In promoting her new book, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has come forward with several stories of being called “chubby,” “fat,” and “porky” by her male colleagues in Congress.
In one incident from her early days in the Senate, Gillibrand describes an older senator who approached her from behind and squeezed her waist. “Don’t lose too much weight now,” she recalls him saying. “I like my girls chubby.”
It’s one of many episodes she recounted in an interview with People magazine that is not yet online but which was reported by the New York Post on Wednesday. Most of the remarks were directed toward Gillibrand during her self-described struggle with her weight during and after her second pregnancy.
In the House gym, she recalled, another of her male colleagues advised her to work out to avoid getting “porky.”
“Thanks, a—hole,” she quipped in her book.
In yet another instance, a Southern congressman held her arm as they walked down the chamber aisle, telling her, “[y]ou know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.”
Gillibrand also recounted the time a labor leader advised her to improve her looks if she wanted to win a special election for her Senate seat in 2010.
“When I first met you in 2006 you were beautiful, a breath of fresh air. To win, you need to be beautiful again,” he said.
Last year in an exchange reported in the New Yorker, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told Gillibrand: “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, Kirsten, but you’re what my family would call a honey badger.” The remark, according to the New Yorker, was meant to compliment Gillibrand as ambitious and predatory.
Gillibrand served from 2007-09 in the House before she was appointed to the Senate in 2009, filling the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton when she became secretary of state. Gillibrand won the above special election for the Senate seat in 2010 and was elected to a full term in 2012.
Her book, “Off The Sidelines,” is scheduled to be released Sept. 9. Below is a promo video for the book: