Anorexic Mother Weighs Less Than Her 7-Year-Old Daughter, Wears Kids’ Clothes

Anorexic mother and daughterAlthough The New York Times seems to find something glamorous in women throwing on their kids’ clothes, this case study is far from chic. Single anorexic mother Rebecca Jones made a startling realization one morning when in her daughter’s room. The 26 year old picked up her 7-year-old daughter Maisy‘s skirt and it fit perfectly. Now the mother and daughter share everything from tops to jeans, and while Rebecca’s illness continues to challenge her own abilities to eat, she encourages her daughter to follow a different path.

Rebecca survives on soup, toast, and energy drinks, despite doctor’s warnings that she is currently at risk for a heart attack. Although the young mother has her own barriers with food, she encourages her daughter to enjoy foods like chocolate, cupcakes, and pizza. She told Daily Mail that her daughter is well aware that her mother has an eating disorder and that Maisy is concerned for Rebecca’s health.

Rebecca has struggled with her own eating disorder since the age of 11 when her parents divorced. Her weight dipped well into her teens at Manchester University where she met Maisy’s father. Because her periods had stopped completely, she assumed that she could not conceive a child. But when the then 19 year old felt a kick, she went to the doctor to reveal that she was actually 26 weeks pregnant.[tagbox tag="anorexia"]

Being pregnant while also severely anorexic was very difficult for the expectant mother. Doctors urged her to eat chicken and regularly take vitamins for Maisy’s development, but Rebecca survived only on bread and beetroot. Despite her mother’s illness, Maisy was born small but healthy, yet her mother was unable to breastfeed her.

When describing how she feels when putting on her daughter’s clothes, Rebecca told the Mail:

“Wearing the same clothes as Maisy gives me a sense of pride. It’s wrong, but it makes me feel good. I don’t think I’m thin – I always see myself as bigger.”

A similar pride was recently espoused in The New York Times‘ fashion piece about “chic” mothers getting a boost of confidence from wearing designer’s kids’ clothes. While there obviously are petite women who happen to fit in children sizes, stories like Rebecca’s reveal that for some, the intention is there.



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  • Jen

    Kind of sounds like she is also trying to live vicariously through her daughter’s eating. I’d be worried that she is going to encourage her daughter to become an over eater or binge eater to satisfy her own desire. And while I understand that this is a mental health issue I don’t understand how she can acknowledge this issue and not get help. If not for her own sake, you’d think she’d at least be willing to do so for her daughter who she claims both understands what’s wrong AND worries about her mother’s health.

    • Victoria

      I completely agree, and the last sentence sums it up: that girl is going to grow up taking care of her mom, especially when that mom starts reaping the karma of anorexia: memory problems, broken bones, irritability, etc. I wonder if CPS is keeping an eye on that situation. Mentally ill parents (especially when there isn’t another parent in the home) need to be kept a close eye on. The girl won’t have an easy time staying mentally or physically balanced, for sure.

  • Emma

    Anorexia is a very deadly illness, I know on the outside it must look terribly selfish for her to carry on like that whilst raising her daughter, however, once anorexia takes hold, even the love of your child may not be enough to help you. She has gone and got help but unfortunatly she is on the NHS waiting list to see a shrink. The mental health service in this country isn’t fantastic, it seems odd that they haven’t sectioned her if her life is at risk.

  • Fabel

    As perversely proud as she is for being able to wear her daughter’s clothes, she should probably refrain from actually doing so in front of her daughter. Even if she’s just trying them on. A seven-year-old girl shouldn’t have to think of her mother as being the same size as her; I can only imagine what this memory is going to do to her when at 9, 10, 11, she’s bigger than the woman who gave birth to her.

  • laura

    I feel sorry for the child& mother,I also believe she shouldn’t where her 7yr olds clothing,it will cause more problems for the child added to the knowledge that her mother is sickly.

  • Anon

    Oh fuck, this is a thing? My mother suffered from anorexia when I was younger and she too took pride in wearing my clothes. Eventually, around the age of 10/11 my clothes got too *big* for her and led to me thinking I was this massive whale. It messed with my self image for years.

    I only hope this little girl somehow manages to foster a healthy sense of self, though it sounds like her mother is actually carving out an *unhealthy* diet for her.

  • Zhe

    Yeah, she’s definitely feeding her daughter the things she can’t eat. It’s sick.

  • Pam

    Not to mention she looks ridiculous.

    • Jen

      I mean, that’s kind of what body dysmorphia does to you, no? What you see in the mirror versus what the rest of the world sees is completely different. This woman looks in the mirror every morning and thinks she’s fat. Her ability to judge how she looks is nonexistent.

  • Silvia

    Very disturbing picture! Is allI can say………………

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  • kelsie

    This is heartbreaking for me. My mother was anorexic while pregnant with my sister and when she was pregnant with me and for most of our lives. Although she encouraged me to be healthy, eat what I want, etc. I developed Body Dysmorphic Disorder and struggle daily with the effects. Emotionally unstable women, such as women with anorexia, need to get help before they raise children so that less girls grow up hating themselves. Growing up and seeing your biggest role model, your mother, who you think it beautiful and perfect calling herself fat messes with your head…

    • Jen

      Thank you for this comment. As a woman who has struggled with body image issues (though thankfully never as severely as this woman) I find myself having to check my words and actions in front of my now four year old daughter. It is so easy to forget that she is watching and absorbing every critical word I speak, even when it isn’t directed at her. You have helped reinforce my commitment to being happier in my own skin and making sure that my daughter NEVER sees me judging myself for the way I look. Our actions as parents speak so much louder than anything we can ever say.

  • dave

    Thank God we will never have a woman President

    • Canaduck

      ^lonely virgin spotted.

  • Alexandra

    I think this situation is horrible for the daughter, especially since she seems to want her child to eat an unhealthy diet…so many eating habits and mixed messages about them can lead to life long eating issues. My eating habits and body issues are one of the contributing reasons I chose not to have children.
    Also don’t know if anybody else sees the same advertising on the right side of the screen for Neiman Marcus featuring a model in black whose thigh looks very similar in size to the woman in the article.

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  • Ariel

    When Maisy gets into her teens she WILL start to compete against her mother. I bet.

  • Vincent Fincher

    I hope her daughter steps up to the plate about how stupid the mother is for being anorexic. I don’t like fat women, but I also don’t like anorexic women either. It’s about how you carry yourself just as much as it is what you’re carrying too.

    • guest26

      It is not her daughter’s job to point out to mom what is wrong. Adults are adults and kids are kids and it is never the child’s job to “step up to the plate” for the parent. Further, I am sorry that you have such a limited view on beauty…not liking fat OR skinny women must leave you with very few options.