Valerie Bertinelli Owns Her Past Role In Promoting Diet Culture

by Erica Gerald Mason
John Lamparski/Getty

The star responded to criticism about her involvement in the booming business of diet culture: ‘I became part of the problem’

Last week, Valerie Bertinelli began a conversation on social media about body-shaming and self-worth. Last Thursday, Bertinelli shared a video on Instagram in which she got emotional as she explained the way she felt after being told she needed to lose weight.

‘You’re not being helpful’: Valerie Bertinelli said to a troll who criticized her weight.

But the conversation didn’t end there. A follower decided to kick Bertinelli when she was down and called her out for helping to “create the problem” by promoting diet culture.

Referring back to Bertinelli’s stint as a spokesperson for weight-loss and weight-maintenance brand Jenny Craig, the commenter said that the actress “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.”

To her credit, Bertinelli listened to the criticism and addressed it head-on.

Her response to the tweet pointed out the errors in the accusation – and went on to drop some serious truth bombs.

“I’m not a victim,” the actor posted. “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.”

“Yes, I spent 6 years ‘shilling’ for Jenny Craig. (your math’s a little off),” Bertinelli began. “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.”

After her admission, Bertinelli issued a warning for her outspoken follower.

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

Since she opened up about the subject, she has received a lot of positive comments that have outnumbered any negative ones.

Bertinelli posted a second video to Instagram the day after she shared her earlier one, in which she shared her gratitude for the support she received.

“There’s so much kindness out there,” she said, still emotional, but with a smile this time. “I certainly do not feel so alone anymore.”