Melissa McCarthy has hit back at a critic for calling her ''tractor-sized'' earlier this year.

The 'Identity Thief' star feels sorry for New York film reviewer Rex Reed but his harsh comments about her last February did not get her down.

The 42-year-old Oscar-nominee told The New York Times: ''I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate. I just thought, that's someone who's in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot. I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing me songs.''

Melissa, who has two daughters, Vivian, six, and Georgette, three, with her husband Ben Falcone, admitted her first reaction to the piece was shock and she wondered why the New York Observer published the scathing article, in which Rex also called her ''a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success.''

She said: ''Why would someone O.K. that?''

Melissa also confessed that if she was younger, the review ''may have crushed me.''

She believes there is currently ''a strange epidemic of body image and body dysmorphia,'' among women, and that reviews like Rex Reed's ''just add to all those younger girls, that are not in a place in their life where they can say, 'That doesn't reflect on me.' ''