Oct 4, 2012

Jennifer Livingston, Fat-Shamed Local News Anchor Stands Up

What does the size of a person got to do with community personality?

I read this news this morning and i was really got disappointed to know that there are really callous people who would candidly judge other people simply by their looks and worst by their size.

The  morning news anchor for WKBT-TV in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Jennifer Livingston, was taken a back with an email she got last with a subject of  "Community Responsibility."  Her husband, the station's evening news anchor, Mike Thompson, was undeniably upset that he posted it on his official WKTB Facebook page.

"I've posted about negative emails the station has received in the past, but this one delivered specifically to my wife, morning anchor Jennifer Livingston, has just infuriated me," Thompson wrote. "Seriously, the fact that there are people out there like this (and I understand this person is a lawyer in town) makes me sick to my stomach."

The stunning email came from a local man who bashingly criticized Livingston's bigger or curvier body size, took issue with the fact that she is overweight and tries to make her feel ashamed about how she looked.

T he outpouring of support from the Facebook post of her husband inspired her to address the issue and read the email out loud on air. The email goes like this.. 
"Hi, Jennifer. It's unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical conniption hasn't improved for many years. Surely you don't consider yourself a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you'll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle." 
She didn't identify the writer of the email, saying only that she received it on Friday from a La Crosse Man, she responded and drive to promote Bullying Prevention Month.
News anchor Jennifer Livingston addresses her bully on air. (Photo: Screengrab from WKBT-TV)
"Yes, the truth is, I am overweight. You could call me fat and, yes, even obese on a doctor's chart. But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don't know that? October is national anti-bullying month, and this is a problem that is growing every day in our schools and on the internet. It is a major issue in the lives of young people today. And as the mother of three young girls, it scares me to death. Now I am a grown woman, and luckily for me, I have a very thick skin — literally, as that email pointed out, and otherwise. That man’s words mean nothing to me. But what really angers me about this is there are children who don’t know better… The internet has become a weapon. Our schools have become a battleground. And this behavior is learned. It is passed down from people like the man who wrote me that email. If you are at home, and you are talking about the fat newslady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat. We need to teach our kids how to be kind, not critical, and we need to do that by example.”
I like the words she used in wrapping up her editorial with a word to kids who find themselves facing bullies of their own. It was a striking quote.
"To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face. Listen to me right now: Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies," she said. "Learn from my experience that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many."

It really bothers me when people’s bullying is always overlooked just because somehow it is conveyed in a more appetizing set-up than the stereotypical shrieking threats. I think the person who wrote the email is a hell of an ignorant piece of shit. This guy, who happens to be a "lawyer" is certain that he doesn't like her figure and thinks that it doesn't suit her local public personality, so he went beyond his way and wrote her a nasty shaming email in excuse of trying to engage in a discourse about “healthy lifestyles".

I know obesity is a serious health issue but since when does size matter when you're a journalist reporting the news? We should be focusing with the issues of our societies and what's happening in our world today which is being delivered to us through news and not by the looks of the person delivering it. Instead of criticizing her physical figure, why not focus on her achievements and credibilities as a journalist.

I believe the email content was done immaturely by a judgeful sick person, who I assume finds his ownself "physically perfect". His unsolicited advice was really unhelpful. The mere fact that the sender pointed out her obesity was meant to hurt her and shame her for being fat. Shaming people is bad and untolerable. No one is entitled to call us names whether they scream it, post and comment it in social medias like twitter, tumblr or facebook, or write it in an email. Being critical of others is bullying. Before anyone allows themselves to criticize others, they should look at themselves and their own life and change for the better instead of looking at others "flaws". Bullying is bullying, no matter how it is being expressed. 

It makes me wonder if the person who sent the email is a good influence on the community? Uuummmmmm....



Bullying in any form should be stop. Bullism not only hurts people but it also ruins people's lives.

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