Livingston, a news anchor on Wisconsin’s WKBT News 8 This Morning received an email from a “concerned” male viewer. The email read:

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 condition 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.

This is where I recite my version of one of my favorite Jay-Z one-liners, “What she eats, doesn’t make you shit”. I can’t understand why he felt the need to email this news anchor. It’s safe to say that she already realizes how much she weighs, I doubt she needed someone to point that out to her. But Jennifer didn’t let this slide. She obviously has an outlet to air her views, so she put it to use. In a response back to the “concerned” jackass, she wrote:

The truth is: 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? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don’t see? You don’t know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family and you have admitted that you don’t watch the show. So you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside… And I am much more than a number on a scale.

October is 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.

And this is one of the reasons why we have bullies and racists. Ignorance breeds ignorance. I’m glad Jennifer Livingston didn’t push this email to the wayside. The internet breeds a certain kind of ignorance. The kind that feels that it’s ok to say what they want, because they’re anonymous. I truly hope the person behind the email had an opportunity to hear what she said. It would probably take a miracle for him to even grasp what she’s saying, but someone got the message, even if it wasn’t him.

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  • Sweetles

    I think some of you missed the point. From reading the above article, I don’t get the impression that the news anchor felt she was being bullied. She acknowledges that the man who wrote the letter said some cruel things, but I think the bigger picture is that in this society, it is acceptable to say foul and inappropriate things. She tied her response into this month, which is anti bullying month. The message in what she said was outstanding.

    “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.”

    Her words were true. and anyone who has kids needs to pay attention. Mean, nasty, and disrespectful kids learn their behaviors from somewhere, and more than likely it is from the parents, who are the first teachers.

  • jess

    Dude lost me at the part where he said “hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle”. At what point did she take that oath? Her JOB is provide reliable information. ‘Tis all.

  • I’ve noticed how bullies can get away with their bullying by prefacing their insults with “I care about you and your health…” Or with, “I am worried about your weight…”

  • Mademoiselle

    I doubt I’m in the majority of viewpoints, but I’m convinced that so many of the people championing weight loss have only found a new way to say “I hate looking at fat people” and get away with it because the latest meme is “health.”

    The truth is when a lot of people blow the healthy vs obese whistle, what they really mean is they want everyone to be “visually healthy.” When’s the last time someone asked a thin person whether they were naturally thin despite eating like they’re on death row or if they actually worked to maintain the size they are?

    If everyone were walking around at a size 6 or lower, I bet a lot less people would question whether anyone was actually healthy because visual health is all some people are asking for.

    I’m ready for people to start discussing medical numbers outside of weight and pant size. Until then, a lot of this just seems like a socially accepted bullying movement.

  • Caterina

    I am really happy to see so many positive comments on here!
    So many people feel free- to say awful things to people who are overweight. I gained a huge amount of weight from a medical situation, and now- even though I am actively losing- so many people thinks it’s necessary to tell me to lose weight, and never take time to congratulate or celebrate my wins. When people do that, I have to struggle not to feel like it’s not worth my time to bother, because the only thing people will notice are the negatives. Be positive! Motivate others to their best! And you don’t motivate with mails like that.