'I wanted to hide': Jenna Bush Hager didn't wear bikini for years after grandmom Barbara's 'chubby' remark
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Former first daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, has opened up about her experiences with body shaming and negative comments over the years. The 41-year-old mother of three is the co-host of the TV show 'Today with Hoda & Jenna', where she discussed singer Billie Eilish’s recent interview with Vogue. Eilish had talked about her relationship with her body, which inspired the hosts’ conversation.
The 'No Time To Die' singer had stated that she felt like she was being ‘gaslighted’ by her body for many years. She stated, "I had to go through a process of being like, my body is actually me. And it's not out to get me," as per People. Bush Hager weighed in on Eilish’s comments and elaborated on similar body shaming incidents from when she was a teenager.
Bush Hager recalls an incident with her late grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush. She said, "I remember the bikini color that I was wearing; a yellow bikini color. I was laying next to my sister. And my grandmother, who I adored but had kind of a biting personality, said something like, 'Oh Jenna, looking chubby.'" Bush Hager then added that she felt as if she "wanted to hide in it." Sometime later, Bush Hager says her grandmother revealed that “her mother said those types of things to her.”
She talked about her grandmother’s experiences of being straight-jacketed and how it had influenced the way she treated her grandchildren. Opening up on how her great-grandmother treated her grandmother, Bush Hager said, "Her mother always thought of her sister as the really beautiful one and would say it. 'Martha's the pretty one, you're the funny one, you're the smart one. Martha's this one, you're that one.'" Bush Hager then added, "Late in life, she said, 'You know when I said those things to you, I was talking to myself.'" Bush Hager reveals that owing to this incident, she did not wear a bikini ‘for years.’
However, it would seem that while she had been insecure as a teenager, she has grown to be a lot more confident as an adult. Especially since her co-host Hoda Kotb had revealed that Bush Hager ‘never wears underwear’ and that she finds it very comfortable. "I was a little surprised because Jenna and I know a lot about each other," she said as per People. She had found out about Bush Hager’s comfort with not wearing underwear right before she went on air that night and said that she “had a little shock with it.”