After Her Tearful Reply to a Body Shamer, Valerie Bertinelli Gets Honest About How She Promoted Diet Culture
"I have been buying into the diet industry my whole life and then I became part of the problem," the former Jenny Craig spokesperson wrote on Instagram.
Valerie Bertinelli made headlines last week after tearfully speaking out on Instagram after someone told her online that she needs to lose weight.
Now, Bertinelli is replying to a second commenter who criticized her for being upset about remarks about her weight, even though she promoted weight loss brand Jenny Craig for years. Bertinelli's honest response: by "shilling" for Jenny Craig, she agrees she was "part of the problem."
It all started when Bertinelli shared a very raw, emotional video on Instagram of herself last week opening up about how it felt to have someone make comments about her body. Bertinelli, 61, said that she "made the mistake of reading the comments" when she was looking at some recipes online. "Someone...decided to point out that I need to lose weight," she said. Addressing the unnamed commenter, she added, "you're not being helpful."
"When you see somebody who has put some weight on, my first thought is that person is obviously going through some things, because if I could lose the weight and keep it off, I would," she explained. "But since I haven't been successful with that my whole entire life, at 61 I'm still dealing with [it]."
Bertinelli said that she's frustrated with losing and gaining weight. "You think I'm not tired of it, lady? Where's the compassion?" Bertinelli also said that a "stupid little comment" like she needs to lose weight is "not f*cking helpful."
Bertinelli also wrote this in the caption of her video: "Aren't we tired of body shaming women yet?! Smh."
Bertinelli's post prompted thousands of messages of support, including from some famous friends. "❤️ you're so beautiful and such an inspiration. I've been on the receiving end of comments like these so many times. Hell, half my life! It fucking hurts. Thank you for being vulnerable and authentic and always leading with such heart," wrote Michelle Branch.
"This video is everything," replied Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. "Beautiful Valerie, you inspire, you encourage, and you make people feel like everything is good and right. You have done this your whole life. You win. ❤️❤️❤️."
Not everyone was supportive, though. On July 10, someone on Twitter had this to say: "Sorry Valerie Bertinelli @Wolfiesmom- you spent decades telling the rest of us to get thin, shilled weight loss shakes, potions & snake oil & NOW wanna be a body shaming warrior? You don't get to be a victim when you helped create the problem. Grow up if you can't take the heat."
Bertinelli decided to respond: "I'm not a victim. I can take the heat. I made the video so I could get my feelings out instead of squashing them down and eating them, which is what I usually do."
She continued, "Yes, I spent 6 years 'shilling' for Jenny Craig. (your math's a little off) I have been buying into the diet industry my whole life and then I became part of the problem, so here I am today receiving the karma of my actions."
But Bertinelli also had a takeaway message for her critic. "You can go ahead and judge all you like. However, I can warn you, from experience, that kind of karma doesn't feel great either," she said.
Bertinelli later shared a photo on her Instagram Story that showed a crossword puzzle next to a mug that reads, "Be Kind."
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