' description of her approach and demeanor in the Vogue essay proved truly disturbing.
Here are some of the most irrational and erratic things Dara-Lynn Weiss admitted to putting her 7-year-old daughter through:
- Making Bea go without dinner after learning that her observation of French Heritage Day at school involved nearly 800 calories of Brie, filet mignon, baguette, and chocolate
- Ending Pizza Fridays when Bea admitted to adding a corn salad as a side dish one week
- When Bea pleaded for snacks, Weiss responded with one of the following: 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 her mood
- Throwing an untouched children's hot chocolate in the trash at a Starbucks after the barista admitted he/she did not know the specific calorie count
Ultimately, Weiss delves into her own diet struggles, which involved bouts with Weight Watchers, Atkins, juice fasts, laxatives and even dangerous appetite suppressants.
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, Weiss admitted. Who was I to teach a little girl how to maintain a healthy weight and body image?
Little Bea met her mother's goal of losing 16 pounds before the Vogue photo shoot. Weiss insists in her article that she has established a solid base upon which Bea can develop a lifetime of healthy living.
Others disagreed with Dara-Lynn Weiss and her methods.
Weiss writes that everyone supported her long-term mission to get Bea to a healthy weight, but that 'no one seems to approve of my methods.' Perhaps that's because Weiss' 'methods' were draconian, immature, and affected by her own dysfunctional attitude toward food, wrote Jezebel's Katie J.M. Baker.
This is the sort of horror story that makes everyone afraid to help their children lose weight for fear of landing them in therapy-or an eating disorder clinic-by the time they're eight. Vogue isn't known for its incredible work at improving women's body image, but does it have to start hacking away at seven year old girls, too? wrote BlissTree.
Is Dara-Lynn Weiss poised to join the Tiger Mom as the Diet Mom, as NY Mag suggests? The Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, received widespread publicity after the release of her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which detailed her tough-parenting methods.
Weiss might just give Chua a run for her money.