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.
Image via Daily Mail