Megyn Kelly faces backlash after saying some women want to be ‘fat-shamed’

January 12, 2018

Megyn Kelly faces backlash after saying some women want to be ‘fat-shamed’

Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly isn’t exactly the most popular person in the media. Her NBC show Today is struggling, and Kelly often seems tone deaf and unable to pin down a viewer constituency.

This week Kelly again made some comments that drew fire from the internet. While interviewing “Fit Mom” Maria Kang, who was once criticized for “fat-shaming” other mothers, Kelly exclaimed, “Some of us want to be shamed!”

Twitter Erupts

In 2013, mommy blogger Maria Kang posted a photo of herself — in excellent shape — next to her three toddlers with the caption “What’s your excuse?” The photo caused an internet meltdown, and Kang was criticized for fat-shaming moms who weren’t a size 2 like her.

In the interview this week, Kelly opined that some people are not only okay with being fat-shamed in that manner but that they want it, using her own experience as an example.

She said that she saw fat-shaming as a positive thing that helped keep her focused on her weight when she was younger:

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!

Kelly’s comment, however, caused social media to lose its collective mind. One of the most vocal was Meghan McCain, who said on Twitter that she was “publicly fat shammed [sic] early on in my career and it sent me to therapy.” She went on:

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.

Others described how being fat-shamed caused them to have eating disorders or other problems.

Not everyone, however, felt that Kelly was out of line. One Twitter user asked, “Well if she doesn’t want to be gaining weight and is asking someone to remind her to not forget on food that’s her decision no?”

Fit Mom Flips

“Fit Mom” Maria Kang is changing her message a bit. After her viral 2013 photo drew criticism, Kang gained 10 pounds in the midst of a separation from her husband.

Kang says she found herself dealing with depression, and wants to “empower others to step in front of the camera and be unapologetic” of who they are. Her critics, however, jumped on her, saying that the excuses she formerly ridiculed have become her own.

Kelly Responds

This morning, Kelly responded to the criticism during the opening of Today. She made conciliatory remarks and softened her initial words. Categorically denouncing “body shaming,” Kelly said that no woman should be subject to such treatment and that women throughout America are pressured every day to be thin. Watch below:

Kelly went on to discuss her mother’s struggle with weight and the teasing she endured because of it. And then she detailed her own unhealthy attempts to try and remain thin and how she still wrestles with those concerns now.

The Today host seemed to strike an earnest and sympathetic tone. The question is, will her viewers forgive her?


Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a Conservative Institute contributor. She is an intelligence analyst with a dual specialty in counterintelligence and HUMINT. She writes on national security, tech, and privacy issues. Kit has a B.A. in Counterintelligence and an M.A. in Intelligence Studies from American Military University.