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Jenna Bush Hager Says Middle School Boyfriend Dumped Her When He Saw Her in a Bathing Suit

"Middle school is the pits!” Bush Hager declared, as she and 'Today' show co-host Hoda Kotb discussed their scarring childhood experiences

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty</p>

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty

Jenna Bush Hager is getting candid about her insecure middle school years.

The NBC News host, 42, opened up about a negative experience she had during middle school while exchanging stories about those awkward early childhood years with Hoda Kotb on Tuesday’s episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna.

“I had a boyfriend who saw me in a bathing suit and broke up with me, because he saw my birth mark,” she shared, to which Kotb asked, “Is that why he did that?”

“Well, I don’t know, but I’m just saying... And it was like, everybody feels bad [in middle school] so it was just this cesspool of insecurity,” Bush Hager continued. “So therefore there’s rage and bullying and all sorts of terrible things. Middle school is the pits!”

Related: Jenna Bush Hager's Funniest Stories About Life in the White House

Kotb shared her own story of feeling insecure when she got teased on the bus to school. “I remember sitting in the front of the bus and listening to people make fun of me and just willing the bus to get to school,” she recalled.

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty</p> Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty

Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Bush Hager noted that the middle school years were a “tough” time for most people since it was a “hormonal” time where kids didn’t know “who you are or what to do.”

“I was one of those people who was kind of a pleaser so I kind of went along with what other people were doing, which is a mistake,” Kotb shared.

Related: George W. Bush ‘Didn’t Care’ When People Made Fun of Him as President, Jenna Bush Hager Says: ‘He Loved It’

“Did you ever feel like you could talk to anybody about it?” Bush Hager asked Kotb, to which she responded, “I didn’t. I never brought it up to my parents ever. And maybe to a friend, sort of? I just think I was more of a ‘Let’s push through’ kind of thing. Cause I think back then, I don’t think that kids were so expressive.”

“I think you just sort of pushed through it,” Kotb continued. “And in a way, I guess it had its plusses because you found your way. You were like, ‘I have to figure out how to do this.’”

Bush Hager added that that's how people learn to be capable adults, because you have to rely on yourself and not “everyone.”

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Kotb also revealed that one girl at school “always threatened" to beat her up. “And she kept saying, ‘If I see you in the bathroom.’ And I didn’t even know her!” Kotb shared.

“I was like, ‘Why do you want to beat me up?’ I had no idea why. But I know I never mentioned it. I didn’t mention it. I just navigated it.”

"I’m going to need to know her name,” Bush Hager joked. “The Yellow Pages… now with the internet, you can find anyone.”

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