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Meredith Shaw opens up about being 'one of the very few plus-size women' on Canadian TV: 'I am not my body'

The 42-year-old television personality stars alongside Tracy Moore, Ann Pornel and Lauren Chan in a new photoshoot.

Meredith Shaw talks being a plus-size woman on television. (Image via Instagram/@meredithshaw)
Meredith Shaw talks being a plus-size woman on television. (Image via Instagram/@meredithshaw)

Meredith Shaw is opening up as her experience as "one of the very few plus-size women" on Canadian television.

The 42-year-old "Breakfast Television" host is just one of the women featured in The Kit's latest issue that sheds light on the harsh commentary women in the public eye face about their bodies. Plus-size model Lauren Chan, "Cityline" host Tracy Moore and "The Great Canadian Baking Show" star Ann Pornel all share their stories of learning to accept their bodies no matter the size.

Shaw told The Kit that body scrutiny has been a constant in her career, "because I show up in spaces where people might not expect someone who looks like me."

The radio host said it's not uncommon for viewers to send her messages criticizing her appearance.

"It's like this: 'I disagree with you and I didn't like your hair' or 'you need to lose weight,' or way worse," Shaw said. "It's something people think they can hurt me with. I think before, when I was having a lot of trouble, it would have stopped me in my tracks. Now, I can kind of remove who I am from what they think I look like."

Shaw admitted that growing up, being labelled "plus size" made her feel uneasy. "I fell prey to a lot of pressures early on and really struggled with eating and eating disorders," Shaw said.

Beyond "plus size," Shaw expressed discomfort with several other terms used to describe larger bodies. "'Fat,' that's a hard one; I can't say it doesn't snap a little bit for me. But I love hearing other people claim that word. 'Big boned' seems like an odd way to describe someone. I'm not sure about my bones; it's more about what's covering them," she said. "And 'flattering.' That just seems to imply thinner is better, framing weight loss as good and weight gain as bad."

Despite the negativity that often comes with public visibility, Shaw maintained a strong sense of self-worth. "I am and I am not my body. My identity and purpose, why I have my job, why I'm in my relationship — they're not tied to my body or its size," she said.

Shaw took to her personal Instagram to share snaps from the photoshoot with The Kit, along with a powerful message about body diversity and the importance of respectful conversation.

"Yes, we are so much more than our bodies, yet we celebrate them today for their uniqueness. Hoping you do the same for yours," she wrote.

The support flooded in from fans and fellow Canadian public figures who praised Shaw for her courage and advocacy in promoting a healthier, more inclusive dialogue around body positivity.

"So honoured to stand alongside you!" Lauren Chan commented on the post.

Tracy Moore chimed in, writing, "It was an incredible afternoon and I can't wait to chat about it with you next week Mere. Thanks for inviting me to be a part of this journey."

Former "ET Canada" host Sangita Patel commented: "Please tell me you will be framing this. It's epic. All of you look effin' hot," while Cheryl Hickey added: "Stunning, beautiful and inspiring."

"You all look so beautiful," "Breakfast Television" host Dina Pugliese shared.

"All I can say is thank you to you all. I wish this had've happened when I was younger, but I'm thrilled that change is happening at all!" a fan wrote.

"This is amazing and exactly what we need! Inspirational and changing the narrative for the next generation," another Instagram user shared.

One commenter added: "I read the article, it's incredible. This is what people need to hear. It's unfair that women can't simply exist and pursue careers without being body shamed and bullied. Thank you for speaking out. I have been pursuing a career in the spotlight as well, and the only thing that really scares me is being perceived and shamed for not being thin or pretty enough."

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