Becky Ditchfield is an on-air meteorologist who also happens to be pregnant with her third child. As a result, she has a baby bump and some viewers attacked her for being a "freak with (my) belly sticking out 2 miles..."

Now, let's set aside that being pregnant does not make anyone a freak, and take a look at how Ditchfield handled the situation. 

Math and science for the win

Ditchfield turned to science to demonstrate how ridiculous this person was, and it also demonstrated that she wasn't going to slink away in embarrassment for having the audacity to reproduce. She explained in a Facebook post:

Flip it to Test It

This is awesome enough on its own, but then she went on the Today Show to talk about it, making sure more people were aware that attacking a woman for being too  large is not appropriate. And Al Roker, who used to be famously fat, used a technique popularized by HR Guru Kristen Pressner and "flipped it to test it." He pointed out that no one ever told him that he was too fat to accurately show the weather. 

When you find yourself tempted to criticize someone because of their appearance, you shouldn't (unless that person has hired you as a style consultant or a hair dresser). But if you just can't keep your mouth shut, flip it to test it. Would you say the same thing about a man? Then no. And still keep your mouth shut.

Don't underestimate the impact of a good therapist.

Ditchfield said it was difficult to get message after message criticizing her, and publicly thanked her therapist for helping her through this. I'm a huge fan of good therapists. Someone who can help you process information, especially negative information, can be a boon not only to your self-esteem, but to your career. 

Fortunately, the messages Ditchfield got after she called out the trolls were positive, but if they hadn't been, the therapist would have been even more helpful.

If you are struggling consider seeking out a therapist. Your employee assistance program (EAP) may help you find one, your insurance may cover one, or you can try an online therapist that can be inexpensive. Don't neglect your mental health.

Don't join in with the trolls

If you see someone else being mean on the internet, don't join in. Be positive. You can have differences of opinion, of course, but insulting people because of their body shape should be beneath your dignity. Don't do it. 

Published on: Apr 1, 2019