‘Fox & Friends’ host and multiple sclerosis survivor Janice Dean tells Moneyish about having her legs called disgusting and talking weather on President Trump’s favorite show
It was the Facebook comment that threw her off balance.
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean was scrolling through her fan page earlier this week when she came across one particularly nasty remark. “please stop allowing fox to dress you in those short skirts,” wrote a user named JoAnn in a since-deleted remark, “Your [sic] an attractive lady…but your legs are distracting every time you walk on screen.”
As with any figure in the public eye, Dean gets some amount of hate mail, but in a now-viral response, she told her body shamer that she dressed herself—and that anyone offended by her “huge legs” could switch the channel. But what was it about the comment that made her feel so vulnerable?
For one, Dean has been living with multiple sclerosis for over a decade. “I live with an illness that could take away [my legs] at any moment,” she tells Moneyish. The hater also went on to tell the 47-year-old Dean that she was now middle-aged and at risk of being replaced by someone younger under the new regime at Fox News, which has brought in new senior management recently. (Fox News is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, which shares common ownership with Moneyish publisher Dow Jones.)
Dean has also been dealing with body image issues her whole life. “I’ve always been a curvy girl, every size from four to 12,” says the now-size 10 anchor, a permanent fixture on the morning talk show “Fox & Friends.” “I was very aware that my issues are the thighs and legs and butt. It was what I was made fun of in school for.”
Proud of my #bigstronglegs now more than ever! Fox News
The Facebook incident is not the first time Dean has been publicly shamed for her body. Before joining Fox over a decade ago, she worked with the famous shock jock Don Imus as a news editor. “On a daily basis, on and off air, he would comment that I was fat” or that they should hire a personal trainer, she says. “He brought in a trainer one time on-air and said, ‘Stand up. She needs to get rid of that…her hips and her butt.’ I was just so ashamed. So ashamed.”
“That stays with you and brings you back to when you’re in school and bullied for the same thing,” Dean says, adding that if she were to face Imus today, she’d tell him that he couldn’t do that to her. “I’ve always been conscious about what body part I’d like to change, but I’m comfortable in that I know what I’m good at. I want to say to young girls ‘it’s OK to be yourself, to show who you are.’”
— FoxNewsInsider (@FoxNewsInsider) January 11, 2018
A representative for Imus didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The body shaming episode aside, Dean has been enjoying her past year. “Fox & Friends” has set viewing records, partially thanks to Donald Trump, an avowed fan of the cable show and also a regular tweeter on the weather.
“The President’s never commented on a forecast I’ve done, thank god.” she says. “I believe our climate is evolving, as it always has. We need to have an emphasis on saving our planet. But I’m the first one to say we can’t get a five-day forecast right. I believe things are changing, but I can’t tell you what’s happening in five or ten years.”
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