Valerie Bertinelli expresses some regret at contributing to ‘diet culture’ by hyping Jenny Craig

Valerie Bertinelli is speaking out about her past “buying into the diet industry” after posting an emotional video in which she reacted to a body shamer online. 

The actress and television personality shared a video on her Instagram over the weekend in which she got emotional and started crying. She delivered a speech to her followers highlighting a commenter on a previous post who noted that Bertinelli needed to lose weight. 

While the video ended on a note of empowerment in which the star called for people to employ empathy when they see that a public or private figure in their lives has gained weight, some took notice of the fact that the former pitchwoman for Jenny Craig is now speaking out about body shaming issues. 

In response to one particularly aggressive commenter on Twitter, Bertinelli copped to the fact that she has “helped create the problem” in the past when it comes to giving people negative body image issues. 

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“Sorry Valerie Bertinelli @Wolfiesmom – you spent decades telling the rest of us to get thin, shilled weight loss shakes, potions & snake oil & NOW wanna be a body shaming warrior? You don’t get to be a victim when you helped create the problem. Grow up if you can’t take the heat,” the user wrote. 

On Saturday, Bertinelli responded: “Somehow I don’t think you’re really sorry, but, let me respond anyway. I’m not a victim. I can take the heat. I made the video so I could get my feelings out instead of squashing them down and eating them, which is what I usually do.”

In a follow-up tweet, the actress addressed her time as a Jenny Craig spokesperson, expressing her regret at buying into a system of diet culture and hyping it for other women experiencing the same issues as her as a solution.

“Yes, I spent 6 years ‘shilling’ for Jenny Craig. (your math’s a little off),” she wrote. “I have been buying into the diet industry my whole life and then I became part of the problem, so here I am today receiving the karma of my actions.”

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Bertinelli concluded: “You can go ahead and judge all you like. However, I can warn you, from experience, that kind of karma doesn’t feel great either.”

In her initial video post, Bertinelli responded to a negative comment noting that she’s put on weight in the last year. 

“Because see, I don’t have a scale or have clothes that I’m trying to put on every day and I don’t have mirrors so I don’t see what’s become of me. So I needed that help to let me know that I need to lose weight,” the star said sarcastically. “You’re not being helpful.”

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Valerie Bertinelli expressed some regret for being a Jenny Craig spokesperson.  

Valerie Bertinelli expressed some regret for being a Jenny Craig spokesperson.   (Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The actress has had a difficult year. In addition to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic like the rest of the world, her ex-husband and father of her son, Eddie Van Halen, died in October.

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Through tears, she added: “Because when you see somebody who has put some weight on… my first thought is, ‘that person is obviously going through some things.’ Because if I could lose the weight and keep it off, I would. But since I haven’t been successful with that, my whole entire life at 61, I’m still dealing with… you think I’m not tired of it lady? Where’s the compassion?”

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