Georgia newsreader Laura Warren is no stranger to viewers critiquing her appearance. She's been working in broadcast news for six years and says it happens all the time. "I’ve gotten comments like, 'You should wear this shade of lipstick or that,'" she told Huffington Post. "I have seen a ton of my friends and colleagues receive really harsh criticism, and that’s tough to watch. One viewer told one of my best friends she had a 'basketball' head. Another was told she was 'too big' for TV."
While 20 weeks pregnant, the WRDW anchor received a voicemail from a viewer who criticised her choice of maternity clothes calling her "disgusting."
"Please go to Target and buy some decent maternity clothes so you don’t walk around looking like you got a watermelon strapped under your too tight outfits," the viewer said. "Target’s got a great line of maternity clothes in case you’ve never heard of such a thing. You’re getting to where you’re being disgusting on the TV."
Warren decided to write a post to her blog, Bump, Baby, and Breaking News in response to this unsolicited request. In it, the news anchor candidly offered some insight on her experience being pregnant while also being on air twice a day. At the end of the day, she knows not to give comments like this a second thought. "Unfortunately, I’m pregnant, hormonal, currently not allowed to drink wine, and feeling extra in touch with my feminist side," she wrote.
"Being pregnant is already one of the most emotional, insecure times of your life," Warren wrote. "Am I gaining too much weight? Am I gaining enough weight? Is my bump too high? Is my bump too low? Are these breakouts ever going to end?"
While everyone has their own insecurities, Warren explains that for her as an on-camera personality, they only get worse. "Now, throw yourself in front of a camera that adds 20 pounds every night, find clothes that not only fit, but also don’t make you look like a whale, and cake on enough hair and makeup products twice a day to moonlight as a Las Vegas showgirl, and you’ll understand where I’m coming from," she shared on her blog.
Rather than letting this unknown woman's criticism ruin her day, she concluded in her post that she's going to use that negative energy and turn it into something positive. "I’m going to say as many nice things as I can to as many people as I can, and I’m going to do it in a dress that fits these beautiful new curves with my 'watermelon' stomach showing," she concluded.
Due in November, she and her husband are celebrating this pregnancy after her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage last year. "We went in for a sonogram, and there wasn’t a heartbeat," said Warren. "That experience ripped our hearts out. So this pregnancy is something to celebrate! I’m so excited and thankful to be pregnant. Why would I hide that?"
In an interview with Huffington Post, Laura Warren said she didn't expect the overwhelming support she received from her readers. "It really reaffirms my faith about how many kind people there are in the world," she said.
"Part of the reason I wrote the blog is to get a discussion going about how easy it is for us all to hang on and dwell on that ONE negative comment, instead of a whole sea of positive ones," Warren shared hoping to remind people that journalists and public figures are humans, too. "It defies logic, but it’s human nature. I wanted this to be a reminder that your words have such power. Use them for good."