Terrible Mom Scores Book Deal By Being Terrible

Terrible Mom Dara-Lynn Weiss

via Gawker

Dara-Lynn Weiss is a Manhattan socialite who's getting hammered in the press for writing an article in Vogue about her 7-year-old daughter's diet.

A doctor called the girl clinically obese, so Weiss alternated between starving her and publicly humiliating her to get her to lose weight. And while that may sound judgmental, it's not--Weiss acknowledges she made extreme choices, and frets over whether she saved her daughter from a lifetime of body issues, or drove her toward them. 

So of course Weiss just got offered a book deal by Random House's Ballantine imprint.

According to the publisher, the memoir, with the tentative title The Heavy (ugh) is about "an experience that epitomizes the modern parenting ‘damned if you do/damned if you don't' predicament."

I'll let Gawker provide the commentary: 

Indeed. You are certainly damned if you don't destroy your kid's self esteem forever and publish it in a magazine dedicated to deifying anorexia. What choice do you even have?

I've read the article, and it reads like borderline child abuse. In fact, if Weiss wasn't rich and white, she'd probably have social workers knocking on her door. America! 

So, how's your book coming? 

Rob Hart

News by Rob Hart

Rob Hart is the class director at LitReactor, as well as the associate publisher for MysteriousPress.com. He's the author of The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella, and his short stories have appeared in publications like Shotgun Honey, ThuglitCrime Factory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir. His debut novel, New Yorked, will be published by Polis Books in summer 2015. He lives in New York City, and you can find his website at www.robwhart.com.

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Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy March 27, 2012 - 10:41am

Apparently, the best way to get a book deal in modern America is to do something so disgusting that it gets everyones attention, making publishers want to capitalize on said attention. I've been approaching this writing thing all wrong.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Perfidia March 27, 2012 - 10:44am

That's a cute kid. She should be thanking her mother. We are a country of gluttons; a little discipline never hurt anyone.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this March 27, 2012 - 11:08am

Yea Josh, this is a country of gluttons, but the solution isn't the alternately deprive the girl of food, and humiliate her in front of strangers. She's 7! This woman will be lucky if her daughter isn't anorexic. 

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Perfidia March 27, 2012 - 11:35am

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii'm kidding.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this March 27, 2012 - 11:39am

No you weren't. You're never kidding. 

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Perfidia March 27, 2012 - 11:43am

I'm always kidding. Maybe that's my problem.

Edward W.'s picture
Edward W. from Michigan is reading For Whom the Bell Tolls March 27, 2012 - 12:03pm

If this is the easy way to get a book deal, I'll take the hard way. 

Kasey's picture
Kasey from the morally and physically challenging plains of Texas is reading 12pt. Courier font March 27, 2012 - 1:30pm

bummer. I had to go and have a healthy kid who enjoys exercise and playing outdoors...

Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade March 27, 2012 - 1:46pm

Mothers in America do face this dilemma with their daughters - and this woman is a DON'T example. Do work with your daughters to help them understand what is crap and what is food. Do explain the self-confidence and self-esteem that come with feeling healthy in your own body. DON'T starve your daughters and DON'T publicly humiliate them.

This post feels as painfully obvious as the "Don't Shake A Baby" public service announcement campaigns. However, what's sad is that we have to educate adults about such simple, common-sense "issues."

No matter how low my expectations are, people keep surprising me... 

Tai Ramos's picture
Tai Ramos from Brazil March 27, 2012 - 7:50pm

This is just disgusting. Whatever the weight, people can have a healthy life and this could have been a wonderful opportunity to teach a child good notions about self image and how you don't always have to correspond to this wicked society's idea of beauty.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Lexington, Kentucky. is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 27, 2012 - 9:43pm

Well body issues are better then heart attacks. I'm not saying THIS lady isn't off the reservation, but it is a lot easier to live with low self esteem then type 2 diabetes.

amongthegoblins's picture
amongthegoblins from North Carolina is reading Among Others, The Three Musketeers, Bindoff's Tudor England, and Les Sortceliers March 28, 2012 - 5:29pm

@Boone: I agree with your sentiment, but I think it's wrong to reinforce the notion that maintaining a healthy weight should be the special concern of mothers and daughters. Maintaining an appropriate weight should be a health issue, not an aesthetic one. I'd bet physical money that if this kid had been a boy, the woman would have put him on a soccer team and worked up a healthy menu for him, not vilified him for making the same food choices any seven-year-old would make.