Meteorologist Slams the Viewers Body Shaming Her During Pregnancy: 'My Weight Gain Is Normal'
It took all of a few minutes for the criticism to start rolling in as soon as meteorologist Ashlee Baracy announced her pregnancy to viewers at WBNS in Ohio.
Just after the 34-year-old shared her happy news in February, she started getting backhanded complements — ones like, “Congratulations!!! I knew your face looked fuller,” and “I can tell. Unless you are just super bloated.”
While Baracy is thrilled to welcome her first child with husband Jeff Kunkel in August, she dreaded the body shaming.
“The sad part is the second I found out I was pregnant, I knew I would have to deal with criticism of my body by viewers,” she told the Columbus Dispatch. “I’ve been around the business long enough, and I’ve seen colleagues go through that. Anchors can hide a little bit behind the desk, but I knew it would be tough for me, because people see me head-to-toe in front of the green screen every day, and my figure would be on full display.”
And the comments are only getting worse the farther Baracy gets into her pregnancy. She started sharing the rudest of the bunch on Facebook, and calling those people out.
After one woman told her, “Pregnant or not: buy bigger clothes!!! You look bloated and uncomfortable,” Baracy reposted the comment and asked, “When did it become okay to shame a pregnant woman’s body? Clearly Joyce didn’t realize that I call out rude people like this. I can’t imagine how appalling she will find me towards the end of my pregnancy.”
Another viewer, a guy, told her “Ashley I couldn’t see next weeks temps. Your baby was in the way.” Baracy went with a simple clap back — telling him to “at least start with spelling my name right.”
Baracy told the Columbus Dispatch that she calls out the mean comments in the hopes of helping others.
“If I can use my voice to make things better, I will do that,” she said. “I hope this is a platform where we can talk more about it, because there are many women who deal with it.”
Baracy said that she’s pretty used to dealing with body shaming after her years on the news and her background in beauty pageants. But the former Miss Michigan said that her baby-to-be shouldn’t get that criticism.
“I had to have thick skin to be a public figure,” she said. “But this time for me was a little different. I’m growing a miracle, and I have every right to have children. Yes, I signed up to be a public figure, but my family didn’t. My unborn child didn’t.”
But she hopes that speaking out against the body shaming will set a good example for her future child, and all the kids watching.
“Now that I’m going to be a mom, I want my child to be confident in their skin,” she said. “Kids shouldn’t look at someone on TV and hear their parents say, ‘She looks fat,’ because what might they think when they look in the mirror?”