People were not happy after Megyn Kelly made controversial comments about fat-shaming on her show this week.
The TV host was in an interview with fitness personality and mother Maria Kang, talking about mothers getting back in shape and finding reasons to work out on Thursday when she made the comments.
“You should parlay the shaming thing into a professional business. Because some of us want to be shamed,” Kelly said. “When I was in law school, I was gaining weight, I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me going into that kitchen one more time, you say, ‘Where you going, fat a–?’ And it works!”
The words struck a nerve with some viewers like “The View” co-anchor Meghan McCain, who opened up about her own experience on Twitter.
“I was publicly fat shammed early on in my career and it sent me to therapy. Trust me, there are real life ramifications for fat shaming of any kind, it is NEVER acceptable. We should be fostering a healthy culture that celebrates all women of all sizes,” McCain wrote alongside an article about the comments.
On Friday, Kelly clarified her statements on her show.
“I said something yesterday on the show that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it’s a conversation we need to have. We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite,” Kelly said. Kelly told the audience that she did not condone fat-shaming and when she first had Kang on her previous Fox News show years ago, they had a heated discussion about her “No Excuses” campaign.
Kelly said that her “entire family is or has been overweight or obese.” She said that her sister was over 300 pounds before she having gastric bypass surgery. Kelly recalled a time when she was six years old when she heard a neighbor call her mother “fat.”
“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 continued. “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 40’s, which happened to my father.”
She said that as she got older, she realized the importance of living a healthy lifestyle but “still wrestle[s] with body image.”
Kelly ended the monologue telling her audience she would “never encourage” someone to be attacked because of their body image.
“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,” she said.