Things You Didn't Know About Ginger Zee

She's one of the rising stars of ABC's top-rated Good Morning America, but how well do you really know meteorologist and Dancing with the Stars finalist Ginger Zee? Let's get to know the bubbly Michigan native.

She's named after a famous TV character

According to Chicago magazine, Zee's father, a Dutch immigrant, named her after the glamorous character Ginger Grant on Gilligan's Island. "My father didn't know English when he came here, so he'd watch Gilligan's Island all the time," Zee said. "Ginger taught him English."

Ironically, Zee told Time Out magazine in 2011 that she's "more of a Mary Ann" in personality, though she admits to being a huge fan of Grant's style. "I love the glamour that Ginger brings to the island," Zee said. "I am hoping to do that here in Manhattan. I need to get one of those pearl colored sparkly gowns at some point."

She suffers from narcolepsy

According to Chicago magazine, Zee was diagnosed with narcolepsy at age 21. Reflecting on her battle with the chronic sleep disorder, Zee told the magazine, "It's funny, because I think about how I used to live, and I realize it was fuzzier, slower. Your whole world is different. I just thought I was laid-back."

She battled anorexia as a child

During a May 2016 episode of Dancing with the Stars, Zee revealed for the first time publicly that she suffered from anorexia after her parents split when she was 10 years old. "I think [the split] affected my childhood a lot," Zee revealed in a pre-performance interview (via Us Weekly). "We were moving. I had to make the new friends. I had to do everything. I had to control something so I was like, 'I know what I can do. I'll just not eat,'" she recalled. "I don't think I even knew how bad it was at that time."

In a subsequent blog post for ABC News, Zee described her battle with anorexia as a "horrendous spiral" that "could have taken [her life]." "My mom was scared she was going to lose her daughter," she wrote.

In fact, things got so dark, her mom actually took her to an in-patient treatment center to show her what anorexia can do to a person's life. "It was to scare me, basically," Zee told People. "There were girls who were on their way to death. 'That one will die tomorrow,' she'd say. It was shocking and it didn't make me better right away but I knew I had the great support of my family and the fear factor was there."

Zee battled anorexia until she was 14 years old, according to Us Weekly.

She was homecoming queen

According to, Zee was crowned homecoming queen her senior year at Rockford High School in Rockford, Mich. Despite the glamorous honor, she claims her high school experience was actually a bit of a disaster. "Going through high school, I never wore makeup," she told Chicago magazine. "I'd never even had my hair cut at a salon. My best friend used to cut it. I was a full-on mess." Something tells us that last statement is a bit of an exaggeration.

She owes her career to a waterspout

Zee has been really into weather and meteorology ever since she was a little kid. "I chose this career because I saw a waterspout on Lake Michigan when I was eight," she told Chicago magazine. "My mom told us to get inside, but I was mesmerized. I really thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen."

"Obsessed is probably the right word," Zee said while discussing her passion for weather on The Wendy Williams Show. "A lot of kids, they grow up, they like dolls, they like basketball. Every kids gets really kind of into something. Mine was tornadoes." she said. "Science and math were my favorite subjects, and as I went through school, it started to hit me: I'd better make this my love and my life."

Zee attended Valparasio University on a scholarship and graduated with a degree in meteorology, according to an interview with NBC 5 Chicago.

She dated Reed Timmer

Zee was previously in a relationship with Storm Chasers' Reed Timmer, and actually appeared on an episode of the hit Discovery Channel series in 2010. During the episode, Zee says she and Timmer met at band camp when they were kids. "He was better than me at the oboe," she said before the pair headed off on a perfectly normal storm-chasing date.

She married an NBC reporter

Zee is now married to another news personality, Ben Aaron, whom she met during a spin class for charity. "He walked me and a friend home across Central Park," Zee told "I immediately emailed him when I got up to my apartment. I knew!" According to the report, the couple got engaged after dating for about a year and said "I do" in Zee's home state of Michigan in June 2014. "Ben is my partner for life," she told People magazine. "I knew it as soon as I met him. I've never been more ready for anything in my life."

She's a new mom

In December 2015, Zee and Aaron welcomed their first child together, son Adrian Benjamin Colonomos, in New York City. Remarkably, Zee competed on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars about three months after giving birth, a decision she said led her to become a target of online bullying.

"I got [a comment] the other day [saying], 'How can you not be breastfeeding?'" Zee said during a mom forum for People magazine. "I was like, 'First of all, how do you know what I'm doing? You don't know what I'm doing!'" Zee it's been hard to ignore online comments. "I can't stop [reading the comments]," she said. "As much as I tell myself, 'Oh, I'm not gonna look at that tweet' or 'I'm not gonna look at that email,' it still hits me. It still hurts."

Despite the drama of social media, Zee still considers motherhood to be a life-changing experience. "Every woman who has been pregnant knows that it messes with your mind a little bit," she told People. "You are suddenly someone else: you are a mother who is now responsible for another human being. That's awesome, but it changes who you are."