Jennifer Livingston is the news anchor of WKBT tv’s morning sh in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I guess she’s kind of like the equivalent of Bill Turnbull. She’s intelligent, articulate and doesn’t take nonsense from people as she recently showed when a viewer sent her a highly obnoxious message suggesting that she should do something about her weight as she couldn’t possibly be a suitable role model for the local community. The clear implication is that if she couldn’t, she shouldn’t be doing her job. Why should someone’s ability to do their job be defined by their weight? Surely the job description of a news presenter is that they can communicate and interpret and analyse what’s going on in the world.
Attacks like this are not ok. The truth is I am overweight. You could call me fat, or yes even obese on a doctor’s chart. But to the person who wrote me that email, do you think I don’t know that, that your cruel words are pointing out something I do not see?…… You know nothing about me apart from what you can see from the outside. I am much more than a number on a scale.
…What angers me about this is that there are children who don’t know better, who get emails as critical as the one I received or worse every day. The internet has become a weapon and our schools have become a battleground and this behaviour is learned. It is passed down from people like the man who wrote me that email. If you were at home and you were 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 children to be kind, not critical.