TV Host Calls Out Body-Shaming Viewer: 'I Am More Than My Body'
"We must shout from the rooftops that body shaming will not be tolerated," said Elizabeth Ries
One local TV personality is calling out an anonymous body-shamer.
On Friday, Elizabeth Ries shared two very different emails that she received from viewers about the same on-air segment. The co-host of Twin Cities Live, which airs weekdays at 3 p.m. on KSTP in Minneapolis, posted a photo of her wearing a pair of blue jeans, microphone in hand.
Viewers did not hesitate to comment on her appearance.
The first remark was positive: “This is a strange question but where did you get the jeans you had on today? They looked so great on you. I have a similar build as you and have been looking for skinny’s. I sure enjoy you and Steve!!!! ? Thank you – Julie,” read the first email, which Ries shared on Facebook.
The second, from “Maggie” as Ries called the viewer, was more critical: “Saw you on TCL at the home and garden show and I was so embarrassed for you. Either start working out or wear much longer shirts that cover your butt. You are definitely not a good example for fitness.”
On Facebook Ries wrote confidently that the strangers’ comments about her has “way more to do with them,” but that body shaming is unacceptable. The mom of two also offered up the style of her size 31 Hudson Jeans, so that Julie could “rock that bod.”
“I’m confident enough in myself (I am more than my body!) and my body (strong, healthy, beautiful and birthed two children!) to not let her venomous words change how I look at myself,” wrote Ries. “Regardless, the bite stings. And I speak out about it because IT IS NOT OKAY TO BODY SHAME PEOPLE.”
She continued: “While I know that I will not spiral into depression, self harm or an eating disorder, countless studies show that fat shaming (especially of young girls) is DIRECTLY related to disordered eating. There is not a single study that shows that fat shaming leads to better health or fitness.”
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Ries — who also runs a farming blog called Home to Homestead — stressed the seriousness of the negativity.
“This is not just an issue of Maggie not being nice with her words,” she wrote. “These comments can very literally lead to the serious illness or death of those they are directed at. And if she has no problem saying it to me, who else is she saying it to?”
She concluded: “We must name it, call it out when we see it and shout from the rooftops that body shaming will not be tolerated. Who’s with me?”
Ries spoke about the viral post on her show last week, writing while sharing it on Facebook that “there are WAY more Julie’s than Maggie’s in the world. But the Maggie’s can do exponential damage to both people in their lives and people (like TV hosts!) they don’t even know.”
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.