“Always stand up for yourself and what you believe in.” That is the message 10TV Meteorologist Ashlee Baracy is sharing now after her initial message to ‘body shamers’ went viral this week.
After sharing the news of her first-time pregnancy with coworkers and viewers in an on-air announcement in February, Baracy was quickly embraced by hundreds of eager viewers, sending sincere messages of support and best wishes.
But along with that support came another wave of a different kind; one that Baracy admittedly expected, she explained in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, but says stung nonetheless.
“I’ve been around the business long enough, and I’ve seen colleagues go through that. Anchors can hide a little bit behind the desk, but I knew it would be tough for me, because people see me head-to-toe in front of the green screen every day, and my figure would be on full display.”
Many of the comments pouring in took shots at Baracy’s body and the clothing she wore.
“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.”
“Ashley, I couldn’t see next week’s temps. Your baby was in the way.”
Given her platform as a television meteorologist, Baracy explained she felt compelled to shed a light on the hateful and harmful words coming from the seemingly growing population of cyberbullies who choose to hide behind the safety of their keyboards.
It didn’t take long for her message to spread. After the Columbus Dispatch published Baracy’s story, publications around the country including People Magazine, the Today Show, the New York Post and more picked it up.
In a message on Facebook, Baracy said “The support has been overwhelming and how the message is being shared is heartwarming,” as more people jump on board to support her and other women silently suffering in similar situations.