Controversial Vogue Story on Diets for 7-Year-Olds to Become Controversial Memoir

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Dara-Lynn Weiss, Vogue “Up Front” writer and author of this month’s controversial “Weight Watchers” article, has sold a memoir on the same topic to Marnie Cochran at Ballantine on an exclusive submission by David Kuhn. It is called The Heavy.

The article narrates the one-year diet Ms. Weiss inflicted on her seven-year-old daughter, Bea, after her doctor reported that she was in the 99th percentile for weight at her age. After months of fighting over baked goods–plus a heaping portion of projection from her food anxious, Vogue writer mom–Bea achieved her goal weight in time for their photo shoot for the magazine’s annual “Shape” issue. The girl was rewarded with a pile of new dresses, a feather hair extension, and, seemingly, some self-image issues.

“That’s still me,” she says of her former self. “I’m not a different person just because I lost 16 pounds.” I protest that indeed she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is a thing of the past. A tear rolls down her beautiful cheek, past the glued-in feather. “Just because it’s in the past,” she says, “doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

According to the deal report in Publishers Marketplace, Ms. Weiss’s experience “epitomizes the modern parenting ‘damned if you do/damned if you don’t’ predicament.”

And then there’s “damned if you do in a public forum for money and attention, twice, thereby permanently ruining the poor child’s Google before she’s even old enough to embarrass herself on Twitter.”