'Today' Host Jenna Bush Hager Reveals Being 'Body-Shamed by Grandmother Barbara Bush as Teenager

During her teenage years, Jenna Bush Hager wanted to "hide" after her grandmother Barbara Bush body-shamed her. While wearing a yellow bikini, Bush Hager's grandparent said she looked "chubby," Bush Hager recently shared on the Today show. As the journalist clarified last week, she "adored" her family member, who passed away in 2018, despite her "biting personality." In her apology to Bush Hager years after the comment, the former first lady explained that she had been "talking to herself" since her mother, Pauline Pierce, had spoken to her like that as a child. "Her mother always thought of her sister as the really beautiful one and would say it," Bush Hager said. "'Martha's the pretty one. You're the funny one. You're the smart one.'" Despite the apology, Bush Hager didn't "wear a bikini for years," until 2022, when she finally wore a two-piece bathing suit. "After having three kids, three C-sections, [I did it]," said the former teacher, who has three children with her husband, Henry Hager: Mila, 9, and Poppy, 7, and son Hal, 3.

Over the past year, the star has been glowing thanks to a slight change in her habits – which includes exercising more and having a more positive attitude – as she explained in March 2022. During a chat about New Year's resolutions last month with Hoda Kotb, Bush Hager spoke about the new her.  Kotb told Bush Hager, "Can I tell you something that I've noticed and our viewers have noticed over the past few weeks? "People have noticed that there's like a transformation that's been happening with you. You are – they are just saying, 'Jen is looking amazing, she's never looked this good.'Bush Hager replied, "I will say I think I have figured out what works for me. And I think the hard thing is I think we expect things to happen overnight. This has actually been over six months."

When asked what she's been doing, she replied, "The difference is I wake up before the show and I work out. And I really work out. I work out with an awesome woman named Amanda. Donna joins me sometimes. "Donna is a great inspiration. She gets up at the crack of dawn and meets me. We have another friend that comes too, sometimes." Furthermore, the star said she had changed her attitude and now no longer judges herself harshly. "Here's the other thing – anybody who has either gained weight during the pandemic or had babies during the pandemic, it just takes time. My body isn't 18 anymore," she said.Then Kotb mentioned that Bush Hager's mother, Laura Bush, also provided a lot of encouragement. "She said, 'Of course, you look like that now. Hal's two and a half. Give yourself that grace.' "I had three babies and it's going to look this way…allow yourself the time."