News anchor Nina Harrelson calls out body shamer on Twitter; receives widespread support
WREG weekend anchor took to Twitter to call out a stranger who body-shamed her, receiving widespread praise for highlighting the plight of women in the public eye.
Nina Harrelson, a news anchor from Tennessee, USA, took to Twitter to highlight her experience of being body-shamed. The WREG weekend anchor explained on her Twitter feed how a stranger told her that she looked “mighty big on TV”.
She posted her picture on the news desk and wrote:
“You look mighty big on TV!” That’s what a complete stranger just said to me. FYI – journalists are not models… And I can assure you, none of us want to hear your opinions on our bodies. WE ARE NOT YOUR EYE CANDY.”
Continuing the thread, she says, “Luckily, after nearly nine years in this business, I have a very thick skin. But I feel sorry for the young women breaking into news who will have to deal with that kind of criticism, which their male colleagues will almost certainly never face.”
Following her tweet, she received widespread praise for calling out the unchecked body-shaming and sexist comments that news anchors, especially women, have to face.
“I never expected this kind of response when I posted about this encounter earlier today, but if it makes even one person think twice about the things they say – or type – to women in the public eye, then I’m glad I called it out,” she wrote later.
Another local news anchor, Carol Daniel also responded to the tweet recounting her experiences.
She wrote: “I also got, ‘You're much prettier in person.’ And, ‘Boy, the camera does add alot of weight!’ Why oh why do people think they have license to say anything to people they see on TV?”
Nina in a comment to a digital media company said, “I’ve been in this business for nearly nine years, so I’ve had my fair share of body-shamers. They typically hide behind their keyboards with their fake accounts and photos, but this guy took it upon himself to share his opinion on my body to my face — as if I should be flattered that he thinks I look skinnier in person. The sad thing is, I truly believe he thought he was giving me a compliment.”
Nina acknowledges that the job requires being polished and well-presented. However, she believes that being in the public doesn’t warrant a free pass for people to comment.
“I realise that I work in an industry where my appearance will be scrutinised, and yes, I am expected to look polished and put together on air,” she says. “But I refuse to conform to this idea that every news anchor should be a size 0, and that just because I’m in the public eye, people get a free pass to say whatever they want. Never mind the fact my male colleagues rarely, if ever, face this type of criticism.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)