“You know what? We’re not made of armor. These things do affect us. And I am proud of my big, strong legs!” said Janice Dean, Senior Fox News Meteorologist. That was her response to a social media bully. Earlier this week, this beautiful meteorologist received this message on Facebook.
“Dear Janice. Please stop allowing Fox to dress you in those short skirts. They are not flattering on you. Your (notice they grammar) an attractive lady, love the 80’s hair, but your legs are distracting every time you walk on screen.”
When I saw this I was disgusted. I am so sick and tired of seeing this happen to smart, beautiful women. I have many friends in the media and remarks like this are all too common.They are told that they look fat, tired and old. People will remark about their hair, clothes, voice…you name it.
As these bullies hide behind their computers to write disgusting and degrading messages, I want them to think about what it would feel if someone said that to them. Imagine if a person said that to their daughters, friends, mothers or sisters who were recipients of that message.
I recall being a news reporter and people would come up to me in the grocery store and tell me that I look “skinner in person or appear much heavier on TV.” Would you ever think to say that to someone? As a recovering anorexic that was beyond hurtful to me. Somehow I learned to tune it out. But it took a VERY long time. Eventually, I grew thick skin, thanks to those interesting folks in the grocery store.
Long, unpredictable hours, lack of sleep, a very small paycheck and no social life…they are all part of a journalist’s life. Anyone entering the field knows that those things come with the territory. But, what they never signed up for is the anger, the envy and the hate that is spewed on them on a daily basis by these internet trolls.
Janice Dean has been in the business for a while and has dealt with negative comments like every other woman in the media. Most of the time she ignores the comments, but Monday’s was different.
She credited colleague Jillian Mele for inspiring her to respond. But she didn’t feed into the negativity or respond back with vicious words.
Here’s what she said. “Hi JoAnn, Fox doesn’t dress me. I dress myself. I’m sorry if you don’t like my big 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 are offended by my huge legs. Hope you don’t mind. I may share this post with everyone on my FB page. All the best, Janice.”
Amen, Janice! The 47-year old was diagnosed with MS over a decade ago and she has said many times that she is extremely fortunate to be able to walk. She took to Twitter to say that her legs could give out at any time and she is grateful for her “big, strong legs that keep her standing tall, help her walk, dance and make snow angels.”
Janice is a true inspiration to all of the women out there, in and out of the spotlight. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year at Fox & Friends and she took time in between breaks to chat with me. She is a smart, strong and beautiful woman.
This bullying needs to stop. I’m not sure how it can be fixed, but women should not sit back and take it as we have for so many years. Responses like Janice's is a start.
A huge shout out to Janice and all of the news anchors who are calling out the bullies. God bless you and keep doing what you are doing.