Livingston, a news anchor on Wisconsin’s WKBT News 8 This Morning received an email from a “concerned” male viewer. The email read:
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.
This is where I recite my version of one of my favorite Jay-Z one-liners, “What she eats, doesn’t make you shit.” I can’t understand why he felt the need to email this news anchor. It’s safe to say that she already realizes how much she weighs, I doubt she needed someone to point that out to her. But Jennifer didn’t let this slide. She obviously has an outlet to air her views, so she put it to use. In a response back to the “concerned” jackass, she wrote:
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? 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 the show. So you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside… And I am much more than a number on a scale.
October is is national anti-bullying month, and this is a problem that is growing every day in our schools and on the internet. It is a major issue in the lives of young people today. And as the mother of three young girls, it scares me to death. Now I am a grown woman, and luckily for me, I have a very thick skin — literally, as that email pointed out, and otherwise. That man’s words mean nothing to me. But what really angers me about this is there are children who don’t know better… The internet has become a weapon. Our schools have become a battleground. And this behavior is learned. It is passed down from people like the man who wrote me that email. 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.
And this is one of the reasons why we have bullies and racists. Ignorance breeds ignorance. I’m glad Jennifer Livingston didn’t push this email to the wayside. The internet breeds a certain kind of ignorance. The kind that feels that it’s ok to say what they want, because they’re anonymous. I truly hope the person behind the email had an opportunity to hear what she said. It would probably take a miracle for him to even grasp what she’s saying, but someone got the message, even if it wasn’t him.