Jenna Bush Hager reveals grandma Barbara Bush body-shamed her in bikini


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Jenna Bush Hager won’t ever forget a comment her late grandma Barbara Bush said to her during her teen years.

The journalist, 41, recalled during an episode of “Today with Hoda and Jenna” how Barbara, who passed away in 2018, once called her “chubby” when she wore a bikini.

Hager recollected her experience when she was an adolescent and wore a yellow two-piece swimsuit to co-anchor Hoda Kotb.

“I was laying next to my sister [Barbara Bush], and my grandmother, who I adored, but had kind of a biting personality, said something like, ‘Oh, Jenna! Looking chubby,’” Hager said.

The mother of three then noted how much Bush’s words influenced her later in life. “I remember feeling like I wanted to hide in it,” she said.

However, it wasn’t until years later that Hager understood where her granny’s words stemmed from — even though the statements still pained her.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush and her twin sister Barbara attend the first night session of the 2000 Republican National Convention on July 31, 2000, in Philadelphia, PA.
Getty Images

“[My grandma] later told me that her mother said those types of things to her,” Hager explained.

She went on: “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,’” she said. “And so like late, late at life, she said, ‘When I said those things to you, I was talking to myself.’”

In a November episode of the morning show, Hager confessed that she doesn’t like to wear underwear.

Jenna Bush Hager
“Today” show anchors Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager discussed body image on a recent episode.
TODAY with Hoda & Jenna

She admitted that not sporting undergarments “makes a more pretty silhouette!”

“I also think you don’t have to pack as much. There’s a lot of pros to it!” she added, before playfully reprimanding Kotb for spilling her secrets in front of the live studio audience. 

“You promised me you wouldn’t do this! There’s a lot of people here!” Hager quipped. “I’m sure my mom has never been more proud.”

The two anchors also agreed that not wearing underwear can “make life a lot easier.”

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