According to Ditchfield and Today, trolls have called her via email (to both her and her employer) and social media a “freak,” “disgusting” and “nauseating.” With one even saying that her “belly sticks out two miles” and is “blocking too much of the weather map.”
Ditchfield recently took to the 9News airwaves to call out and fire back at those critics. And her clapback included props.
“In an effort to stick up for myself, I used the math that I learned in school to demonstrate the actual size of my belly,” Ditchfield said, accompanied by a photo of her measuring her belly. “And then took more measurements to calculate how much real estate the bump took up on the weather wall.”
She went on to say in her response that sometimes she thinks she might “feel too much” to be in the TV business, and that some of the words people used played off of her insecurities.
“In fact, earlier this week I had to leave my desk at work, go lock myself up in a private bathroom and just allow myself to cry,” she admitted.
When Ditchfield joined the anchors on Today, she said that on top of the emotional strain from people’s comments, she’s also dealing with a high-risk pregnancy.
“I have a rare uterine malformation, instead of one uterus I have two. So I’m actually really high risk of going into labor very early. That we have to watch out for, that puts a lot of stress on me,” Ditchfield said. “Then there’s all of the hormones that go into pregnancy, so the last thing you want to worry about is what you’re wearing on TV and what people are thinking about how you look.”
She also said that since speaking out the response has been great, and knowing that the majority of viewers, along with her co-workers and family, are standing behind her means the world to her.
“It’s been an overwhelmingly wonderful response, a lot of people emailing me directly also posting on my social media, kind of gives you a little bit more hope in what is going on in the world,” Ditchfield said. “But it’s also hard when you get those back-to-back emails that are so negative to not let it get to you. And I really thank my therapist for helping me through this.”
Today’s Al Roker said he thinks there was a level of sexism involved in the story as well, pointing to the days when he was overweight and rarely heard complaints from anyone. And his co-host, Dylan Dreyer, has also done the weather while pregnant and sympathized with Ditchfield and noted that it’s hard to find the right clothes when you’re pregnant.
“I’ve tried wearing those flowy dresses,” Ditchfield said. “And I swear it looked like I was going to be a cruise ship coming on and taking up half the weather wall.”
Today airs weekdays at 7 a.m. on NBC.
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