What do you think is better, speaking out for yourself or sitting quietly and letting others bully you?
Well, WKBT anchor Jennifer Livingston from La Crosse, Wisconsin, is not one of those who let people pass judgments on her easily. She might be overweight, in her words, she might even be obese, butshe responded to a viewer's offensive and extreme attack on her appearance on the morning news show which she hosts, very gracefully.
Here’s the video:
It all started when she received a mail criticizing her for not being a 'suitable example for this community's young people,' especially girls because her 'physical condition hadn't improved for many years’.Jennifer was totally stunned but not enough to take it without a fight. She decided to answer her critics with a very heartfelt reply, which was aired on WKBT.
In her support, her husband and fellow news anchor Mike Thompson posted the text to the Facebook page for "WKBT News 8 This Morning."
Take a look at her husband’s Facebook post:
Her husband's Facebook post earned thousands of likes and a lot of comments and the letter went on viral over the internet.
"Now those of us in the media get a healthy dose of critiques from our viewers throughout the year, and we realize that it comes with having a job in the public eye," she said. "But this email was more than that."
Then, in a special four-minute broadcast that aired before the news, Jennifer spoke straight to the writer but did not mention any names. She said that hundreds of supporters on Facebook motivated and encouraged her to speak out.
“Now those of us in the media get a healthy dose of critiques from our viewers throughout the year, and we realize that it comes with having a job in the public eye,"she said. "But this email was more than that."
“The truth is, I am overweight. You can call me fat - and yes, even obese on a doctor's chart. 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 this show,"she continued. "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 National Anti-Bullying month; she told her viewers. "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 cruel words from the writer meant nothing to her but what annoys her is the fact that kids are bullied in person and on social media, everyday. "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 News Lady,' guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat."
She further added, "We need to teach our kind to be kind, not critical, and we need to do that by example.
Jennifer thanked the hundreds of messages of support and courage she received, saying it was 'overwhelming' and 'inspiring'.
She finished the broadcast with an extremely powerful message:
'To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.'
There are times where you can’t say what you have to because the situation demands silence. Bringing up a point on national television, especially when you are a media personality, it can raise a lot of criticism and also make your personal life, public. Nevertheless what Jennifer did was quite brave, and not a lot of people would have guts to take bullies on like she did. Here’s our question;what would you have done, if you were in Jennifer’s place? Do you think she’s done the right thing? Let us know by commenting below.