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A pregnant TV anchor has become the center of a news story herself after sharing some of the extraordinarily mean letters on air that she'd received from viewers about her changing body and fashion choices.
Kristi Gordon, who works as a meteorologist at Global BC in Vancouver, British Columbia, is expecting her second child in July. She confessed she was already anxious when she announced the news in January because of some of the negative comments strangers sent about her maternity wear during her first pregnancy.
“I received emails telling me to ‘cover up’, ‘be more professional,' ‘not wear horizontal stripes,' and how irresponsible I was to be wearing high heels,” Gordon wrote on the station’s website.
She pleaded with viewers to be nice to her about her clothes this time, but the comments started pouring in again over the last few months as her baby bump grew. Gordon knew harsh remarks were part of the territory of being on TV, but she became increasingly concerned by their nasty and personal tone.
So on a recent newscast, Gordon decided to read some of the letters on camera.
“Nowhere on North America TV have we seen a weather reader so gross as you. Your front end looks like the Hindenburg and your rear end looks like a brick (expletive) house. We now turn off Globel (sic). Cover up or take time off,” one anonymous letter, signed “The Group,” read.
Another viewer wrote: “BUY some DECENT clothes and have more respect for the unborn child, you’re not the first pregnant woman. OMG.” There was also a letter calling her a “hussy.”
Gordon admitted that some of the letters got to her, and she began to wonder whether she should watch her weight more. She also noted that, when it comes to maternity wear, she has a few “old-school” billowy, empire waist dresses — but also likes wearing more fitted designs.
It’s those belly-hugging styles that draw the most critical comments, she said, with some viewers instructing her that looser tops would look more professional.
"You can't really hide something like this," Kristi said while showing off her bump.
"Why would you want to?" Robin Stickley, her fellow anchor, responded.
Both Stickley and Kristi's other co-anchor, Squire Barnes, expressed their support.
"Haters gonna hate, as some rapper may have said," Barnes said.
Then Stickley clarified: "Taylor Swift I think actually said that."
When she was pregnant, TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie was also surprised about how strongly some people felt about her maternity wear choices, with one commenter accusing her of wearing “tight” clothes to “flaunt” her pregnancy.
Gordon’s bosses at Global BC issued a statement thanking viewers for their feedback, but firmly backing their meteorologist. “We support Kristi, her wardrobe choices and all women who work while pregnant,” they said. The video of the newscast has gone viral.
Gordon has also received hundreds of emails, and thousands of Facebook and Twitter messages of support. The whole episode has taught her a good lesson, she said.
“No matter how rational or confident you are, the mean things people say can have an impact. The negative thoughts seep in when you don’t even realize it. Even a little joking comment could do some damage. Hopefully this can help us all be more aware of our impact on others,” Gordon wrote.
She also had a message to “The Group” and other critical viewers: “I’m not spending any more money on maternity clothes…especially muumuus.”