Yesterday, I was alerted to a news story that left me in complete and utter shock. It also made me cry, made me angry, and made me lose just a little faith in humanity. It seems that bullies are not simply something one encounters on a playground anymore. Oh no, they clearly come in adult form, even that of a well-respected (until now) lawyer.
If you're not aware of this story, let me fill you in.
A Wisconsin news anchor and mother of 3, Jennifer Livingston, received an e-mail from a viewer. Sure, people who have jobs that put them in the public eye face criticism daily. They need to develop a thick skin. It's part of their job. But this e-mail was different. In fact, it was downright mean and hateful. You see, the writer of this e-mail, Kenneth Krause, was criticizing Jennifer's weight. Here is part of his now infamous e-mail:
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. Sure 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."
Ms. Livingston thankfully is one tough cookie, and had a response to Mr. Krause's hateful words. Check out this video below.
Now I have to admit, I was very affected by this story. You see, while I am certainly not overweight now at a size 6-8, but I have been in the past. I have been beat down by people I thought loved me, and I still suffer with major self-esteem issues to this day. I remember getting ready for homecoming one year and being told that I looked like a "fat hooker". My dress was nowhere near indecent, and this heartless comment came from someone who should have never said something like that to me.
I also got married way too young to a man who ended up being horribly abusive. I was constantly told that I was fat, ugly, not good enough, and that no one would ever love me. This took a horrible toll on me. I now suffer from social anxiety, self-esteem issues, and I struggle everyday to keep myself from falling back into Bulimia, which I suffered with for years, all in the name of being "good enough". I have done thousands of dollars worth of damage to myself. Damage I cannot afford to have fixed, all because people beat me down and convinced me that unless I was a size 2, I was not good enough.
So my words to Mr. Krause are this:
You, sir, are an ass-hat. You implied that Ms. Livingston is a poor role model, especially to young girls, all because she is overweight. For one, when I look at Jennifer, I see a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman. I see a mother. A daughter. Someone's friend. I see a woman with a big heart, giving spirit and a charismatic personality. Her dress size is not a factor. Size does not dictate a person's worth. Some of the most beautiful people I have ever known have been, in YOUR words, "fat".
You see, Mr. Krause, Ms. Livingston is EXACTLY the kind of role model I hope my own daughter looks up to. She's not afraid to be who she is, and she doesn't allow society's skewed version of beauty dictate her life. She is happy and comfortable in her own skin, and she has carved out a name for herself and is a success in her community. People know her name, and they look forward to seeing her broadcasts every day. Can you say the same? Until you made a complete fool of yourself, who knew your name?
Ignorant people like you are the real danger to young girls. YOU, and others with your backwards mentality, are the reason that eating disorders exist. It's people like YOU that set impossible standards that make women and girls harm themselves trying to live up to. You see, Mr. Krause, beauty does not have a set size. Or skin color. Or body type. Beauty is all about confidence, kindness, and character. I think it's safe to assume you possess none of these qualities. And no, confidence and arrogance are not the same thing. Not even close.
You state that obesity is a choice. In some cases, very rare cases, this may be true. Some people strive to be large and lovely, and that is their right. In most cases, however, I don't think people choose this. There are medical conditions and genetics to consider as well. Or pregnancy and childbirth. Not all of us are walking Barbie dolls or have access to plastic surgeons to take care of our wobbly bits. We're real women, and we have the right to be comfortable the way we are, without bullies like you trying to beat us down.
You, sir, are the real problem. I am not offended by seeing an overweight news anchor. She's got a wonderful, bubbly personality, and is a real asset to her community. Jennifer Livingston is a true success as a human being. I sincerely doubt you can say the same.
I am offended by bullying. I am a mother of a gay child, a Bulimia survivor, and I know a thing or two about bullies. It sickens me to think that someone in your prestigious position would belittle another human being based on a number on a scale. Perhaps you're trying to make yourself feel better and hide something you just happen to be lacking...Perhaps you're hung like a Vienna Sausage and are obsessed with the girth of others, since you seem to be lacking some yourself. Regardless, I hope you learn a lesson about kindness through this whole ordeal. And I hope that no one ever makes you feel the way you made Ms. Livingston feel...But Karma's a bitch, so you never know....Jennifer can lose the weight if she chooses. You, my friend, will always be an asshole.
Did you all see this story? What are your thoughts?
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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