Eschewing The Fat
Jennifer Livingston is a morning TV news anchor and host on WKBT in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Last week she received the following email.
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.”
Jennifer went on the air the following morning with an editorial piece which you can (and should) watch below. She admitted to being overweight by most modern standards but also felt, I think correctly so, that the email and accusations were a case of bullying. Her husband, Mike Thompson (pictured below), also an anchor at the TV station went on Facebook to defend her. Jennifer later went on the Today Show. To watch that, click here.
The letter writer, a local lawyer named Kenneth W. Krause defended the note by saying in part “I hope she'll finally take advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of (the region's) children.” He offered support and advice if she would take on an on-air transformation.
There is a line here between recognizing an unhealthy weight issue and keeping a healthy self-image of one's body type. North America has an obesity issue, from children on up, much of it to do with food and lifestyle choices. On the other hand, not everyone is going to slide effortlessly into skinny jeans or look like a ramp model. All kinds of people struggle with extra pounds and they should not be bullied or publicly humiliated or personally attacked for that matter.
Good for Jennifer for standing up for herself. As she said herself, do you think she doesn't know she has a few extra pounds? What started out as a misguided message on obesity has turned into a valuable lesson on bullying. LEAVE COMMENTS.
For other Larry Fedoruk blogs and features, click here.
Here's her editorial video.