WKBT anchor Jennifer Livingston took a moment during Tuesday’s morning newscast (Oct. 2, 2012) to directly address a recent email she received from a viewer complaining about her weight.
“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?” Livingston asked in response. “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 this show. So you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside. And I am much more than a number on the scale.”
Livingston went on to say that October is National Anti Bullying Month, and that she hopes her response to the email will serve to raise awareness of bullying behavior, which is “passed down from people like the man who wrote me that email.”
“If you are at home and talking about the fat news lady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat,” Livingston said.
Livingston thanked friends, family and colleagues, saying, “I will never be able to thank you enough for your words of support, and for taking a stand against this bully. We are better than that email. We are better than the bullies that will try to take us down.”
Some people are calling her reaction “over-dramatic,” but calling someone obese out of the blue is pretty much an insult. Also, you have to keep in mind that we all are not the same, and just because one person can be in shape it doesn’t mean the rest can keep their weight/figure as well. I really don’t understand why a man would think he can criticize a woman’s weight like that, especially when he’s not even a regular viewer, so why does he even care?
I heard somewhere that Jennifer Livingston has a thyroid problem, so that could explain her weight. But again, why would he care? Is it because he expected a young, skinny woman on that show? I don’t think a bulimic woman would be better at talking about health and weight issues either.
I don’t think people should assume a person’s figure is a reflection of their eating habits or overall lifestyle. I know plenty of “skinny” people who have more health problems than I do, and I’m overweight. Just because the media over-glorifies skinny people doesn’t mean it’s right to do so and every thick person out there is suddenly obese.
TL;DR: You shouldn’t criticize other people’s weight when you don’t even know them.