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.”
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.
Photos courtesy of WENN.