A meteorologist is calling out a woman who tried to body shame her on social media. When a viewer criticized her legs, Fox News' Janice Dean had the perfect response — get over it. Dean, who has had multiple sclerosis for years, publicly pushed back on the viewer's criticism and said she was grateful and proud of her "big strong legs."
While 47-year-old Dean admitted that, like a majority of people on television, she gets "a few rude comments" on her social media accounts "from time to time," one recent remark seemed too important to ignore. In a post on her Facebook page and a column for Fox News, Dean shared how one viewer felt the need to criticize the size of her legs.
"Please stop allowing fox [sic] to dress you in those short skirts," a viewer named JoAnn reportedly wrote to Dean. "They are not flattering on you. Your [sic] an attractive lady, love the 80's hair, but your legs are distracting every time you walk on screen."
Here's how Dean responded:
Fox doesn't dress me. I dress myself. I'm sorry if you don't like my 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're offended by my huge legs. Hope you don't mid. I may share your post with everyone on my FB page. All the best, Janice
As for why she decided to respond to this specific piece of criticism, Dean told Inside Edition the comment struck a nerve "because it touched a part of me that has always been insecure about a certain body part." But the senior meteorologist wasn't willing to allow one viewer's opinion to send her into a spiral of insecurity.
"As someone who was diagnosed with MS over a decade ago, I know my legs could give out on me at any time," Dean wrote in a tweet addressing the issue. "So I am grateful for my big, strong legs that keep me standing tall, help me walk, dance, kick and make snow angels. I am blessed."
Yet this reportedly isn't the first time Dean has been criticized or made fun of because of her body. She told Moneyish.com that she'd been made fun of in school for her thighs, legs, and butt. "I've always been a curvy girl," Dean said. "I was very aware that my issues are the thighs and legs and butt."
That teasing and criticism didn't stop when Dean left school. While working as a news editor for the shock jock Don Imus prior to joining Fox News in 2004, Dean said she was often criticized for her size and shape. "On a daily basis, on and off air, he would comment that I was fat," Dean told Moneyish.com. "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.'" Dean said Imus' comments had made her "so ashamed."
But while one viewer may have felt Dean's legs were "distracting," a number of other viewers felt differently and rallied around the meteorologist in support. In a column for Fox News, Dean said the response she'd received from fans after sharing the critical remark had been so overwhelming "that I was bawling my eyes out on Monday night."
Most importantly, Dean hopes her decision to publicly call out those who criticize her body sends young girls a message. "I want to say to young girls it's OK to be yourself, to show who you are," Dean told Moneyish.com.