Former Local 4 reporter Ashlee Baracy is making national headlines after calling out body-shamers during her pregnancy.
Baracy, now a meteorologist in Columbus, Ohio, announced her pregnancy back in February, and took to social media in June to call out body-shamers.
“It started with comments like, ‘I thought your face looked fuller,’” Baracy told TODAY Style. “Someone warned me that I was gaining too much weight and to ‘watch my heart,’ and another said I was covering up temperatures on the weather map during my broadcasts.”
Baracy used social media to call out some of the hateful messages. One read: “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!”
I chose this career because I believed it would give me a platform to make a difference... as a role model and a meteorologist. I never really considered how many different ways I would be able to make an impact, but hopefully this is one. Thank you, Ken Gordon, for such a wonderful article today in the @columbusdispatch. I was shocked to see it on the front page! I truly appreciate every #10TV viewer who has supported me and encouraged me throughout my pregnancy and let’s hope by shedding light on body-shaming that fewer people will deal with critics like this in the future, pregnant or not. Every time I have called out a hater, the overwhelming outpour of encouragement has been touching and incredibly inspiring. Thank you, Central Ohio. Most importantly, thank you for embracing and caring about my growing family.
Baracy told Today that although she has thick skin, it still stings. “You have days, especially when you’re pregnant and dealing with hormones when you start to feel bad,” she said. “I’ve come home and shed a few tears, but for the most part I’ve stayed strong.”
"I hope sharing my story gets adults to look in the mirror and realize that self-image issues and the bullying epidemic in our youth starts with the example we are setting," Baracy told Local 4. "If a child hears their parent refer to someone on TV as ‘fat,’ what might the same child think of themselves when they look in the mirror or how will they perceive others and treat them in the future?"
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