I’m sure you guys heard the story about the viewer who reprimanded the Wisconsin news anchor, Jennifer Livingston, for being “obese.” In his words:
“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 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.”
In turn, she fired back at him on air calling him a “bully.” You can see her full video response below (over 9 million views of this):
This has brought up discussion in at least three areas:
- Judging people based on how they look
- Whether a person has full control over their weight or if they are somewhat a victim of other issues such as genetics, environmental factors, etc.
- Whether being overweight make someone a poor role model
Yes, some people struggle with their weight more than others. I have friends who just look at a donut and gain five pounds. I also have friends who actually struggle to keep pounds on (yes, you can hate them if you want). I have always been fortunate to have a revved up metabolism (as does my mom, my aunt, and other women in my family). I also eat well and exercise 5-6 times per week. I do not know what it is like to be overweight and I therefore do not know the challenges of losing weight and keeping it off.
While I realize there are heredity and medical conditions that come into play (meaning some people have to work harder to lose weight and maintain weight loss), I do also think good health and weight loss is, for the most part, a choice. Just look at the states that have the lowest obesity rates – these tend to also be the states that are the highest for physical activity and healthy living choices in general.
I am in no way saying it is right to judge people based on their weight, but I am saying that people should not accept obesity as their destiny.
Do I agree that Jennifer Livingston is a poor role model? Of course not. She is a talented, attractive, articulate and intelligent news anchor. In her own words, she realizes that she struggles with her weight. While this guy’s comments might not be especially productive or necessary, they certainly did bring up some interesting discussion.
Do you think her “attacker” was justified in any way or was he just being a bully?