Megyn Kelly would very much like a mulligan.
The NBC anchor claims she really did not mean to sound this week as if she was PRO-fat shaming.
What led some viewers to think Kelly actually held this seemingly ridiculous stance? Well…
During an interview Thursday with fit mom Maria Kang – a mother who is very into fitness and who is best known for her “No Excuses” campaign – Kelly made an eyebrow-raising remark.
And that’s a kind way of putting it.
“You should parlay the shaming thing into a professional business. Because some of us want to be shamed,” said the controversial host to Kang, who was promoting her workout philosophy.
Continued Kelly, sharing some personal history:
“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!”
It’s easy to see how Kelly could have just been trying to make a joke here.
But it’s also easy to see how it could have been interpreted as the encouragement of fat-shaming – since she’s literally explaining that making her feel bad about her body was an effective strategy employed by her family member.
On Friday, facing a great deal of backlash, Kelly clarified her position.
On air, the failing reporter said “would never encourage [body shaming] toward any person,” despite how she may have come across the day before.
“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 continued.
“We were discussing body shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite.”
Kelly then got very candid with viewers.
She explained that her “entire family is or has been overweight or obese.”
She also shared that her sister weighed more than 300 pounds at one point, prior to undergoing gastric bypass surgery, and that when she Kelly was six years old, she came home “in tears” after a neighbor called her mom “fat.”
There’s a history here, she elaborated.
She was simply trying to relay some of it on Thursday in her chat with Kang.
“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 said.
“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 has grown and evolved.
She says she tries to eat healthy and is no longer ashamed of her figure.
However, “I still cringe when I hear a person attacked for his or her weight.”
The journalist says she can relate and that’s all she ever meant to imply with her initial comment.
“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.”