Everyone is talking about Jennifer Livingston right now, the news anchor from Wisconsin who took the bully by the horns after a viewer criticized her weight in the following letter, taken from an article in Slate:
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.
As she rightly points out, anyone in the public eye needs ultra thick skin to deal with criticism. It's not always easy (as the bloggers on this site can attest), especially when words turn personal and hurtful.
Rather than dealing with the attack privately, Livingston took to the airways, to confront the bully directly. More important, even, than reminding the viewer that they do not know her and therefore do not have the right to criticize or comment on her appearance, Livingston ostensibly turns a negative into a positive by reminding children not to "let your self worth be defined by bullies," and reminding adults that they need to teach by example.
Talk about community responsibility! Talk about kicking off Bullying Prevention Awareness Month with a bang!
Is obesity a "choice" as the viewer suggests? What do you think of Livingston's rant?