News Anchor Responds to Viewer Who Called Her Fat
Jennifer Livingston calls it an example of rampant bullying
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2012 4:33 PM CDT
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(Newser) – An anchorwoman at WKBT in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, offered an on-air response today to a viewer who criticized her weight. Sample line from the email, which can be filed under the "smug condescension" category: "I leave you this note hoping that you'll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle."

Anchor Jennifer Livingston said it's a prime example of the type of attitude that leads to bullying.

  • "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?"
  • "That man's words mean nothing to me. But what really angers me about this is there are children who don't know better." This behavior "is learned," she says. "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."
Amen, writes Dodai Stewart at Jezebel. "Fatphobia is rampant, and fatshaming is, somehow, the one acceptable form of bigotry we have in this society."

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Showing 3 of 217 comments
1492
Oct 8, 2012 6:32 PM CDT
Dear Jennifer, please understand that you are beautiful.. You could even disrobe the over coat and still be beautiful. Your beauty comes from within you. You have three daughters I believe you said. You are a fine example of a good mother and am sure a good wife. Not to mention your fine reporting. You have job because you deserve it. You can be my News Achor any time.
viewfromtheobjective
Oct 5, 2012 8:14 AM CDT
iveheardherroar, spot on! Would like to add that her comments, "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." are a bit misleading since we also need to teach our kids the dangers of obesity and diabetes. Kids aren't taught to target those that different, its in our human nature. To teach them to accept unhealthy lifestyles and accept all body shapes and sizes becomes confusing when a larger child is then warned about the dangers of being large. Bullying is a part of growing up, we discover who we are if we can't figure it out ourselves by social pressures. To avoid them creates a disillusioned personality devoid of the social intelligence required to socialize. Also, "Dodai Stewart at Jezebel. 'Fatphobia is rampant, and fatshaming is, somehow, the one acceptable form of bigotry we have in this society.' " makes another comment that I disagree with. One really can't call this a form of bigotry, when its a statement regarding healthy life choices. Fat pride is an issue in this country as much as the constant promotion of the perfect body. I wonder if eventually people will start saying modern medicine is a big mean bully and doctors shouldn't be so cruel in their diagnosis of disease.
iveheardherroar
Oct 4, 2012 7:42 AM CDT
What a load of politically correct horseshit. Yes, the person who sent the offending e-mail was rude, but Jennifer Livingston and women like her are not the only people in the world who have received such unsoliticed communication. That Ms. Livingston could rant about it on the air without getting fired for her unprofessional behavior underscores her unacknowledged privilege in our feminized culture. Unless he were addressing an insult directed at a woman and not at himself or another man, a male anchor who had behaved this way over such an e-mail would summarily be fired, and he'd be a laughing-stock, his masculine identity destroyed. He'd also have a difficult time finding another job commensurate with the one he lost. Dodai Stewart is wrong. It isn't fatshaming that is the one acceptable form of bigotry we have in this society; it's misandry.