This news item struck a chord with me, as I’m sure it will with many of our readers. Jennifer Livingston, a Wisconsin anchor woman, received a letter from a viewer in which he criticized her weight. She took the time to address her critic live on air, and I absolutely loved what she had to say.
The critic titled his letter “Community Responsibility”. He spoke of the responsibility that Jennifer Livingston has, as a public figure, to present a healthy image to her viewers. The question is, does this person have a right to demand that Jennifer conform to his view of what is healthy? Was this a fair criticism, or a reflection of the writer’s inability to accept the female body in any form, and to honor Jennifer’s right to make her own choices where her body is concerned? Does it matter that this is an anchor-woman, not an anchor-man? Is it fair to make judgments and conclusions about someone based solely on the way they look?
I’m opening this for discussion. Feel free to comment here, or on our FB page.
I’m proud of her for speaking up! It would have been easy to just put it to the side and keep on going, but with such specific critique, given the issue with bullying that we are seeing rampant in our society at the moment, I think she did the right thing. It wasn’t appropriate to comment on her physical composition and question her job performance and character due to a perceived flaw of her body.
I may be biased because I have weight issues myself, but I’ve long watched others at a thinner weight living a very unhealthy lifestyle, yet feeling justified in it because their own body doesn’t have excess weight. There are plenty of thin, unhealthy people out there, and you don’t see anyone calling them out…nor would I support someone calling them out! It is her business what her weight is. She looks in the mirror every day, she knows what’s there. She has 3 young girls, I’m sure she constantly thinks about what sort of example she’s setting for them. We as a culture need to get away from the mindset that “overweight” = unhealthy while “thin” = healthy. And we *really* need to get away from the idea that it is okay to give this sort of commentary to those around us.
I don’t think this would have happened in the same way to a male anchor. I know discrimination happens to men too, but this trend of commenting on a woman’s clothing, weight, makeup, figure, reproductive choices, etc… instead of actually focusing on her JOB and what she has to offer it, her character, etc… Case in point—the constant discussion of Hillary Clinton’s looks instead of the content of her speeches or the job she’s doing as Secretary of State!