What happens when a Tiger Mother reads French Women Don’t Get Fat? Why, you wind up with a food-hating harridan by the name of Dara-Lynn Weiss who’s been micromanaging her daughter’s life ever since she found out the girl was “technically obese”:
She deprived her of dinner one night after learning that Bea had consumed “nearly 800 calories” of Brie, filet mignon, baguette and chocolate at a French Heritage Day event at school. She forbade participation in the school’s Pizza Fridays after the girl “admitted to adding a corn salad as a side dish one week.” She lost it at a Starbucks when an employee couldn’t tell her the exact number of calories in a kids’ hot chocolate: “I dramatically grabbed the drink out of my daughter’s hands, poured it into the garbage, and stormed out,” she reports. She fought audibly with her daughter over cake and cookies at parties.
What fun. I wish my kids had French Heritage Day at their school, but in Inner-West Sydney they just get hectored about injustice and recycling. Seriously, though, this sounds like exactly the wrong way to go about dealing with a kid with a weight problem: one can only imagine how much fun this woman must be to have around. Which may explain why the words “husband” and “father” appear nowhere in this account.
UPDATE: On further reflection, this also seems like a great way to give your kids a million complexes about food and everything else. I predict in twelve years Dara-Lynn drops out of Sarah Lawrence and elopes with a bass player. Also interesting is the conflation of thinness with virtue: “Fear of fat is about the menace of overall personal failure, of the inability to keep at bay all the forces of chaos and entropy that carry with them the ever present threat of downward mobility.”
This weird neo-Calvinism, where thinness is seen as being “elect” and fat is a sign of poverty is unique, to say the least, across history and cultures.