Mom Apparently Unashamed Of Forcing Two-Year-Old To Diet

Illustration for article titled Mom Apparently Unashamed Of Forcing Two-Year-Old To Diet

Meet the Worst Mom Ever, a woman who put her daughter on a strict diet at the age of two because "I don't want a fat child. I'm obsessed with how she looks."


According to Luke Salkeld of the Daily Mail, Aly Gilardoni allows Corleigh, now 8, just 700 calories a day: "Weeta­bix for breakfast, salad and half a roll for lunch, and a jacket potato for dinner." Gilardoni explains, "Being over­weight dominates my life. I don't want Cor­leigh to be like me." Now Corleigh's also "obsessed" with her appearance — says Gilardoni, "She's always looking in mirrors. I feel guilty — but it's how I want her to be." She's disturbingly unconcerned with the prospect of triggering anorexia in her child: "With an eating disorder you can get through it with therapy. But when you're fat, you're fat for life." She adds, "Corleigh's not so under­weight she's going to die next week."

Gilardoni sounds like she deserves to be investigated for child abuse, or at the very least spend some time with families of anorexia sufferers who can tell her that the disease is by no means a snap to "get through."


But if you're like me, you may be more distracted by wondering if she's even for real. Generally, people this appalling tend to camouflage their most horrifying impulses. Assuming her quotes are legit, though, this story cements the Daily Fail's position as the Jerry Springer of papers, a place people can turn to reassure themselves that at least they're not that fucked up. The formula: find someone sufficiently lacking in self-awareness that she's willing to make incredibly repellent statements on the record, include some details about her own unhealthy habits ("She gets through around 3,000 calories a day — usually skipping breakfast and eating biscuits instead, followed by crisps, chips and cheesecake for lunch and pizzas, potato wedges and mashed potato with cheese for dinner"), talk to some outraged experts, rinse, repeat.

If there's a lesson here, it may be that Gilardoni is an extreme and outspoken advocate for prejudices a lot of people hold more secretly, and maybe we should be checking ourselves rather than patting ourselves on the back. Also, if you're congratulating yourself that your actions are not going to kill your child within the next week, you're probably doing parenting wrong.

'I Don't Want A Fat Child': Girl Whose Mother Put Her On A Diet At The Age Of Two [Daily Mail]
Bringing In Family To Combat Anorexia [NYT]

Image via Daily Mail

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I once took care of an 11 month old whose mom wanted to transition her from formula to 2% milk instead of whole milk, and restrict solid foods in order to control her weight. Specifically, her "fat" thighs. She also super glued - literally, she used super glue- bows to her head in order to make sure that people would know she was a girl, a move that was especially unnecessary given the child's wardrobe of pink dresses. When she had a hard time learning to walk in platform-y baby sandals, and I suggested to her that she might learn faster if she wore no shoes or more supportive and stable shoes, the mom informed me that the baby would need to know how to walk in pretty heels and and platforms anyway, so she should learn now. I did all the parenting education I could and ultimately made a call to child protection. I know that they can't and won't take a kid away for that, but I hope they offered services and that the family accepted them.