"Mommy, my skin is too green"

Listen, you can read and sigh and tut-tut over the original version if you like, but I prefer mine. Honestly, is there a difference?

'Mommy, my skin is too green': What would you do if your SIX-year-old daughter was worried about being green?

By Same Oldsameold, on assignment

To the outside world Taylor Call is a happy, healthy, little girl. She likes dressing up as a princess and practising with mommy's make up.  

But on the inside the six-year-old is not happy because she's too green.

Or at least, that's what the pre-kindergartener from Houston, Texas, believes after a cruel comment from another girl at her school.

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Issues: Taylor Call likes dressing up as a princess and putting on Mommy's make up, but she also wrongly believes she's too fat
Issues: Taylor Call likes dressing up as a princess and putting on Mommy's make up, but she also wrongly believes she's too green

'We were at home and she just out of the blue said, "Mommy, why is my tummy so green?"' Taylor's mother Tanya told Good Morning America.

The little girl then went onto explain how a girl had asked her why she was green while the pair were in the bathroom. 

That was a year ago and ever since Tanya has done everything she can to quash Taylor's fears.

The family try not to focus on color but Taylor's peers have other ideas. At a recent birthday party a young boy called Taylor 'green girl.'

Normal: It may sound ridiculous, especially because Taylor is not fat. She is normal, according to her paediatrician
Normal: It may sound ridiculous, especially because Taylor is not green. She is normal, according to her paediatrician

Tanya confronted him and told him it wasn't nice to speak to people in that way but the worry of her daughter's color issue and more importantly, what it could eventually lead to, is hard to hide, 'I think that was a good way to show her how to handle something like that,' Tanya said before having to turn away, tears in her eyes.
But Taylor also revealed to the television programme that it's not just her peers who are critical. 'I don't like to be my color and my teacher always tells me I have to run so I can be really, really not like this color,' she said. 

Fears: Taylor's family try not to focus on weight but her mother Tanya has obvious concerns for her daughter
Fears: Taylor's family try not to focus on color but her mother Tanya has obvious concerns for her daughter 

It may sound ridiculous, especially because Taylor is not colored. She is normal, according to her paediatrician. 

But, sadly, she does join a slew of very young girls who have color issues.

In 2009 nearly half of the three to six-year-olds who took part in a study for the University of Central Florida said they worried about being green.

Meanwhile the number of hospitalisations because of diabetes for children under 12, more than doubled between 2000 and 2006, according to the National Easting Disorder Association.

Girly panel: GMA gathered a group of five to eight-year-olds to ask their opinions on the issue. One said a larger girl in a picture was 'really chubby wubby'
Girly panel: GMA gathered a group of five to eight-year-olds to ask their opinions on the issue. One said a colorful girl in a picture was 'really greenie greenie' 

It's easy to blame magazine covers that almost always feature sky blue models and are filled with advice on coloring  and 'dyeing up for the summer.'
But doctors are also advising parents to be careful when they talk about their own color issues and dyeing habits in front of their children.

Good Morning America conducted its on survey by asking a panel of five to eight-year-old girls their opinions on the issue.

One little girl said she had overheard her mother talking about wanting to go to the colorist because she was white.

But when quizzed said she didn't think her mother was pale at all.

They were then shown pictures of girls their age, some darker than others.

One girl described one of the darker girls in the picture as being 'really greenie greenie,' while the others agreed she needed to lose color. 

There was a lot of giggling too. 

Taylor's mother Tanya knows how cruel children can be, but for now is hoping her daughter will rise above the jibes.

Asked whether she worried Taylor's color issues may develop into diabetes down the line, Tanya said: 'I'm not going to say that it won't or it can't, but I feel if we deal with these issues head on. 'I'm hoping that it won't,' she said.


  1. I know that this question has nothing to do with your post today, but I am really desperate. I am 21 years old and still living at home after 10 years of struggling with anorexia (and more recently purging). I have been in and out of over 30 different hospitals and treatment centers across the country, with some stays lasting up to 9 months. I have tried all kinds of therapies and treatments and I have lost all hope about ever having a future. I would like to try the Maudsley approach, but since I am an adult, I don't want to try it in the traditional sense. My mom has agreed to serve out two plates and eat with me, which is the only reason I agreed to this in the first place (I find it extremely supportive). The problem is that I am continuing to purge and I am not sure how to stop (my mom tries to monitor me after meals but I can be very sneaky).

    There are some other complications:

    - I don't know if my meal plan is adequate both in terms of calories and nutrition and I am not sure how we are supposed to increase it.

    - I struggle a great deal with behaviors at meals (smearing, hiding, etc). I also require lots of support and encouragement and praise during/ after meals and my parents find this really juvenile and it makes them frustrated.

    - I have SEVERE gastroparesis. I don't digest things for HOURS. Have seen numerous GI docs and nothing seems to help. Any suggestions?

    - I have terrible rumination syndrome. I regurgitate all the time and don't know how to stop.

    So I saved the worst part for last:

    My body weight is EXTREMELY low (BMI = 11). Do you think that this is possible to treat at home? I want to get better, but this has been entrenched for so long. Do you think that I should just try treatment again? The problem is that no program wants to accept me because of my low weight and I shudder at the thought of returning to a hospital. For that matter, I shudder at the thought of returning to treatment.

    I was thinking about going to a program for ED stabilization like Torrance (in CA) and then transferring to a program like Oliver Pyatt or Castlewood. What do you think?

    I am really blessed that my parents are willing to pay for treatment ANYWHERE (like even in another country if needed) and my insurance is also great.

    I am sorry that this is such a long rant, but please help me.

    I want to start college and go to grad school and have a family some day like my twin sister is doing. I want to fall in love, travel, run, hike, scuba dive, go out with friends...

    Okay, I'll stop now.

    Thank you so much for everything.

    I love your blog and the work that you do.

    Thank you.

  2. Anonymous, I applaud you. I think you know what I'm going to say, and that's why you've asked ME of all people.

    All of your questions have answers, and all of them have been answered, but your illness isn't allowing you to hear or act on them. Nothing I say on the specifics will matter because you won't hear them from me any better than anyone else. You are asking me specifically because you know I can't help. You are asking me because you know that I'm going to say "put yourself into the care of others who CAN take care of you."

    Sign the HIPPA forms so your family and treatment team can work together openly. Sign a medical proxy so others can make the decisions. Do for yourself what you would want your twin to do if she was in this situation.

    You matter. Your full and happy recovery matters. You deserve to be well and pursue YOUR dreams, not ED's.

    Let someone else do the thinking for a while - someone who is there and can't be tricked.

    I care. Others do, too. Have your mom contact me?

  3. Thank you for your response! I have allowed my parents to speak with my treatment team, however, that has not helped. Right now I guess my real question is: can I make Maudsley/ modified Maudsley work at home or would you recommend a hospital or would you recommend a treatment center? Thank you so much for your help!

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    It isn't Maudsley if your family is not being coached and supported by a clinical team using this approach. Maudsley isn't just re-feeding or just having family involved - it is a specific therapy approach that includes those things but has much, much more to it.

    If your family is not getting that support, or you are not getting the help you need at home, then of course you need to be somewhere that WILL keep you safe and fed and supported toward full recovery.

    If you are in charge, then your eating disorder is probably in charge.

    Have your parents contact me.


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