Although 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.
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.
“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.