Bush Hager revealed on 'Today with Hoda and Jenna' that she and her twin sister were bestowed unusual nicknames as toddlers
The Today co-hosts discussed the “childhood wounds” they dealt with while growing up, and how they impacted their personalities and later successes. Bush Hager noted how her childhood quirky nickname and appearance may have also affected how she sees herself.
“I don’t know if this is something I told myself, but I feel like the kids who weren’t as cute when you're little have to have great personalities,” said the 41-year-old host. “Because you kind of do look like a little boy and people say, ‘What’s your son’s name?’”
She continued to explain that her parents, former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, named her Benny and called Barbara Beau. “Because somebody said ‘Your twin boys are adorable’ and they actually came up with full names for us because they thought it was funny," she joked. “That, in turn, made me funny. If I was the cutest little girl, I might have been in pageants.”
Kotb, 59, quipped, “What happened to your personality?” To which Bush Hager replied, “It could have dwindled!”
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Ahead of Bush Hager’s nickname admission, she shared with her co-host that she was typically the last person to be picked in gym class. “It feels bad but this is not the sword that I die on," she said. "There’s other childhood wounds that kind of, every once in a while pick a little.”
Kotb agreed, adding, “I think that feeling comes out in so many ways.”
Bush Hager added other examples of how those feelings emerged. “It could be the day of Valentine’s Day when they send out the bouquets of flowers…" she began.
Kotb interjected, “ — And you wonder, ‘Am I getting one?’ ” She added how those wounded moments can arise when participating in classrooms. “It could be when the teacher calls out your name in the class and you’re praying, ‘Not me, not me.’ "
Bush Hager explained that extracurricular activities at school provoked these thoughts. She admitted, “It kind of could be being the chubby little kid that none of the boys wanted to ask for dances.”
“Does that resonate?” she asked. “It resonates with me.”
Following Bush Hager’s vulnerability, Kotb acknowledged how those moments propel people into great success. “But I do think those kids in that number, those are the ones that wind up later in life find the most success.”
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