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
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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