When 19-year-old Ashley Kauffman and her girlfriends arrived for the April 7 taping of American Idol, they were ecstatic. That was, until they were led to their seats. According to the California native, there were two women who looked the girls up and down, and then split them into groups, one that would be in the front row and one a few rows behind. And while separating them, one of the Idol employees said: "You're just too big, too heavy to be in front."
First, what a mean b***h. Second, can you imagine what a phrase like that could do to a girl's self esteem?! Kauffman has since spoken out and appeared on Good Morning America. And to be honest -- I don't know what that woman's talking about. Sure, she may not be a size 2, but what I see is a well-composed, awesome teenager.
Kauffman told Robin Roberts that the weight insults didn't stop there. Apparently, another usher looked at her tickets and said, "This makes sense why you're not with the skinny girls." Reps from Idol have commented about the incident since, saying that the allegations were simply untrue. Sorry Idol, but I don't think that any 19-year-old would build up the courage to talk about her weight on national television without proper cause.
She looks like she's going to lose it at one point, but kudos for her for keeping it together. Talking about your weight, no matter if you are 19 or 60, isn't easy. I can't even imagine referring to myself as "heavier" on a morning news show. It honestly kills me to hear her attempt to justify the woman's actions even a little bit by saying she's aware that she's larger than her friends. She tells Robin Roberts:
The look on her face was just as if I was disgusting. And I've known I'm heavier than some of the girls I was with and I know I've been heavier and stuff growing up but, like, honestly I didn't think I was disgusting looking. I've always believed that God made me exactly how he wanted to make me, and God doesn't make mistakes.
Again, there's no way to 100 percent verify Kauffman's story. However, if it's true, the harsh reality of this scenario is the women were seating these girls according to how they'd be viewed by the national audience. Is this really what has become of American prime time TV? You can't tell me that Idol fans would tune out of the show simply because Jane Doe, America's average brunette sitting at 135 pounds, is in prime view. To be honest, I don't know if I've ever paid attention to who was behind J. Lo, anyway.
Kauffman reiterated to Roberts that she was very gracious for the seats she got, and that the reason she's speaking out now is so that girls know it's not OK to take this sort of treatment just because of their size. No, she doesn't want money. All she wants is an apology. I say, you go girl! Your confidence radiates, and your shoes on GMA were stellar.
What do you think of Kauffman being told she was "too heavy" to be in Idol's front row?
Image via ABC