Role Models, Size, and Bullies

When I heard the story of Jennifer Livingston, the Wisconsin anchor who was reprimanded by a viewer because of her weight, I thought he had a lot of gall. However, when she stood up to him on air, I was impressed. I was cheering for her. She did not hide her anger, keeping it to herself. She addressed him directly, which I am sure came as a shock to him. No wonder he felt the need to apologize, although it seemed less than genuine to me.

The story made me start to think. Why are we as a society so unforgiving towards people who are overweight? It’s become the unpardonable sin. Look how incensed the public has been by Jessica Simpson’s weight gain. Yet people wonder why so many young girls and women (men as well) have fallen prey to eating disorders. It remains acceptable in our society to make fun of people who are obese. I think back to all the insults and wisecracks poor Bookman endured on “Good Times”. There was Rerun on “What’s Happening”,  Carol on “Growing Pains”.. and Carol wasn’t even overweight, just a little plump. Before the end of the series, Tracey Gold would be anorexic.

One of the things the author of the email said was Jennifer is not a good role model, due to her size. I wasn’t aware everyone who is thin is automatically a good role model. Have you seen Lindsay Lohan? Is she a good example for young girls to look up to? She went on to call the viewer a bully. Not everyone agreed with her. Some were outraged. In my opinion, to single her out and send such of an intrusive, hurtful email was indeed the act of a bully. There are people who remind us a bully attacks its victims on an ongoing basis, which in their eyes does not make this man one. However, had Jennifer not had the guts to stand up to him, who’s to say he would not have continued to harass her. I admire how she handled the situation. She did not reply to his email, but chose to place him on the hot seat in front of America. Had he known it would have been revealed nationwide, he might have thought twice about emailing her to begin with. If more people stood up to their attackers and critics the way Jennifer Livingston did, there would be far less of them.
Therefore yes, Jennifer IS a role model. A very good one.

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~ by kmnnz on October 9, 2012.

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