News anchor to body shamer who called her big: ‘journalists are not models’


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Tracy Hinson, a meteorologist from St. Louis, who responded to a woman who suggested that Tracy needed to cover “the bulge in her stomach.” Tracy said “nope,” celebrated her love of both food and her body, and got a lot of support from viewers and people around the country. I naively assumed that maybe it would be several months before another story like this popped up, but I was wrong. Nina Harrelson, a weekend tv anchor in Memphis, was body-shamed by a viewer, and like Tracy, Nina wasn’t having it:

Harrelson said that at this point in her career, the body shaming comments she hears from viewers don’t have much of an impact. The reason she’s speaking out, though, is for those who are new to the industry.

“Luckily, after nearly nine years in this business, I have a very thick skin,” she said. “But I feel sorry for the young women breaking into news who will have to deal with that kind of criticism, which their male colleagues will almost certainly never face.”

Harrelson’s Twitter post quickly racked up likes, with over 100,000 in just one day. And she got tons of support from viewers and fellow broadcasters in the comments.

[From People]

Nina’s also been discussing the incident on her Facebook page. In a post from November 4, accompanied by a short video of her eating a piece of pizza, over which the words, “Diet’s going well so far,” are written, she wrote:

“I don’t have Snapchat anymore, but I’ll share diet secret no. 1 here:
Eat whatever the h[-]ll makes you happy and don’t let anyone else police your body.”

YES. I’d buy that t-shirt.

I’m so glad Nina and Tracy are standing up for themselves and are publicly responding to their trolls. I hope it makes them feel stronger and empowered, even as it also shows these a-holes that they won’t be tolerated or listened to. But still. It makes me angry and tired that these responses are even necessary. It would never cross my mind to tell anyone that they should rethink their clothing choices, unless someone actually asked me for my opinion, and then I would be kind and supportive.

I’d love to see Nina and Tracy team up on some sort of related project. I’d love to see what kind of positive change could result from an amplified discussion about the body-shaming directed at people who work at local television stations. We tend to think of big-name, nationally and internationally known people as the celebrities worth paying attention to, but local affiliate crews are also well-known and often beloved in their communities, and sadly, as we’ve seen, they have to deal with this garbage, too.

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21 Responses to “News anchor to body shamer who called her big: ‘journalists are not models’”

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  1. Joanna says:

    Good for her! Glad these women are standing up for themselves

    • Kelly says:

      I used to work with a girl who’s now a meteorologist in Cleveland. She’s TINY and gorgeous and she still gets multiple emails daily criticizing her looks. She posts the more outrageous ones on her private fb page. It’s nuts that some people really feel it’s necessary to email a total stranger to tell them such awful things.

  2. Mireille says:

    Glad that she’s standing up to the haters. And now, after looking at the pic of her with the pizza slice, I know what I want for breakfast this morning.

  3. Lucy2 says:

    Good for her! That “viewer“ needs to mind their own business and look at their own life, to figure out why they would choose to be cruel to another person for no reason.

  4. minx says:

    She’s beautiful!

  5. Lizzie says:

    who could think that woman is not beautiful exactly how she is? it is an empirical fact. she looks professional and polished and knows how to dress her body. people are the worst.

    • Bettyrose says:

      I can’t tell if the comment came from a man or woman. Either way, it’s usually a safe bet the comment didn’t come from someone who is happy with themselves.

      Shes lovely and even more so because she feels positive about herself.

  6. Susannah says:

    I live in Philly and the local anchor on ABC is over 70 years old. I just looked it up and he’s been anchoring the news since 1977! I’m sure you know just by the age that, of course, he’s a man. I’ve never heard anyone make any comments about him, his age or appearance but people constantly comment on the arms of the female meteorologist because she wears sleeveless dresses all the time. It’s ridiculous what women have to go through.

    • carmen says:

      That’s not uncommon though. Maybe not 70, but in general the men tend to be older and are not held to the same standard of “thin” and “attractiveness”.

    • lucy2 says:

      Jim Gardner! He’s been on the air pretty much my whole life! I like him, but yeah, if he was a woman he would have been given the boot at the first gray hair or wrinkle.

      When I was a teenager, one of the other channels had an unattractive man doing some portion of the news, and even back then I realized if a woman looked like him, she’d have never gotten on the air.

    • Chaine says:

      Ugh, same here. Ours is pushing 70 and is quite “portly” with a toupee but I never thought to complain about it. Meanwhile the female co-anchor seat over the years has been a musical chair of much-younger blondes…

    • 2lazy4username says:

      So true! I am a corporate gig singer and on the more “seasoned” end. I have to work my ass off to stay “pretty” and youthful looking, while the guys in the band all have pot bellies and gray hair.

  7. savu says:

    I’m a local news anchor and it would appall you to see the kind of comments I get. In person, most often it’s “you’re so much smaller in person!” Uuuuggggghhhhhhh. I know Nina via Facebook, she’s in one of our big “women in tv” groups. She’s super active and gives lots of us guidance about how to deal with these situations.

    • lucy2 says:

      First – cool job! Second – how great that you have that group! It must be a wonderful resource and place of support.

  8. Trillion says:

    yes! Give ‘em hell! We don’t owe it to anyone to be pretty in their personal definition of the term.

  9. Ashley says:

    Yay! I live in Memphis, and we are a real foodie town. Life is too short not to enjoy something delicious! Go girl ❤️❤️

  10. OriginalLala says:

    Good for her – people really need to STFU about women’s bodies.

  11. JennyJenny says:

    It truly boggles my mind that these 2 women are considered “big”.
    What have we done as a society?? Hanging my head….

  12. BANANIE says:

    These commenters were totally off base and rude. I don’t agree with them or approve of what they said, but I’m trying to figure out why they think it’s okay to say that. Like actors and actresses are on TV and in the movies, so they have to maintain a level of attractiveness. And these anchors are on TV too? But they’re NOT THERE FOR ENTERTAINMENT. It is their job!

  13. paranormalgirl says:

    Dang, I want pizza now.

  14. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    The sad thing is, even in this day and age, no matter how accomplished a woman is, her number one “job” is to be attractive (and that means skinny). Doctor? She better be attractive. Journalist? Attractive. Athlete? Attractive. Politician? Attractive. That’s a woman’s #1 job.