A meteorologist for an NBC affiliate in Colorado is speaking out about the hurtful criticism she’s been getting for being pregnant on-air.
Becky Ditchfield, who reports the weather for KUSA in Denver, told TODAY that she's routinely received mean messages from viewers complaining about her appearance. Some have even said her belly sticks out too much.
“I’ve tried buying those flowy dresses ... and I swear it looked like I was gonna be a big cruise ship coming on and taking up half the weather wall,” Ditchfield told Al Roker, Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer on the 3rd hour of TODAY on Friday.
Ever the exacting journalist, Ditchfield even took out a tape measure to measure just how much space her stomach was taking up.
Jokes aside, she said the negative feedback she received is disheartening.
“I just like to wear things that make me feel confident, so it’s disappointing when you get those emails,” she said.
Despite the mean comments, Ditchfield said she's taken comfort in the many positive notes she's received.
“It’s been an overwhelmingly wonderful response,” she said. “It kind of you gives a little bit more hope in what’s going on in the world.”
She joked, “I really thank my therapist for helping me through this.”
Al Roker also pointed out the double standard that exists between men and women, noting that he used to be much heavier than Ditchfield and “very few people complained.”
The group also pointed out that the negative attention has added stress to Ditchfield's pregnancy, which is already high-risk because of a rare uterine malformation. The condition increases her chances of going into labor early.
“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 said.
For her part, Dylan Dreyer, who also appeared on-air while pregnant, offered encouragement to Ditchfield.
“What you’re doing is incredible,” she said. “You’re gonna look back and miss this time. Try to shut out the negative people as much as you can.”