Megyn Kelly Is Answering to Viewers After Controversial Remarks on Body-Shaming
It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Megyn Kelly. The Megyn Kelly Today host found herself in hot water with viewers yesterday after making a comment that many perceived to be pro fat-shaming, with the 47-year-old going on air once more today to explain the remarks in question.
The trouble began when the former lawyer welcomed gust Maria Kang, the fit mother behind the controversial ‘What’s Your Excuse?’ campaign, who went viral after those words were posted on a photo of her with her three children sporting rock hard abs.
Maria Kang, also known as “Fit Mom” shocked the world when she shared a picture alongside her young children, showing off her toned body with the words “What’s your excuse?” What do you think of Maria’s comments? #9Today https://t.co/W5CCMxc4be
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) January 9, 2018
“Your goal is to be an inspiration, not a shamer,” Kelly asked the viral star, who replied, “No, never, that was never my intent, my intent was always to say, ‘You know, if I can do it, I mean, I’ve had three kids in a row… then you can do it too.”
From there, the topic turned to accountability, with the viral workout queen saying, “I am not an accountability coach, but if you go to my Facebook page, I’m in your face, kind of every day, like, if I’m working out, you can work out too.”
“That’s what you should do!” Kelly said. “You should parlay the shaming thing into a professional business. Because some of us want to be shamed! When I was in law school, and I was gaining weight, I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me go in that kitchen one more time, you say, ‘Where you going, fata**?’ And it works!”
Immediately, Twitter was ablaze with backlash, with many taking the talking head to task for what they felt was encouragement of dangerous fat-shaming behavior, including one Meghan McCain, who posted her own tweet on the subject..
People like Megyn Kelly are the reason why body shaming has been normalized by society. https://t.co/ElhCpHPALm
— Hallelujah (@call_me_hal) January 12, 2018
I was publicly fat shammed early on in my career and it sent me to therapy. Trust me, there are real life ramifications for fat shaming of any kind, it is NEVER acceptable. We should be fostering a healthy culture that celebrates all women of all sizes. https://t.co/dFn3hGwot6
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) January 11, 2018
I'd like for someone to tell me why Fat Shaming is ok! "Some of us want to be shamed" – Megyn Kelly. Really because I know a lot of people who would say otherwise! It's bullying and is NOT OK! It a form of abuse. People like this is part the reason for body image issues!
— Tamara J. Wright (@KaniacsRule7) January 11, 2018
@megynkelly thinks "fat-shaming" is ok? As a fat girl-I can honestly tell you that I am perfectly aware of my weight. I don't need your help
— Nurse Betty (@LpnGirl) January 12, 2018
— HeatherUnderground (@latethanheather) January 11, 2018
Today, the talk show host is answering for her remarks, opening her show with the topic of weight in America. “Close to 40 percent of Americans are obese, they need support, they need kindness, and one thing they definitely don’t need is to be body shamed,” she began.
“I said something yesterday on the show that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it’s a conversation we need to have. We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite.” #MegynTODAY pic.twitter.com/aNhyZAIjd5
— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) January 12, 2018
Turning to yesterday’s controversial remarks, she addressed them head on, saying, “I said something on this show yesterday that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it’s a conversation that we need to have, openly. We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support, in fact, quite the opposite.”
After showing the clip once more, she went on to say, “I do not endorse this reality. The truth is, I loathe it. My entire family is or has been overweight or obese: My nana, my mom, my sister, and my brother. I spoke to my sister yesterday, and she gave me permission to share that she was at one point, over 300 pounds, and ultimately chose to have gastric bypass surgery.”
She continued on to share a story from her childhood, when she heard someone call her mom “fat” and came home upset. “My mom looked at me and said, ‘I am fat, Meg, and I said, ‘No, you’re not,” to which she replied, “Megyn, in this house, we do not lie to make others feel good.”
"THIS RHETORIC IS VERY DANGEROUS!" After Megyn Kelly got backlash for her comments on fat-shaming, @MeghanMcCain shares her message to young girls: "I've got a hot husband, I've got a cool job — I've never lost weight for anything." 🙌 pic.twitter.com/WjEZcx5e7j
— The View (@TheView) January 12, 2018
Kelly would later be the subject of the term at the hands of school bullies herself, and says she took drastic measures to reduce her size, including diet pills, obsessive exercise, and reducing her calorie intake to just 500 per day. “My heart was racing all day, my hair and my skin were dry, but I was thin! And so unhappy” she recalls. “I was scared of gaining weight because of the insane standard this country holds its women to.”
While she says that while she’s eating healthier these days, the former FOX news correspondent says that she, “like every woman I know, still [wrestles] with body image, and still [cringes] when I hear a person attacked for his or her weight.
She concluded by saying, “Please know I would never encourage that toward any person. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I once encouraged it toward myself. What I know for sure is that weight is an issue for millions of people, thin and heavy alike, and neither deserves to be judged or shamed for how they choose to handle that struggle.”
The one thing missing from her speech, however, was an outright apology, and fans were quick to note it.
So was that supposed to be an apology or just an excuse for telling a woman that she should professionally shame overweight people? @TODAYshow
— Lena Strong (@Medgrl007) January 12, 2018
yes you did. you said.. "it works". you need to apologize. the main side effect of fat shaming is bulimia. #dontbestupidmegynkelly.
— wendie dox (@wendoxia) January 12, 2018
Still, others appreciated her honestly, praising her for getting so candid.
@megynkelly Wow. Your personal story on body shaming was very powerful. The internal shaming is the hardest to overcome. Please continue to use your platform to educate others. It is a constant struggle. 😘
— Lee Margaret Johnson (@LeeMargaretJoh1) January 12, 2018
I really, really appreciate how real @MegynKelly got today about her struggles with weight growing up, and her clarification that she doesn't actually endorse fat shaming. We need these conversations. #FocusOnHealth #NotOnImage https://t.co/aZDhJCWLug
— Cassie Young (@CassandraYoung) January 12, 2018
I’m no fan of hers, but the apology video did seem genuine at least
— Danielle J (@dkj201) January 12, 2018
Kelly has yet to issue any further comment.
What do you think of Kelly’s controversial remarks? Share over @BritandCo.
(Photo via Bryan Bedder/Getty)