Chelsea Clinton Gives Mom Hillary Clinton 'a Lot of Credit' for Instilling a Positive Body Image

The former First Daughter said that her parents were able to "protect" her from the "older white men commenting on my looks" when they were in the White House

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton
Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Photo: Brooks Kraft/Getty

Chelsea Clinton has always appreciated her body and cared for her health — and that positive thinking is something she credits to mom Hillary Clinton.

The former First Daughter, 42, talked about her body image during an appearance on The View Friday after the hosts brought up Jenna Bush Hager's recent quotes about appreciating that her mom, former First Lady Laura Bush, never discussed weight.

Chelsea said that weight was a topic in the Clinton household, but it was never directed towards her.

"My mom always had a really strong emphasis on health. So I wasn't allowed to eat sugar cereal, except on the weekends, and my parents made sure I really understood what a vegetable was. And I do remember my mom going on Weight Watchers when I was a kid, and yet even though it was called Weight Watchers, she always talked about it as being good for her health," the global health advocate said.

The emphasis on eating well for her health, and not to lose weight, was important, Chelsea said, especially when she was in the public eye while her dad, former President Bill Clinton, ran for office.

chelsea clinton
Chelsea and Bill Clinton at a reception at the White House in 1996. getty

"I think that did help protect me when I was 12, 13, and my dad was running for office and there were all sorts of largely older white men commenting on my looks, on my weight, on my appearance," she said. "I was like, 'Well that's about them, that's not about me.' "

Chelsea said that both Hillary and Bill instilled a strong sense of self in her that helped during that time.

"I give my mom — and my dad, but mainly my mom — a lot of credit for the sense of self that I had and the focus on health and how I felt about myself and not what other people were saying to me, or whatever messages that were coming to me from either other people or Cosmo."

RELATED VIDEO: Hillary and Chelsea Clinton on What It Means to Be a 'Gutsy' Woman

View co-host Joy Behar said that the now-deceased commentator Rush Limbaugh was particularly "nasty" towards Chelsea and her parents, but Chelsea pointed out that he wasn't the only one.

"Rush Limbaugh was nasty, the most infamous but not the only. And yet, I never internalized that, I think because, again, thankfully, of everything my parents, my grandparents, my teachers, my Sunday school teachers — the messages the adults in my life were sending and instilling in me helped really prepare me," she said.

"They were saying nasty stuff about my parents but it was weird! I was 12! And that there are like these older men pontificating about how a 12-year-old looks is weird, at best, and really disgusting and cruel and creepy."

Hillary and Bill have continued to support Chelsea in her pursuits, including at the New York City Marathon last November. Along with Chelsea's husband Marc Mezvinsky and their three children, Charlotte, Aidan and Jasper, Bill and Hillary cheered her on along the 26.2-mile course.

Bill ClintonHillary and Bill Clinton walk with their daughter, Chelsea Clinton
Bill, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton after the New York City Marathon. Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock

"At mile 11 I call my parents. I'm running along and my mom's like, 'Aren't you running the marathon?' And I'm like, 'I am. I'm going to make it. You have to come.' And she was like, 'Okay, we'll be there,' " Chelsea said after the race. "The fact that my parents were able to be there, that my kids were at two different points in the rally," helped her finish in a time of 3:59:09.

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