Minneapolis talk show host calls out body-shamer who emailed her


I find it gross and fascinating that there are people who are so disturbed by the way that celebrities look that they take the time to say something. Completely ignoring the School of If You Don’t Have Something Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything at All, they actually take the time to send a tweet, post a comment, or, in the case of this story, send an e-mail. I’m also always curious about what they think will happen, and what they want to happen. Do they want to make the celebrity feel terrible? Apologize for being a human with a body? Do they feel relieved that the celebrity might read their comments, feel ashamed, and change?

I’ve written about women who work at local television stations getting awful messages from viewers about their bodies: Nina Harrelson, a news anchor in Memphis, and Tracy Hinson, a meteorologist in St. Louis. Both of them wasted no time putting the body-shamers in their place. Sadly, another actor has had to fight back against this BS. Elizabeth Ries, a co-host of Twin Cities Live, which airs on ABC affiliate KTSP in Minneapolis, shared on Friday two very different e-mails that she received after an appearance at a home-and-garden show.

People recapped the text in the two images of the e-mails:

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.”

Elizabeth had a very moving, powerful response. She posted the slideshow above with her photo and screenshots of the two emails and here’s what she wrote:

The vast majority of what people say to me has way more to do with them than is has anything to do with me.

Julie is saying, “Hey! I see myself in you! You are rocking that bod just like I want to rock mine! Will you share the love?” .

To which I’m more than happy to reply: “The jeans are by @hudsonjeans from @evereveofficial ! The style is Barbara. I’m wearing a 31 — you do you!” .

Maggie is saying, “I hate my body and I hate myself. And the only way to temporarily numb the pain of my own self-hatred is to lash out at you.” .

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. .

Regardless, the bite stings. And I speak out about it because IT IS NOT OKAY TO BODY SHAME PEOPLE. 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. .

This is not just an issue of Maggie not being nice with her words. 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?

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?

[From Instagram]

Not going to lie: This whole thing made me cry. If I had seen the photo of Elizabeth, it wouldn’t have registered with me one way or another: “Oh, a news anchor. OK. Cool.” The idea that “Maggie” decided that Elizabeth had a big butt (and, if she did, so what?) and decided to take the time to send the e-mail made me sad and angry. I particularly love Elizabeth’s comments that body-shaming is both useless and potentially deadly:

She’s right. Who else is Maggie (and people like her) body-shaming? She’s not just wasting her time and energy calling out strangers. She’s probably making not-so-veiled comments to people in her life, or she has in the past. She has no idea how much damage she’s done. I still remember being body-shamed by a staff member at my school when I was 11. I remember what she said. I remember what I was wearing. I remember how I felt. Three decades later, it’s like this person told me that I needed to go on a diet only this morning. I hope Maggie feels bad, but even if she does and decides to never body-shame another person again, there are still countless people in the world like her who are waiting to say something, and there are probably loads of people still carrying around the pain of the things that Maggie has said to them.

As a side note, on Facebook, Elizabeth shared a clip of her friend, Jason Matheson, who is a TV host on another network. Jason went scorched-earth on Maggie and body-shaming.

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28 Responses to “Minneapolis talk show host calls out body-shamer who emailed her”

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  1. Sarah says:

    Fellas, take a page from the book of Jason Matheson on how to be an ally. Actually, everyone take a page! Call out this shit. It’s not okay. Stop making comments about other people’s bodies. Thank yoooooou.

  2. JRenee says:

    Another thing about keyboard warriors, they sometimes feel comfortable enough to say anything. How ignorant to send someone a message like this. Get a life!

  3. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Okay I love that guy in the video.

  4. Meg says:

    Wow Elizabeth’s response was well put. Good for her.
    Am I alone here? Does anyone else have a feeling ‘maggie’ is not a woman, but actually a guy claiming to be a woman hiding behind his screen to shame women?
    I realize body shaming isn’t just from the opposite sex but I have a feeling this is a guy

    • Jensies says:

      Oh I dunno. The most vicious body shaming I’ve experienced, and it’s been copious in my lifetime, has been from women. Men usually don’t care enough.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        Agreed. The most vicious body shamers and slut shamers I’ve come across have been women.

      • Betsy says:

        Yes, but that’s why I agree it’s a man – nowhere near vicious enough. Honestly women have internalized misogyny and they Aunt Lydia their power and are wayyy meaner.

        Guys just get pissed that women aren’t pleasing to them and let them know.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I’ve had pretty vicious body shaming from all genders, but I do think there’s an intimacy in the maliciousness when it comes from other women because they know what it feels like to be under the public scrutiny and do it any way. It’s a way of lashing out, not at the power structure that tells women their beauty is their only worth, but at the people at the same level as them. With men, the contempt is typically in regards to your audacity not to be a sexual object for them, so it’s easier to brush off because lol chances are you didn’t want to f*ck them anyway.

      • Luv Spaghetti says:

        Sadly, its been women who have cut me the deepest. The most hurtful comment was from a woman who used to accuse me of being anorexic and made fun of my thick hair saying I probably have to constantly “wax off my mustache”. That sucked but there is one comment she made that is burned into my memory “Haha, that b*tch is a fat alcoholic now, no wonder she lost her baby” FOR REAL. I’m not gonna lie, that last one put me over the edge (years ago) bc I actually was a drunken mess that night she saw me because I was still mourning my baby (it hadn’t even been 2 weeks), and YES I still had my baby weight so that stung, and I didn’t even drink back then until that night. I think it’s bc as women, we know what hurts better than men do. We are much better at being assholes than they are because of our inside knowledge.

        I didn’t even have the right frame of mind to say something clever or pull her aside to check her verbally, I wasn’t thinking straight so I just tried to attack her next time I saw her. I know that wasn’t right but TBH, I’m still not that sorry to this day.

      • Kylie Jenner’s Toe says:

        @ Luv That’s awful!!! I would gone to jail that day, those are fighting words. You cannot make fun of the specific pain a woman feels when losing a pregnancy, most of us are already blaming ourselves and are angry at our bodies enough to let some jerk pile on it. This happened to me and I was going up and down between sadness and anger for months. I would have beat someone’s butt. I’m sorry that happened to you, I hope that person regrets it.

      • Luv Spaghetti says:

        @Kylie Jenner’s Toe

        Your screen name! LMAO. Thank you, it was almost 10 years ago so I can talk about it without getting upset now. She actually did apologize to me years later when she was pregnant with her first child, tearfully, may I add, probably because she had a small medical scare but her baby girl was born just fine. I’m actually cordial with her now, believe it or not! But it’s so frustrating that so many people only feel remorse/sympathy/empathy when something happens to them or someone they love. But I do know that she learned to stop talking so much trash about people after I tried to attack her. Thank goodness I didn’t actually hit her because my husband scooped me up fast when I lunged at her and hauled me away, but I was kicking and screaming at her about what she said and apparently I scared her a lot. She avoided me for YEARS, (she did the right thing, I lost my mind for like 6 months until I got help) but I’m glad she did apologize and that we’re cool now. It sucks the life out of you when feel so much hate towards someone, it’s no way to live.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      I was thinking a really insecure teenager/older child (I have personal experience with this happening) and if so I hope s/he learns from the shame this has (hopefully) caused and grows into a better human

    • BeanieBean says:

      I agree with you–I’ve heard the ‘fitness’ angle criticism from more men than women.

  5. lana86 says:

    I would say it all boils down to jealousy. Ppl like to point out “imperfections “ of popular successful people. Although taking time to write a personal letter and insult a person directly is really too much…. normal person wouldn’t do that.

  6. Ann says:

    Internet troll anonymity is a curse in our modern day culture.

  7. Annika says:

    I’ve seen Elizabeth in person before, at a previous home & cabin show in Minneapolis & what I remember is that she had one of the warmest smiles I’ve ever seen. She seems very well-suited for her career.
    As far as body shaming I truly will never understand why people feel entitled to tear someone down like that.

  8. Corrine says:

    I love this woman! She inspires me! I love that she pointed out the truth that hurtful things are more about the person who says them than who they say them to. And I love that even in that recognition she stood up for a kind truth. Heroooooo.

  9. Kate says:

    I was in a dance company growing up and can attest that body shaming kids leads directly to eating disorders. I unfortunately saw certain people being picked on by grown women teachers about their bodies – really nasty things that I wish I had been strong enough as a pre-teen to tell them was inappropriate. I remember the anger in my body when they would say stuff and we had to just keep doing the barre routine like good little dancers. Those people then had to battle eating disorders for god knows how many years because they had warped body images from being told by adults in positions of power that they were fat (and they were not, but even if they were so what?). Damn I’m pissed and so proud of this woman for speaking back and educating.

  10. BANANIE says:

    The excerpt said the second comment was “more critical.” I didn’t find the first comment critical at all, she just wanted the jeans! Am I missing something??

  11. Ohpioneer says:

    Good for her & good for her male friend. I have finally reached a point in my own life where I can say “My body is not your business.” I’ve struggled with weight and body issues since having children. I’ve been at both extremes and my unhealthiest was also my lowest weight. I also dealt with a relationship where my partner used “humor” to body shame me. News flash it is not ok to make semi backing up sounds at someone’s ass.
    All bodies are beautiful. Learn it, live it, preach it.

  12. Lorelei says:

    I follow the journalist Laura Bassett on Twitter — she is the woman who told her story about Chris Matthews last week which resulted in his “retiring.” Anyway, she was getting awful, vile messages from people over the past few days and she left their names in when she posted the screenshots, and I think this woman should have left “Maggie’s” name in too and made it public. It might be the only way that people think twice about the filth that they send to other people.

  13. Meg says:

    I neglected to mention in my previous comment I’m from a suburb of minneapolis where this reporter works. After college I worked in local news in Fargo, North Dakota and the female morning anchor had many many examples of this happening to her-emails from viewers body shaming her.
    Around that time a Wisconsin reporter on local news was body shamed by a male viewer offering to workout with her. (her brother is an actor, he played burger on sex and the city). Many viewers responded on the news’ Facebook page supporting her. just imagine all the times this happens and it’s not reported

  14. Luv Spaghetti says:

    I think I can say with a degree of certainty that “Maggie” has no ass and is very salty about it.

    Don’t worry Maggie, she probably doesn’t want your gross man who you are allowing to make you feel so insecure anyway. Go hate yourself in private and leave the rest of us in peace.

  15. Valerie says:

    LOL she’s a meteorologist, not a fitness expert. Why would you need or expect your weather girl to be an ‘example of fitness’? That’s just dumb.

    • april says:

      I live in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. I watch her and her co-host Steve Patterson almost every day. She’s a local talk show host. Her cohost, Steve Patterson, has been on Live with Kelly and Ryan several times. I actually thought her rear looked large on tv in jeans several days ago. However, it didn’t matter to me. They didn’t show any photos of her from the back. My rear doesn’t look much better. I wouldn’t care if someone body shamed me. Extra weight doesn’t bother me.

      • Valerie says:

        I just wouldn’t care enough to tweet her about it. I’d notice but it’s like, it’s not my body, so why should I try to dictate how it looks or hold it to my own personal standard?