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05.12.11

Shut Up About My Body, Glenn Beck

After Meghan McCain wore a revealing dress in a skin-cancer PSA, Glenn Beck launched a vicious tirade about her body—suggesting she wear a burqa and saying the idea of her naked made him want to vomit. In an open letter to Beck, McCain asks if this is the legacy he wants to leave his daughters.

Dear Mr. Beck,

I am writing to thank you for helping me spread the word about a serious condition.

A few months ago, I filmed a PSA for skin-cancer awareness where I posed in a strapless Juicy dress to appear “naked,” as a metaphor for the dangers of going out in the sun without sunscreen. I thought that pretending to be naked (even if I only disrobed to my collar bone) would hopefully call attention to skin cancer, a disease that both my parents have suffered from.

I don’t know if you know this, Mr. Beck, but that scar on the side of my father’s face is from a melanoma he had removed when I was in middle school. Did you know melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer? Did you also know that between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to be 65 will have either basal-cell carcinoma or squamous-cell carcinoma skin cancer? And that there are more than 2 million cases of skin cancer discovered in the United States every year? It’s pretty scary, Glenn, and something everyone in America should be made aware of.

But the thing is, Glenn, I wasn’t really naked, and I know the idea of me being naked caused you to vomit on your radio show for 10 minutes. You suggested I should wear a burqa, since you believe that's probably the only clothing that could possibly fit me. By the way, you should really see a doctor because it isn’t normal to vomit for that long.

While you're at the doctor's office, why not get checked for moles on your skin to make sure you don’t have any signs of skin cancer? Skincancer.org suggests, “Throughout the year, you should examine your skin head to toe once a month, looking for any suspicious lesions. Self-exams can help you identify potential skin cancers early, when they can almost always be completely cured.”

While we’re on the subject of you vomiting on air, maybe we should have a little talk. Clearly you have a problem with me, and possibly women in general, but the truth is, it’s 2011 and I heard your show on Fox was canceled. Isn’t that an indication that the era of the shock-jock pundit is over? Don’t you think that’s a sign you should be pulling it back a little? I mean, if you’re too conservative and outrageous for Fox, that should tell you something. There really is no need to make something like my participation in a skin-cancer PSA into a sexist rant about my weight and physical appearance, because I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Glenn: you are the only one who looks bad in this scenario, and at the end of the day you have helped me generate publicity for my skin-cancer PSA, a cause that I feel quite passionate about.

As a person known for his hot body, you must find it easy to judge the weight fluctuations of others, especially young women.

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You’re a full-grown man with teenage daughters who are probably dealing with the sexist, body-obsessed media environment that is difficult for all women. Is this really the legacy you want to be leaving for yourself?

As a person who is known for his hot body, you must find it easy to judge the weight fluctuations of others, especially young women. If any of your daughters are ever faced with some kind of criticism of their physical appearance or weight, they should call me, because women’s body image is another issue I feel passionate about, and have become accustomed to dealing with and speaking with young women about on my college tours.

So thanks for spreading the word, Glenn. And next time, instead of jumping straight to the “Meghan McCain fat jokes,” maybe try out some new material. Because the fat-joke thing, it’s been done so many times, I know a creative intellect such as yourself can do better than that.

Love,

Meghan

Meghan McCain is a columnist for The Daily Beast. Originally from Phoenix, she graduated from Columbia University in 2007. She is a New York Times bestselling children's author, previously wrote for Newsweek magazine, and created the Web site mccainblogette.com. Her most recent book, Dirty Sexy Politics, was published in August.