Jenna Bush Hager Praises Mom Laura Bush for Not Discussing Weight in Their Home

"She never said things like, ‘Gosh, my hair looks terrible. Or, ‘I look terrible.’ Or ‘This dress looks bad on me,' " the Today cohost said of her mom, the former First Lady

Jenna Bush Hager and Laura Bush
Jenna Bush Hager and Laura Bush. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Jenna Bush Hager is grateful to her mom, former First Lady Laura Bush, for never talking about her weight when she and her twin sister Barbara were growing up — and now she's trying to do the same for her young daughters.

Hager, 40, mentioned her appreciation for her mom on Thursday's Today with Hoda & Jenna after talking about a recent outing to the grocery store where her daughters, Mila, 8, and Poppy, 6, spotted Hager on a magazine cover with a headline about her weight.

Mila "yells, 'What are lbs.?' And I go, 'Oh Mila, nothing,' " Hager told co-host Hoda Kotb, which led Kotb to praise Hager for not teaching her daughter what it meant.

"You know what I love? She didn't know what 'lbs.' are," Kotb said. "You don't bring it up."

And Hager said that she "never" plans to talk to her daughters about her weight or theirs.

"I will never. And I had a mother that never [did], and I still felt like a chubby child. But it wasn't because of her; I think it was because I was chubby," she said.

Hager went on to praise her mom for abstaining from negative comments about her appearance.

"She never said things like, 'Gosh, my hair looks terrible. Or, 'I look terrible.' Or 'This dress looks bad on me,'" Hager said. "And somebody [once] said, 'Well I can't believe she never had that talk to herself.' And I said, 'No, I'm sure she said it to herself, but she never said it out loud in front of her girls.' "

That positive body image that Bush emphasized when Hager was growing up has continued into adulthood, and the Today co-host said that her mom has reminded her to give her body "grace" after major changes like pregnancy.

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Hager said that Bush told her that a few months ago, as she was kicking up her workouts after welcoming son Hal in August 2019.

"She said, 'Yeah, of course you look like that now, Hal's two-and-a-half. It's right about time. Give yourself that grace,'" Hager said on Today in January. "I had three babies, so [my body is] going to look this way. And would I choose perfect abs or them?"

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