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

(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." (Read more Jennifer Livingston stories.)

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