When an internet commenter told Janice Dean not to show her legs on air because they were “too fat,” the Fox News meteorologist refused to let anyone rain on her parade.
A woman named “JoAnn” posted a message on Dean’s Facebook page asking the weather woman to ”stop allowing Fox to dress you in those short skirts. They are not flattering on you.”
The commenter added that she loved Dean’s ’80s-style hair, but “your legs are distracting every time you walk on screen.”
The 47-year-old Dean has been with Fox News since 2004 and said she usually ignores abusive comments like this. But something about this one struck a nerve.
“It got my back up, if there is one way to put it,” she told Inside Edition. “Maybe because it touched a part of me that has always been insecure about a certain body part.”
Dean responded to the commenter on Monday, in a manner more politely than most people would:
Fox doesn’t dress me. I dress myself. I’m sorry if you don’t like my legs. I’m grateful I have them to walk with. You’re right. I don’t look like the typical person on TV, and I’m proud to be a size 10. Imagine that! You can always turn the channel if you’re offended by my huge legs. Hope you don’t mind. I may share your post with everyone on my FB page. All the best, Janice
In a column for the Fox News website, Dean also explained why the critique hurt her feelings.
“I have had Multiple sclerosis (MS) for more than 10 years,” she said. ”My big legs have always been a sore spot for me ― but now more than ever I am proud of them. Because with MS, I could lose my ability to walk literally any day. So I’ve learned to be proud of my legs, and am grateful for them every day of my life.”
Although Dean admits she’s “always been conscious about what body part I’d like to change,” she hopes to send a message to the next generation of women.
“I’m comfortable in that I know what I’m good at,” she told Moneyish.com. “I want to say to young girls, ‘It’s OK to be yourself, to show who you are.’”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.