Meteorologist Katie Fehlinger, who is expecting twins, took to Facebook to address critics who called her changing body “disgusting.” (Photo: Katie Fehlinger/Facebook)
A pregnant meteorologist at a Philadelphia news station sounded off Wednesday against viewers who have attacked her on-air appearance, using terms like “sausage in casing” and “disgusting” to describe her growing baby bump.
Katie Fehlinger, the meteorologist at CBS 3 Philly, is nearly 35 weeks pregnant and expecting twin girls. She has worked throughout her pregnancy, delivering on-air morning weather reports. But according to her latest Facebook post, which has received nearly 25,000 likes and more than 2,000 shares, viewers haven’t been entirely supportive. In her post, she writes: “The nature of my job makes me an easy target for criticism. I will always understand that, and I will most typically just ignore it. However, after someone blatantly called me a ‘sausage in casing’ and another declared that ‘sticking your pregnant abdomen out like that is disgusting,’ I felt a need to draw a line and speak up.”
Fehlinger continued: “Everyone’s right to their opinion is important, but so are manners. And while rude comments like these will never make me feel the need to change anything about myself, I find a bigger underlying issue here. These particular nasty-grams were directed at a pregnant woman. So this little manifesto of sorts is dedicated to every mother out there — other pregnant moms-to-be, moms reading this while their toddlers play on the swing set, moms whose kids have long since gone off to college… You are beautiful.”
The negative comments all came through social media, Fehlinger says, and she tried to ignore them, but that got harder as comments got increasingly nasty. “The one that came in about the sausage in casing, that one upset me the most,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “I didn’t respond, I tried to move on, but it really hurt my feelings. Then I got another one this week, about looking ‘disgusting,’ and a switch flipped for me. I had a moment of clarity — I didn’t get embarrassed or hurt. I got fed up.”
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly)August 18, 2015
Fehlinger says she realized that the negative comments were not just directed at her, but at “every woman who has ever gone through the rigors of pregnancy,” she says. “I am seeing moms-to-be every week at my OB’s office and I feel like this is something that should be celebrated — what women go through to bring children in to the world.”
In her post, Fehlinger celebrates the strength and beauty of mothers and women who are expecting, reminding the viewers who are criticizing her looks that someone went through pregnancy to bring them into the world, too. Of course, as she notes, it’s not always fun.
“Even during the most uncomfortable — and let’s face it, less than glamorous — symptoms of pregnancy, what women go through to bring their precious children into the world is, simply put, AMAZING and you should be lauded,” she wrote. “Frankly, I don’t care how ‘terrible’ or ‘inappropriate’ anyone thinks I look. I will gladly gain 50 pounds & suffer sleepless, uncomfortable nights if it means upping my chances to deliver 2 healthy baby girls. Now it’s about more than aesthetics. I want these babies to have the best start possible. And that hopefully means my belly that ‘looks like it’s about to explode!’ will continue to grow the next few weeks.”
When she sat down to write the post, Fehlinger says she expected it to be cathartic, but she never anticipated the reaction she has received. “I think the response has been so huge because it is one of the most relatable topics. Everyone has a mother, knows someone who is a mother, or has kids themselves,” she says. “The response to this post has proved to me that positivity will always beat out the negativity. My mantra initially was ‘ignore, ignore, ignore,’ and I’ll probably continue to try to let most comments go, but when it came to this subject I finally had to say something. I understand why image is important in television, but at the same time I have two babies in my belly and I have no problem gaining extra weight and living in a body that feels foreign, because all that discomfort is proof that the girls are growing and will be as healthy as possible.”
The response to her message — which Fehlinger posted on her professional Facebook page but was also shared on CBS Philly’s page — has been overwhelmingly positive, applauding Fehlinger for speaking up and encouraging critics to keep their thoughts to themselves. More than 5,700 comments have poured in, including this one from a Fehlinger fan: “I watch you every morning and enjoy your upbeat attitude. Ignore the haters. Having been in your pregnant position 3 times, I understand all [you’re] going through. It will all be worth it!” And from another user: “If you get the forecast wrong, a viewer might feel justified in being frustrated or even critical. As you said, that is the nature of what you do. Aside from wishing you well, NO ONE has the right to comment on your pregnancy or appearance.”
It’s not the first time Fehlinger has addressed viewers who’ve expressed opinions about her growing belly. On Aug. 10, she wrote a Facebook post about why she’s still working, in response to those who thought she should be taking time off. “I know many of you are also concerned that I’m still working at this ‘late’ stage of the pregnancy. Keep in mind guys, there are TWO little peanuts cookin’ in there, so I’ve grown WAY more & WAY faster than the average Mama Bear. (I’m already past the measurement of a typical 40-week bump — literally off the charts!),” she wrote. “As I write this, I’m 33 weeks, 1 day into the journey. While I do intend to take a full 12 weeks of leave once our girls arrive, I’m also trying not to eat away at that time before they’re born unless my doctor feels it’s necessary.”
For now, Fehlinger says she is turning her focus to feeling healthy and carrying her two little girls to term. And until then, she concluded her recent post with a reminder for her critics: “Let’s all remember the lesson Mom taught us — if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”