There’s nothing richer than walking into a family member’s home, only to be told “Oh dear, your child is fat.” 

A fat five-year-old?  To quote one of the greats, “as if.” 

Some points I failed to make the day my family member lobbed the fat bomb at us:

  1. Eating cake for dinner, whilst telling me my five-year-old is fat at the table was brilliant move. Showing her what she should avoid is critical to achieving a goal weight.
  2. Fat shaming a young child is awesome. We’re already looking forward to the therapy sessions. Good old fashioned family fun right there!
  3. Oh wait, you are insecure about your own weight.  I’ve done your laundry; I know your size.  I say nothing.  Yet, here we are.
  4. The follow up email you sent was just bizzare.  It was complete with “If you talk to your child about these issues, she will realize she had to eat less because she wants to be a ballerina one day.”  We’re teaching her to binge and purge early.  If only I could figure out how to get her to use the non-bristled end of the toothbrush for purging.  She’s only five, we’ve got some time to play with here.
  5. We’ve decided, thanks to your insight, to lock her in a closet with only lettuce and water for a week.  A good old-fashioned fast is going to help her shed the extra 12 ounces she’d packed on since the last time we visited.
  6. I’m uber grateful my five-year-old learned the word “fat” today.  I’d appreciate it if you could follow that with other fun words she should know by age 6:  copulation, perineum, and stretch-marks.  She’s going to kick ass at her spelling-bee next week!
  7. I agree with you, it’s not fat-shaming. We’ve been hoping she’d grow up anorexic anyway.  *fingers crossed*  Thanks for pushing us in the right direction. 
  8. We show her photos of other skinny five-year-olds often.  She’s not sensing she’s 12 ounces over her goal weight. Decided to get her into a few forums online to discuss tips and tricks to weight loss at five.  One suggested using ex-lax.  So, we’re doing a family trip to Costco shortly to grab ex-lax!  I love Costco!

Shelby Van Voris is a wife, mother, avid traveler and public health dork. When she’s not chasing a 6 year old, you’ll find her preparing half-assed meals after a long day of work.  Catch her at  


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