A pregnant meteorologist has hit back at viewers who called the presenter “bloated” and “uncomfortable” as her body changed due to her growing baby.
Ashlee Baracy from Ohio, USA says the negative comments started within weeks of her announcing her pregnancy live on air in February.
“The sad part is the second I found out I was pregnant, I knew I would have to deal with criticism of my body by viewers,” Baracy, who works for WBNS-TV, told The Columbus Dispatch.
“Anchors can hide a little bit behind the desk, but I knew it would be tough for me, because people see me head-to-toe in front of the green screen every day, and my figure would be on full display.”
Baracy, 34, decided to call out those making the mean comments – posting many of them on her Instagram account.
Some of the worst included:
“Pregnant or not, buy bigger clothes!!! You look bloated and uncomfortable. . . it is not likely your dresses will survive another 20 weeks of pregnancy weight.”
“Ashley, I couldn’t see next week’s temps. Your baby was in the way.”
“Ashley, you are really putting on weight. Watch your heart.”
The mum-to-be says she’s dealt with her fair share of critics in the past, having competed in beauty pageants before being named Miss Michigan in 2008.
“Yes, I signed up to be a public figure, but my family didn’t,” Baracy said. “My unborn child didn’t.”
But the feedback from viewers wasn’t all negative.
Baracy, who is due to give birth in August, said many had reached out offering their encouragement.
“Let’s hope by shedding light on body-shaming that fewer people will deal with critics like this in the future, pregnant or not,” Baracy wrote on Instagram.
“Every time I have called out a hater, the overwhelming outpour of encouragement has been touching and incredibly inspiring.”