“The truth is, I am overweight. But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that?…I am much more than a number on the scale.”
Ms. Livingston was responding to an email that she received with the subject line “Community Responsibility.” The email read, in part:
“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 you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”
Ms. Livingston, an anchor for WKBT in La Crosse, Wisconsin, said she tried to laugh it off, but her co-workers and her husband were offended on her behalf. Mike Thompson, Ms. Livingston’s husband and a fellow WKBT anchor, posted it on the station’s Facebook page.
Hundreds of responses poured in supporting Ms. Livingston, who responded in an on-air editorial today.
Noting that October is National Anti-Bullying Month, Ms. Livingston said that bullying “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.”
“The Internet has become a weapon,” she said. “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’re talking about the fat news lady, 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.”
To children who may be bullied, she advised, “do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies.”
Check out her entire editorial, below.
(Photo Credit: WKTB)
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