Megyn Kelly apologizes for encouraging fat-shaming, says her whole family is obese

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Last week, Megyn Kelly boldly declared that *some* women want to be fat-shamed because “fat-shaming works.” Megyn said this in the midst of a sympathetic interview with “Fit Mom” Maria Kang, and the whole thing felt like a meeting of the Toxic Judgy Mean Girls Club. Megyn tried to get real and tell a personal story about how she gained some weight when she was in law school and her remedy for it was asking her father-in-law to call her a “fatass.” She claimed that worked for her and she lost weight, and some women might want to try it. The whole thing was gross. Megyn was called out online, and she read those comments. On Friday’s show, Megyn apologized and tried to explain: her mom is fat, you guys! That’s why she thinks fat-shaming works. Logic.

On Friday, Megyn Kelly clarified her position, saying she “would never encourage [body shaming] toward any person,” and even spoke candidly about her personal history with weight issues.

“I said something yesterday on the show that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it’s a conversation we need to have openly,” Kelly said. “We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite.”

Kelly went on to confess that her “entire family is or has been overweight or obese.” She shared that her sister weighed more than 300 lbs. and had gastric bypass surgery, and that when she Kelly was 6 years old, she came home “in tears” after a neighbor called her mom “fat.”

“It was the first time I ever saw my mother through that lens and it was my first lesson about the lens through which most of this country judges heavy people,” Kelly said. “A brutal and unforgiving one.”

The mom-of-three confessed that she began to struggle with her own body issues.

“By the time I got to middle school, the hormones and the weight kicked in. I was chubby by any standard and soon I found myself on the wrong side of some vicious bullies,” Kelly shared. “Ones who called me fat, and made fun of my backside, who subjected me to humiliating pranks. Those comments can cut deep, trust me, I know. Soon there were diet pills and obsessive exercise and I had reduced my calorie intake to 500 calories a day. My heart was racing all day, my hair and skin were dry but I was thin. And so unhappy. I was scared of gaining weight because of the insane standard this country holds its women to and because I was and remain afraid of dying in my 40s, which happened to my father.”

Kelly explained that, “as an adult I’ve gotten healthier in my approach to eating, but I, like every woman I know, still wrestle with body image, and still cringe when I hear a person attacked for his or her weight.” She continued: “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.”

[From People]

I kind of get it. With the conversations around #MeToo, I’ve been thinking a lot about how women internalize abuse, shame, rape culture and unrealistic beauty standards. Megyn internalized it too, and it’s clear that she still has a lot of sh-t to work out… in therapy, not on a national television show. It explains a lot of stuff about Megyn actually: the biggest bullies are the ones who were bullied, the most superficial a–holes are the ones who were deeply ashamed of their looks in the past, etc.

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60 Responses to “Megyn Kelly apologizes for encouraging fat-shaming, says her whole family is obese”

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  1. Neelyo says:

    ‘I can’t fat shame because I know some fat people.’

    Hmm…..

  2. Renee2 says:

    So Megyn was so traumatized by fat shaming and the unfair act of judging people by their appearance that she then forevermore refrained from doing so herself and never did anything like judge people by the colour of their skin??? Got it.

  3. grabbyhands says:

    Sorry, she’s still an assh*le.

    She used her position on national television to mean girl fat shame with a fellow shamer and laughed about it, encouraged it “because it works!” and all of it falls in line with her behavior and style that she’s shown all along.

  4. queenE says:

    I had a friend that tells her husband to ‘fat shame’ her if it looks like she’s getting heavy. I think it’s giving a license to someone to verbally abuse you at their pleasure. That’s a hard pass for me

    • jwoolman says:

      It raises questions for me about the person who agree to “shame” someone like this, even at their own request. I can’t imagine going along with such a thing myself. I’m even careful what I say to Senior Cat, who put on too many ounces under long-term house arrest while I was endlessly waiting for people to fix the security holes in the allegedly catproof fence…

  5. Lucy2 says:

    So her mother and sister both struggled with their weight, and she thought it appropriate to have her stepfather call her “fatass” for motivation? I can’t imagine her mother and sister felt in that situation.
    I met her a few years ago and remember thinking she was very thin. Reading all this, it sounds like a history of eating disorders.

  6. Des says:

    Man, it must suck to be Megyn Kelly’s fat mom and fat sister. Think about it – they probably went through all the horrible experiences Megyn details here and as a plus they got publicly called out so Megyn could excuse herself and talk about how thin she is. Vile woman.

  7. KBB says:

    I just feel bad for her. How twisted her relationship with food and her body must be to ask someone to say those awful things to her. She’s clearly got deep, deep issues. It’s hard for me to feel anything but pity for her. What an awful way to live.

    • FLORC says:

      It’s like the generic, stereotypical school bully. You can feel bad they have a hard life. Struggle with liking themselves.
      That doesn’t give them a pass for how they treat others. At all.

      • KBB says:

        Bullies are usually the product of bullying. A school bully is probably bullied at home. I don’t excuse her behavior, but I know it comes from a lot of self-hatred and insecurity.

        Asking someone to call you a fatass so you won’t snack? That’s deeply twisted. And I just think it’s sad to walk around with those thoughts in your head. I don’t find her personally sympathetic, but I do pity her.

  8. gabbie says:

    bert kreischer and tom segura had their fans fat shame them while they both tried to lose weight. seems to be a motivator for some.

    • Jeannie says:

      I love both of them. But didn’t they have a contest to lose weight n purposely gain weight before it for laughs? They’re both ridiculous comedians (they do outrageous stuff) and the winner of their contest was going to go on an all-expense-paid vacation by their friend ari shaffir. But their podcasts are hilarious, ny ex-boyfriend and i loved “your mom’s house,” and i think they were just encouraging their listeners to be more interactive w them.

      But it actually delves deeper into the discussion of how men/women look at and are treated regarding weight. Men can still be lovable while weighing extra, women get criticized from every angle. Sigh

  9. Barrett says:

    This nbc gig is just not for her! She’s like trying to hard. It’s like Square peg , round hole.

  10. Sequinedheart says:

    She should have been off television a long time ago. But this, this takes the cake.
    Can you imagine bitchy girls in high school now calling someone fat ass and then saying “I’m just trying to help you” – that is so damaging.

    • dahlia6 says:

      I was the overweight girl in school that the so-called hot girls would fat shame. “You would be so pretty if you lost weight.” “Do you think its a good idea for you to eat that?” “Don’t you know boys would like you better if you lost weight?” Or, my personal favorite: “I’m just so worried about your health!”

      And my response was: “Who the f@ck asked you? We’re not friends, friends don’t treat each other like this, and you don’t get to make fun of me/tease me and then fob it off on ‘caring about my health.’” If they cared so much about my health, they wouldn’t have bullied me or made me the butt of their jokes.

      Weight is not a personality trait. My best friend in high school was a size zero, and she got just as much crap as I did from the same girls because she was “too skinny.” They called her ‘Starving Marvin’ and made South Park jokes at her expense. But it was all because “they cared so much.”

      Yeah, right.

      • Sequinedheart says:

        That’s awful, I’m sorry you dealt with that.
        I agree with everything you said. I have had people comment on my body too and my response was pretty much the same: it’s none of your damn business, you’re not my mum so no, you don’t have any right to be concerned.

  11. Adrien says:

    I hate that when you lose the weight, the fat shamers will take credit for your success. I also hate the fake concerns. “Oh, it’s for health! You still want to see your kids grow up and get married”. Blah! Blah! I was resistant to reduce because I don’t want them to win.

    • Izzy says:

      THIS. Someone just commented on my recent weight loss – 11 lbs. It shows, I guess. She said I looked great and asked what I was doing. Honestly, I have had such a crappy couple of months, I just told the truth. I looked at her and said “My dog got sick last month and the whole time she was dying, I was having panic attacks and couldn’t eat.”

      That shut her up fast. Maybe she’ll just stay shut up about my weight next time. She’s not my doctor. It’s none of her business.

  12. Hollz says:

    The picture of her in the blue coat is everything 😂

  13. Snowflake says:

    I think it depends on your personality and how you are motivated. People making comments about your weight without your permission is wrong. But in other cases, it can be OK if you ask for it. I wanted to stop snacking at night and lose weight. So I told my husband to stop me if I went for a snack after dinner. He didn’t literally stop me and I would have gotten it if I really really wanted it, but it helped me break the pattern of mindlessly snacking when I’m not hungry, just bored. In Megan’s case, she asked for it. To me, that is different, than say, nasty comments to an overweight person you don’t know.

    • graymatters says:

      I’m bad about mindless snacking, too. I’m thinking about asking my family to remind me that I want to stop doing that if they see me wandering around the kitchen. No reference to my appearance or my health, just a comment on an activity that I want to eliminate.

      2017 put kindness on life support. Let’s hope it recovers this year.

    • isabelle says:

      I don’t get hints or passive aggressive comments, I’m direct and understand direct. Also have no problem if I was overweight someone calling me a fatas*, if I was truly fat and it would get my butt in shape…..but she she made a public statement to a mass audience. A lot of personalities in that audience. A lot of people would be embarrassed and make them more prone to becoming “depressed” over it. If you have a friend/family member who would respond to “fatas*” as a motivator then you tell them one on one in private, not in front of an audience.

  14. What's Inside says:

    She has no idea of the harm she is capable of promoting through her work. She needs to get a clue.

  15. CharlieBouquet says:

    Gabbie, they are male comedians. Apples and oranges. Opening themselves into public ridicule and fat shaming, gave them hours upon hours of comedy, which they are paid for.
    That said, it was hysterical. And I suffer from ED lol

  16. Whataboutme says:

    Over 70% of Americans are overweight now. We need more people, not less, encouraging weight loss, healthy diets, more exercise. Stop telling people it is OK to be fat, because it is not OK. Fat people are crushing our health care by raising costs, and they are dying younger and have so many health issues (diabetes, heart, etc).

    There are more people dying with over-eating disorders than under-eating. Yet we are so worried about “fat-shaming” fat people.

    If your child or spouse started smoking would you feel bad about smoking-shaming them? So why do you feel bad about pointing out that their diet and lifestyle has made them fat??? Being fat is just as bad on your body as smoking in many ways.

    • Tina says:

      Bollocks. People who die young save the health care system money. Obesity is a society-wide problem, yes, and we should encourage healthy diets and more exercise. That is not the same thing as fat-shaming. Which doesn’t work, any more than “smoking-shaming” does.

      Fat people didn’t put high-fructose corn syrup into virtually all prepared foods. Fat people didn’t create food deserts. Fat people didn’t create the capitalist system that requires people to spend hours commuting in their cars. (At least, most of them didn’t).

      It’s OK to be how you are. Some people are fat. I guarantee you that only a very tiny minority of them want to be fat. Shaming them isn’t going to solve anything. Do you really want to help fat people? Vote for politicians who will improve people’s quality of life.

    • Sandy says:

      Here’s a novel idea: how about everyone just worry about their own health and lives and not make others their business? I’m sure none of us are perfect and could stand to improve, so maybe we should focus on ourselves and leave health matters to the individual and their doctors? Hypocritical concern trolling isn’t helpful.

    • Ana Stacia says:

      I agree. This attitude of coddling obese people doesn’t seem to be working. If people didn’t get benefits or free healthcare due to obesity I think that would help (unless the obesity is directly related to a health concern but those cases are far rarer than they seem.) The root of most obesity is deep unhappiness in the self and food is the comforter. Only with therapy, help and acknowledging that the only way you can be healthy is you will any change happen.

      • dahlia6 says:

        Coddling? I am fat, and no one has ever coddled me about it. And I diet, exercise, work with my doctor, and guess what? I’m still overweight. Its not just overeating, and the fact is, you (generically speaking) do not understand what’s going on with a person to be able to judge whether they are fat for a “good reason.” PCOS, hypothyroidism, sluggish metabolism, breathing issues, illness and yes, even medicines we take to combat these problems, all of these things can contribute to a person being overweight. Anxiety medications, for example, are a large cause of weight gain. Which is why many people who need these medicines won’t take them, because of the weight gain side effect.

        Think about that. Someone suffering from PTSD or other trauma won’t take the medicine they need to get mentally healthy because they might gain weight, and therefore know they will get more abuse heaped on them for being overweight on top of everything else they are dealing with. I know that’s how it was for me for a long time.

        It isn’t for others to make that judgement. You don’t know what’s going on in a person’s life that causes it. Yes, it might be because they sit down and eat six pies for dinner. And guess what? It’s still not your place to comment on it. People are allowed to make the decisions that run their lives. But bullying, or abusing, people, will not help anyone. Compassion heals.

      • HK9 says:

        @ Ana Stacia -No one is coddling these people Satan. If you haven’t noticed most fat people are shamed into oblivion and it hasn’t helped. With that theory, North America would have the thinnest people in the world. It’s not for you to judge their life, health or emotional situation. You’re thinness doesn’t make you an expert on anything. This demonetization of fat people is tiring. No one finds the patient with lung cancer and says” you deserve this you unrepentant smoker” do they?? Mind your own business and keep your faux concern to yourself.

      • isabelle says:

        Free health care is your obese, dang I need to gain some weight if that is the case!!! Also saying this as a nurse there are may reasons for obesity, you made a very blanket statement about the only cause for obesity.

      • jwoolman says:

        Ana, I actually hope that someday you are put on medication that messes with your carbohydrate metabolism and end up what you dread most – being “fat”. Enjoy.

        So now in addition to being turned away from medical care for lack of money, people will be turned away based on weight charts?!?!?

        This is prejudice, pure and simple. You know about a few people who have gained lots of weight by deliberately overeating on a massive scale, and assume that explains everybody. If you actually observe people, you will see that those who are carrying extra weight don’t actually stuff themselves as you assume.

        It’s very easy for weight gain to be accumulated slowly in modern times, and the dieting habit has actually helped promote weight problems. People can work very hard to shed the excess but overwhelmingly end up gaining it all back and more — the body fights food restriction all the way and even adjusts to need less and less food. The body doesn’t adjust the appetite because it needs the vitamins and minerals and other nutrients and won’t stand for more deprivation.

        Mother Nature especially wants women to easily gain weight but lose it with difficulty, because she hasn’t gotten the message that food is plentiful for many of us and we really don’t want to be pregnant early and often any more. Mother Nature wants us to be able to provide for a growing fetus for nine months and also a breast-feeding baby for several years regardless of food shortages.

        Plus women are often distracted by their responsibilities at home and work and distracted eating is like not eating at all, so the whole appetite control mechanism gets fouled up. There are many other factors that get in the way of that mechanism today, including growth-enhancing pesticides, sleep deprivation, new stresses in general, allergies, big changes in our food supply, etc. as well as the obvious increasingly sedentary nature of our work.

        In our society, even people who are poor might have access to food and sufficient calories but it can be so heavy in simple carbohydrates that this causes problems with natural weight management as well. So instead of getting thin, they put on weight.

        In other words, the “obesity epidemic” is very complicated. We are beginning to learn that it actually isn’t even just a matter of calories in/calories out. Alteration of body chemistry for many reasons changes the whole dynamic. If your body naturally adjusts appetite to its needs and you stay at your right weight, lucky you. If you’re a masochist and just love food deprivation or overexercising to stay thin, well, I suppose that works also. But many other people struggle with weight management, and attitudes like yours are part of the problem.

  17. serena says:

    Good job throwing her own family under the bus to save her ass, doesnt’ work though.

  18. homeslice says:

    There’s some bad stuff going down at NBC with her…she was the ONLY one not invited to the Olympics in Feb. According to the Fail, everyone who is anyone goes….uh oh…

  19. KiddV says:

    She can go away now. I think pretty much everyone is done with her.

  20. Samira says:

    @Whataboutme
    Totally agree. It’s time people started taking some responsibility for their lives. Fat people have been coddled enough already.

    • Tina says:

      Oh yes, fat people are so coddled. Look at the richest, most famous, most successful people in the world! All fat! We can’t move for fat models, fat actors, fat Silicon Valley billionaires. Society just loves fat people. Can’t get enough of them.

      • Samira says:

        Being fat is a choice. You can choose to mistreat your body any way you want, but don’t except society to reward you for it because that ain’t gonna happen.

      • Tina says:

        You have no idea what it is to live in any body other than the body you occupy. For YOU, being fat is a choice. I guarantee you that for the vast majority of fat people, it isn’t one they would choose to make.

      • Domino says:

        @Samira, you probably think being poor is a choice too, like “those people! If only they spend their money better, they would have enough money to go to college and get a better degree and job and escape poverty forever like I did” while you ignore the fact that you had privileges like three solid meals a day, an inheritance, a car that you received as a gift, and rich friends and family outside of your parents who could lend you money or bail you out if there was a warrant because you didn’t pay speeding tickets.

        As a commenter above said – have pcos, hypothyroidism, breathing issues, sleep apnea, celiac, lupus, depression, shift work and an awfully stressful job. etc – well then the issue alone or the medication to treat the issue may cause massive weight gain.

        I see women at my grocery store who walk 3 miles to the bus stop, they walk a lot and and stand or move things for their job, they eat the same food as the men (soup, sandwiches, a drink, salads, roast chicken that the store provides at a discount) – and clearly their bodies handle food in very different ways that is not their fault.

        I truly hope that you can focus on having some empathy for larger people, as they didn’t choose to be that way. And anyway, larger people have always existed – you can’t study art history and not see representations of people with fat rolls – men and women alike – who would be overweight or obese today.

    • Samira says:

      @Domino
      Of course being poor isn’t a choice. Don’t be ridiculous.
      However, everyone can lose weight. Everyone can control what they put in their mouths. And no, medications do NOT cause weight gain. Some might increase your appetite, but as long as you watch your calories and don’t eat more than your body needs you won’t gain anything.

      You saying that people have no control over their weight is the reason we have a massive health crisis with 2/3 of the US being overweight or obese. People need to stop playing victim and start taking some responsibility over their lives!

      • Samantha says:

        Samira, sorry but you are ill-informed. As Domino has tried to tell you, there are medical conditions that make it virtually impossible to lose weight. I implore you to please research the conditions above, and become educated on them. We have Google, there is no excuse to be misinformed in 2018. On and some medications cause water retention and swelling, so yes, some DO cause weight gain. Google is your friend.

      • Samira says:

        @Samantha
        Lol, yes, and the earth is flat. Right?

        Do tell me, what medical conditions make weight loss impossible? Please, Google won’t give me any answer whatsoever no matter how hard I try, and since you are so well informed, please share your knowledge!

    • starkiller says:

      I’m curious to know where it is you live that fat people are coddled. I’ve lived on three continents and that certainly hasn’t been the case on any of them.

  21. Ozogirl says:

    I hope her family is okay with her discussing their personal business/trauma. I hope Megyn learns something from this.