Shaming and publicly humiliating your child to lose weight-WILL NEVER WORK

By now you have probably read and heard more than enough about the NYC socialite mom who penned a vogue article detailing her struggle to get her clinically obese seven year old daughter down to a healthy weight. From the outset, this article  would seemingly appear to be about a mom doing her job as protector of her child and by putting her on a diet, was setting her up for a life of health, as opposed to one in which her weight would have systematic repercussions that would plague her with a lifetime of health concerns. Unfortunately, this is not the case.


Shaming and publicly humiliating your child to lose weight-WILL NEVER WORK

This article by this seemingly concerned mother, is in my humble opinion more of a vehicle for this mother to kick start a career as an author via exploiting her little girl. The article is salacious and depicts the author as a mother who repeatedly calls her daughter “fat”—and humiliates and deprives her “little Bea” as a means to get her to lose weight. So what’s the real problem and issue here? Having grown up with several friends who were slightly on the heavier side I can say this quite matter of fact; those whose mothers publicly humiliated and insulted them in mixed company never achieved the goals they set out to. In fact, their actions yielded quite the opposite results.


Not only did these friends not lose their weight, but the constant insults only propelled them into further dosing on Twinkies and Hershey bars to dull the pain and embarrassment their parent’s public criticisms unleashed. Therein lies the issue, at least I take, with this mother’s public documentation of attempting to get her daughter to lose weight. Humiliation tactics, depriving kids of being “kids”  For example; when at a birthday party shining a bright light on their child’s overweight plight by not permitting said child to eat pizza and ice cream like every other kid, are a form of emotional abuse. Making one’s kid into a spectacle and shaming her, well none of these tactics are morally or socially effective and I would not be surprised if in several years from now little Bea is suffering from an eating disorder or lying on a psychoanalyst’s couch.  


As parents, the first rule you learn is shaming your kids and deprivation will never lead you down the right path, and will only cause further damage to your kids, but to do it on a grand scale and essentially whore a situation out for all the world to consume- well that just takes it to another level of narcissistic greed. Oh yes, and is a lesson in what NO parent should ever do.  

What do you think, were this mom’s actions right or horribly wrong?




  1. Mo says

    Right idea, wrong approach. The mom got a little harsh it seems, but when your child insists on binge eating or constantly THINKS they are hungry and never turn to the right foods on their own, you run out of options. If she had just continued to “let her kid be a kid” then she’d be getting blasted for “letteing her daughter get fat like the rest of America”. Also, going to birthday parties and learning to eat ONE piece of pizza or ONE cupcake is one thing, but if her daughter really was eating just to eat as everything indicated, then she would not have had that self control. This I do understand because I have been, and still am struggling with the weight loss battle my whole life.

    The newscaster on MSNBC or whatever that was said that she “tricks her children” into eating healthy. This is NOT a lifestyle change, it is another way to fail your children. Perhaps make the first few smoothies without telling them what it is, when they like it and drink it more than once, then you say, “It’s not a milkshake, it’s a smoothie!” and you TEACH them the difference, not TRICK them. Otherwise, as they get older, they will go for all out milkshakes without thinking twice.

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