It can’t be easy to live your life in the public eye. Putting yourself out there comes with the unfortunate risk of constant judgment—particularly when it comes to your personal relationships. That’s something that Erin Napier of HGTV’s Home Town has already learned, after just one season of the series which she co-hosts with her husband, Ben Napier. Recently, she took to Instagram to address some hurtful criticism she received.
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I got an email today from a viewer who hates the way @scotsman.co touches me so much on the show. It makes her sick because it reminds her of men who treat women like objects, which made me hurt for her. The truth of it is, being an extreme introvert complicates my job and I suspect there are more of you out there like me. Being on TV is unnerving for me, and since we met he’s always understood. Every time he touches my arm, my back, it’s letting me know I’m not alone. He’s always right there, and then I’m not nervous anymore. ❤️
“I got an email today from a viewer who hates the way [Ben] touches me so much on the show,” Erin wrote. “It makes her sick because it reminds her of men who treat women like objects, which made me hurt for her. The truth of it is, being an extreme introvert complicates my job and I suspect there are more of you out there like me. Being on TV is unnerving for me, and since we met he’s always understood. Every time he touches my arm, my back, it’s letting me know I’m not alone. He’s always right there, and then I’m not nervous anymore.”
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An #HGTVHomeTown marathon was on @hgtv this morning
This isn’t the first time the Laurel, Mississippi, native has opened up about her struggle with the spotlight. She even quit Facebook shortly after the premiere date was announced due to negative comments.
“It’s hard for someone like me, a pleaser, to have no curiosity about what the people on Facebook have to say,” she wrote in a Daily Journal entry on the Laurel Mercantile website. “It’s also hard for someone like me, with a tender heart, to not be affected by it after I do. After spending just a few moments scrolling Facebook, with my pulse racing, I quickly realized I was not only not guarding my heart—I was opening the door and inviting trouble (and doubt and self-consciousness and worry) to come inside.”
The new issue of @okramag is on stands today and we are so grateful for the incredible feature on our store and our sweet town… But also, this picture makes me want to kiss Ben Napier square on the lips and squeal. Thank you for a beautiful editorial, Okra and @growlbros! Pick up your copy at @laurelmercantile if you’re around town!
Thankfully, Erin’s recent Instagram post sparked positive responses from fans who encouraged her that she should “ignore the haters”—they interpret Ben’s sweet affection as proof that he has the “utmost respect” for her. Joanna Gaines even commented with three heart emojis as a sign of support. Along with her husband, Chip, the Fixer Upper star has served as a sort of mentor to the Napiers. “The biggest piece of advice I’ve taken away from them is to keep our marriage and our family first—the stuff that’s been important to us all along—and as long as you do that, you’re going to be fine,” Erin told us back in March.
Ben’s reply to the Instagram post seems to confirm that the two are doing just that, even as they begin shooting season two: “Dang babe, you’re making me blush! I love you, let’s go eat some barbecue!”
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