I Guess We DO Need Anti-Bullying Month When Grown Folks Are Trying To Fat Shame News Anchors

October 2, 2012  |  

Source: youtube.com

I was just saying to my sister October is everything month. It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s the month of my birth 😉 and I just learned today that it’s also Anti-Bullying Month. Now, that last one, the anti-bullying one I just learned about today; and I have to be honest when I say that my first reaction was, ‘oh lawd, must there be a month for everything.’ But just when you think you know something, God has a way of showing you just how wrong you are.

Minutes after learning that it was Anti-Bullying month, I stumbled across this video on The Frisky. It features anchorwoman, Jennifer Livingston, detailing a nasty e-mail she received from one of her viewers.

If, for some reason, you can’t watch the video right now, the e-mail read as follows:

Subject: Community Responsibility

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 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.

In the video Jennifer mentions that her husband works as one of the network’s producers so I’m sure that had something to do with how much time the station allotted her to not only respond to the email but to address children who may be experiencing this same type of thing at school.

If you were able to watch the video, you know that Jennifer held her own. She so eloquently stated that it was not this viewer’s place to attempt to scold her about her weight when he clearly doesn’t know her, even by his own admission. What struck me about the video is more about what his comment and the prevalence of other comments like his, online, in schools and in a host of other places, says about our culture in general.

Where is the compassion?

I know America has never really been the epitome of love and kindness (even though we like to pretend we are); but growing up, the thought that someone would try to clown the local anchorwoman would have been something close to unthinkable. What is really going on with people?

Maybe this viewer thought he/she was doing some type of service by telling Jennifer she wasn’t being a good role model by being “big” on television. First, just because someone appears thin on tv, doesn’t mean they’re maintaining their weight in the most healthy manner. But for little girls who are overweight, for whatever reason, I’m sure Jennifer serves as a type of role model for them. And even if she isn’t, Jennifer and her decision to publicly fight for herself and others who have been bullied certainly serves as a role model for me.

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  • AnonymousArizonan

    Actually, the only way to burn fat is to consume fewer calories than you burn. Fat is a storage of extra calories, from times you ate too many, for your body to draw upon in times of famine. (Which is why it’s a bad thing to be fat in a society that never has a food shortage at the level of a famine! If you never go hungry, that fat storage is just going to keep building up and up! Overeating in our society is a bad idea.)
    Exercise actually increases your weight, because muscle weighs more than fat. And, as you gain muscle, it pushes the excess body fat out and further emphasizes it, making you look even worse than when they were just fat.
    Further, fat without enough muscle in exercise, is like being really weak, with heavy weights strapped all over your body. It’s probably dangerous.
    They need to work on learning to diet healthily, lose a lot of the excess body fat… And, then they can start exercising after it’s not like having 50-200 lb.s in weights strapped to their torso. Besides, they really most of all need to learn… How to have a healthy diet, so they don’t “yo-yo” back out to obesity after they achieve their goal.
    Then, they can learn how to be fit, after being fit will start to actually be visible. If you’re inactive, fitness at an athletic level is really a luxury thing. You really only need however much muscle it takes to live your life, and you already have that, or you can’t walk.
    But, being of a healthy weight should not be the luxury status symbol it has become. Everyone should want good health.

  • Britt

    It’s amazing how she brings up the fact that the viewer doesn’t know her and isn’t a friend of hers….so if he was a friend, would the blow be less hurtful?

  • How rude and disrespectful is that? I’m glad that she held her poise when answering the question, she really turned it back on him. What business is it of that person as to whether she is fat or not, and who is he to give her advice? Most importantly, what does that have to do with how she can do her job? Just because someone is overweight does not mean that they are unhealthy. One of the most poignant things she said was that he had reduced her to a number, without looking at who she is as a person. I feel that this is the same for a lot of overweight people in our society; looking at someone’s appearance without considering their feelings. it needs to stop.

    • AnonymousArizonan

      What poise? She responded to a civilized letter by calling it’s author names (bully). That is more authentically a case of bullying than the mere criticism the letter writer gave her. She snuffed out honest and accurate criticism, written completely civilly, by saying he’s a bully, and implying he needs to now shut up before her anti-bully fans hunt him down and string him up on a tree in mob rule. Have you never heard of passive aggression? This used to be commonly understood just a decade ago, now if an obese person does it, we have to all back it or look the other way? It’s not going to happen. In no way is obesity a status symbol (it’s actually thinness that’s the status symbol in our present society) that gives the person right to just up and name call others and step on their freedom of speech. If obese people keep this anti-free speech, pro-double standards garbage up, I’m going to have to officially start associating obesity with Communism.

  • Wondering

    It was definitely cruel and rude to write an email like that! But I was wondering: if she was really skinny like anorexic, ppl would have complained because she would have been a bad example for teenager (e.g Calista Flockhart). So I was just wondering what is the difference? Is that because anorexia is a psychological disease? Is that because we think that ppl choose to be anorexic but they don’t choose to be overweight ?

  • This is ridiculous. I think we as a country need to get in shape and eat right, but how about her being a role model for thicker girls? This woman shows professionalism, education, elegance and the ability to work in a high profile journalistic job at the weight she is. Where is the problem? Does everyone have to look the same? Dang.

    • I dont think it has to do with everybody looking the same but more so a situation of america getting its obesity issues under control. Anytime you are talking about an obesity % that is steadily making its way towards 40% then real discussion and fixes NEED to be implemented. Almost 4 in 10 people in this country are obese. Children taking diabetes meds?!?! How is this not disturbing? Kids dying from heart conditions that for decades before were only heard of in adults?!?! How is that not disturbing? No not everyone man is going to have a ripped muscular body and not every woman is going to be built like jillian michaels. if for nothing else we have to strive for fixing this for children. They are headed for a lifetime of health issues starting as young as 10 years old. Just think of the individual health care costs.

  • Trisha_B

    I find this article kind of funny. Tho i agree, her weight has nothing to do w/ her job & the guy was a jerk writing her about her weight. But your talking about bullying online but what about the comment section on here when it comes to celebs? You go on to say “What struck me about the video is more about what his comment and the prevalence of other comments like his, online, in schools and in a host of other places, says about our culture in general.” Comments like these are posted on here about celebs all the time, whether it be talking about Rick Ross weight or Nicki Minaj edges. You guys find them as humor & have your weekly hilarious comment posts where most of the comments are making fun of celebs. But yet you have this article talking about compassion for talking about someone online. So what does that say about our culture? I always find it funny when blogs do posts on online bullying when blogs are like the #1 spot for bullying. & yes, celebs can be bullied too (
    they do have feelings) lol

  • I love how she turned it around and let the bully know that the bad example was being set by him not her! Good job!

    • AnonymousArizonan

      What bully? They just featured the letter on 3 TV, the person is not a bully, and made fine points. Do you even know what bullying is?

      • I think the question is do you know what a bully is? While you may not agree with my assessment, I, like the anchor, believe that his actions were bullyish. There was no need for him to tell her that she was setting a bad example for young women when he didn’t know her or her struggle with weight. The woman has a hyperactive thyroid so her weight loss journey is different from the average fat person and the only way he would know that is if he asked her or knew her and he did neither.

        What he did was pass judgment and assume that she was fat just because she overate and because he has an issue with looks, he very passive aggressively attacked her under the guise of “caring for her”. He didn’t care…he just wanted to tell her she was fat…and those are the actions of a bully!

  • anawat

    Oprah has never and probably will never be pencil thin and she is the most successful, most influential, television/news anchor ever!

  • Bitter

    Sadly, Kayo Halana Malie, you’re completely correct. Pity, all these defective humans really make life inconvenient and tedious… but it’s nice to know there are people like Jennifer, willing to stand up and show us what humanity SHOULD be.

    • AnonymousArizonan

      So, you want all of humanity to self-destruct? That’s what it is when people “let themselves go.” They have such low self-esteem and will to be desirable and respectable, that they just plain stop trying, or at least stop doing the major stuff like watching their weight. It’s called self-destruction. Our country is self-destructing via obesity and drugs, and you think think it’s a good thing?

  • In a way she is sending the wrong message. There is something wrong with being overweight. All the money she has, she could have lost it by now. But it’s not serious enough to email her about. Being fat is a choice and if people want to be fat that’s their business. I could give 2 sh*ts

    • Have you heard of genetics Elle Bee? Being fat is not always a choice. Some of my skinny friends eat WAY more than some of my fat friends but the difference is in a little thing called DNA which decides where fat is distributed and stored. I am 5ft 7in and weighed 120 pounds all the way up until I turned 25. The doctors thought I was anorexic because I was underweight for my height. But just as every other woman in my family, as soon as I turned 25 my metabolism slowed and I started to retain weight. I weigh 150 now (which is average for my height) but my point is I had no control over that weight gain but what I do have control over is weight loss and money does not guarantee weight loss especially on a local reporter’s salary. I don’t know how much you think they make but it is not a lot. I hope you understand what I’m saying 🙂

    • SMHgurl24

      Maybe if you value education over ignorance, then maybe you wouldn’t say stupid things like this..

  • She handled that with grace!!! Good job!!!

  • Thin Is In

    Open Letter To Fat Folks: I hope you can accept my limited ability to relate to your plight. At 5′ 4.5″ and 125 lbs (32 y/o, 2 kids); I’ve never weighed more than 155 pounds (9 months preggies w/my 9 year old. The weight left within months of her birth!). I deliberately execute the utmost sensitivities I own….whilst standing beside you at the buffet. Your dirty looks do not dissuade me from piling on an extra scoop of mashed potatoes – with extra gravy. When it’s our lunch break at work, and you glare at every bite of my humble vittles entering my mouth, I try not to notice. I understand. Don’t know if I would to, because it really IS rude to stare (!). When we’re at the gym, I do not take the tread mill or abs machine too close to you. Your pained expressions as you survey my body from head to toe slowly (as if your grandma’s missin pearl necklace is around my neck!!!) make me feel strangely ‘guilty’ for a crime I haven’t committed – unless being born with a high metabolism counts. I think it’s unfortunate that the same society which advocates a lifestyle that has many so many faithful subscribers to various Dieting ideology – is the same one that makes such a “big” deal about your obesity….that “Lil” Ol Me ends up being your scapegoat. I wish you all the best.

    • dfasdfdsf

      Die slow. 😀

      • ThinElegance

        Struck a nerve, hmmm? You must be fat 😀

      • AnonymousArizonan

        That is the exact kind of double standards I just mentioned! We can’t say szyt like that about fat people without risk of getting banned, but a fat person can just up and shout something with a genocide message. You didn’t even need a fake user name of gibberish to do that. People siding with that passive-aggressive news anchor woman would get in a huff if you got banned for that comment since they are pro-fat, anti-health. (The alleged bullying letter was not a bully letter, it was a letter with very fine points, such as that her losing weight and getting healthier would be a positive message to viewers who also need to lose some pounds. It was completely civil, and the news anchor responded by calling him a bully, which is both name-calling, and a false accusation.)
        Oh, and if you think *I* should go die… 😉 I’m smaller than the one you said that to, because I’m a petite. While I will not go die, I seriously wish I could move to a healthier country to get away from how ridiculous and out of control this nation is getting.

    • It’s sick that people would respond to a negative message about an overweight person with an even more negative message. Do you feel better now that you’ve gotten that letter off of your chest?

      • SMHgurl24

        Don’t reply to this troll. They only do this cause their bored with their own lives and want to piss people off.

        • AnonymousArizonan

          No, that’s you, hon.
          Had she been less in your face and boastful, you probably still would have posted a comment that insults her for saying she’s of a healthy weight and goes to a gym.

      • AnonymousArizonan

        Yes, yes, she does.
        On the other hand, you seem to think that “5′ 4.5″ and 125 lbs” is like a 5′ 10″ tall, medium-framed, size 00 super model, and that it sets some type of sick, unachievable beauty standard. And, you completely failed to get her point, which is that those of us who are healthy are not going to tolerate this anti-health BS, and we are not going to apologize for not getting ugly just so those who did so can feel better about themselves. The world does not bend to fat people! This is supposed to be a nation of tolerance, yet obese people are completely intolerant of healthy people, and act like we’re the ones with the problem when all we’re doing is being alive!

    • syrine haywood

      Straight ignorant

    • Guest

      Saw you at the gym. Your body wasn’t that great!!!

  • Kayo Halana Malie

    Anti-bullying month? What a joke! Bullying will not ever stop. People are wasting their time with all these fancy campaigns and messages.

    • Thin Is In

      And they’re wasting even more of their time trying to defend a health condition which has been PROVEN to cause `more harm than good. Being addicted to food is a legitimate condition, and there’s help.

    • ms63

      Although there may be some truth behind your statement, it is that exact kind of negative thinking that will cause people to never change.

      • Kayo Halana Malie

        No. What will cause people to never change is them choosing not to do so because they see nothing wrong with their behavior.

  • Hello_Kitty81

    There’s some overweight news reporters here in Chicago, no one ever wastes their life sending emails about their body shapes, we just wanna hear news! That dude should be ashamed of himself sending that ignorant email and I’m glad that woman isn’t letting this jerk get to her. God bless you Jennifer, keep doing you and forget those negative jerks! That man needs to grow the heck up!

  • Guest

    This story sadly represents the way some people have chosen to use a wonderful invention that was never meant to be a way of attacking people. You can be anonymous on the interrnet so people feel safe expressing their true views on race, women, sexual preferences, affirmative action and a host of other things. The mean spirited and cruel amongst us are using the power of words to attack, belittle and hurt others. I’m glad she stood up for herself as well as others and sent a powerful message that it’s not okay. Immature adults should work on growing up and acting like adults instead of trying to bully others with their words. She admitting being overweight so she is aware of the issue. If she chooses to continue to live her life knowing she could be adveresly affecting her health, then that is her choice as an adult.