'Dancing with the Stars' contestant Ginger Zee says other people's opinions 'weigh on me'

Posted May 17

“Dancing With the Stars” contestant and ABC chief meteorologist Ginger Zee got some advice from a panel of moms, including reality star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, on not listening to other people’s opinions about her parenting decisions, particularly about going back to work after a baby.

“I think we should warn Ginger about the mom world,” Polizzi said on People’s “Mom Talk.” “That moms are judgy (and) rude.”

Polizzi went on to say that she was so happy a woman like Zee was a “normal” mom because some can be “mean to each other.”

“I like to empower all moms to lift each other up. We’re not all the same, we do different things, we parent different. At the end of the day, we’re all moms and we take care of our kids.”

Zee said in the dicussion that she has compared herself to others, especially after agreeing to compete on this season’s DWTS just four months after giving birth to her first son.

“I’m embarrassed to say this, but in a way, I let other people’s opinions weigh on me,” she said. “It’s still fresh.”

Zee said she feels like she has been bullied on social media, and, try as she may, finds it hard not to read harsh comments.

“As much as I tell myself, ‘Oh, I’m not going to look at that tweet,' or 'I’m not going to read that email,’ it still hits me. And it still hurts," she said.

Zee mentioned a particular comment that stung about her breastfeeding decision.

“I got one the other day (saying), ‘How can you not be breastfeeding?’ I was like, ‘First of all, how do you know what I’m doing? You don’t know what I’m doing!’”

Zee said that being a mother has changes her perspective.

"I was so good for the last 15 years of a career of people, they can say whatever they want to me. … But when you’re a mom, it’s like, ‘Wait, no! I’m really trying here!’”

The panel quickly came to her defense, stating that whatever decision she has made may not be right for everyone, but is right for her.

“It’s hard as a working mom, and what I have found is that all moms just want to do it right and just want to feel like they’re doing the right thing,” says actress Alysia Reiner, who has a 7-year-old daughter. “So the stay-at-home moms might have their opinions about you, just because they want to feel like they’re doing it right — just like you want to feel like you’re doing it right.”

Zee has stated that she wanted to compete on “Dancing With the Stars” to rediscover who she is as a person.

“Every woman who has been pregnant knows that it messes with your mind a little bit,” she told People Magazine. “You are suddenly someone else: you are a mother who is now responsible for another human being. That’s awesome, but it changes who you are.”

The first time she walked out on stage to perform, all her nerves vanished and Zee said she felt pure joy.

“I was nervous coming out here as this new mom with no dance experience, but it means so much that the joy I felt getting on that stage shined through.”

As much as she talks about feeling picked on, Zee has a strong fan base that has been rooting for her and has kept her on the show thus far.

I have personally loved watched Zee perform. I love her attitude and her realness. It’s been my experience that for every loud, negative comment there are 100 quiet positive ones. If only they could be as remembered!

So here’s one from me: Keep shining, Ginger. You are doing just fine.

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News.


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