Charlene White addresses ITV viewer complaint over weight ‘It really affected me’

Loose Women: Charlene recalls email about weight

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Monday’s Loose Women panel had been discussing the question: “How did you learn to love your body?” when journalist Charlene, 42, shared the story. She recalled starting on ITV News and receiving an email about her weight in which the viewer had said she is “larger than other newsreaders” and labelled it “a problem.” Admitting she was “really affected” at the time, the presenter went on to talk about how age has given her more confidence to accept herself.

“I’ll never forget when I first started doing ITV News, so we’re going back 15 years now, so probably when social media was still in its infancy,” Charlene began.

“And the only way people could get hold of you really was through email.

“And I was working the night shift at ITV, so my show was at 5 o’clock in the morning.

“So I will never forget, about three months in, I had an email from a viewer – subject line: your weight.”

As the other women gasped, the host continued: “And then the body of it [the email] was, ‘You cannot fail to notice that you’re larger than other newsreaders, I feel you need to understand that’s a problem.'”

“Man or a woman?” Katie Piper probed.

“Man,” Charlene replied, adding: “And back then, it would have really affected me.

“But with age comes more confidence, and my body’s able to achieve so many different things.

“And it aids me to be an effective parent, be there for my children, be there for my partner.”

“Dance the night away,” Nadia Sawalha added, laughing.

“Exactly, dance the night away, and do my job!” Charlene agreed.

It came as Charlene, Katie Piper, Linda Robson and Nadia talked about learning to love and accept themselves as they are.

Nadia explained how she encourages people to see their bodies for what they have done rather than how they feel they should look.

Katie, 38, said: “It’s about acceptance, it’s about feeling neutral.

“Because love is a strong word, how can anyone look in the mirror every day and love what they see?

“I think you set yourself up for failure and you’re like, ‘Oh, well that’s how everyone else feels and I can’t get there, am I doing something wrong?’

“If I just feel neutral about my face and body, then that’s a really good day.”

She went on: “You shouldn’t have any feelings, good or bad, you’re just a vessel and you’re living and all the amazing things that the human body does and bounces back from – I’m just neutral.”

“I agree with that,” Charlene replied. “Instead of thinking ‘my body is still not at the point it was before,’ I also think, ‘but it housed two kids’ and that shows the strength of my body that I’ve done it and I’m still here.”

Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.

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