Kelly Ripa reflected on being body-shamed by the All My Children wardrobe department nine days after giving birth to her eldest son, Michael, in 1997.
The 53-year-old talk show host opened up about the incident on the 6 December episode of her podcast, “Let’s Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa,” in which she candidly recalled her experience with post-partum depression. She spoke with her guest, One Tree Hill alum Hilarie Burton, about what it was like returning to work after giving birth.
“The wardrobe people were like, ‘We thought you’d be smaller by now,” she revealed to Burton. “I was like, ‘Well, I’m not going to be smaller anytime soon. I don’t know much but here’s what I do know. This looks like it’s going to be here for a while. I’m not in any rush.’”
Although she tried to put on a good front, the former soap opera star admitted that she struggled with her body image and mental health behind the scenes. “I didn’t recognize my body,” Ripa said. “I was on a soap and I had to go back to work 9 days after, 9 days! It was brutal.”
According to Ripa, the experience of giving birth was isolating, adding that she “felt like I was on an island” despite her husband Mark Consuelos’ parents moving in to help with the young couple with their firstborn.
“I think all women who have given birth will tell you that they feel they are on an island,” she continued. “I don’t care what the support system is.”
In 1990, Ripa was cast as party girl Hayley Vaughan in the long-running soap opera. She exited the show in 2002, concluding a 12-year run as the character. While on the show, Ripa met her now husband and talk show co-host, eloping after just a few months of meeting in 1996.
In May of this year, they celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary, with both posting sweet throwback photos of their nuptials and of them kissing. She captioned the picture on her Instagram Story, saying: “Love of my life.”
Besides their eldest Michael, the longtime couple share a daughter, Lola, 22, and a son Joaquin, 20. They not only share children together but also a talk show gig, with Mark having recently taken over from Ryan Seacrest as co-host on Ripa’s morning talk show, Live with Kelly and Mark.
In April, the couple faced backlash from audiences with the first episode of Live with Kelly and Mark, which they reportedly dubbed “boring” and “brutal.” Despite ongoing criticisms of the pair’s co-hosting chemistry, sources close to production told PageSix that they have settled into a new groove.
“Kelly’s been through this before — with every new co-host!” the production source shared. “If it wasn’t Mark — say it was [Ripa pal] Andy Cohen — it would be the same exact story.”