Jennifer Livingston, an anchor for WKBT in LaCrosse Wisconsin has some things to say to a critical email about her weight and her "bad influence on young girls". She does it with style and class without saying she's on a diet, eats healthy and exercises or that she has a thyroid condition. She pointed out that being talk to this way was unacceptable.
"To the person who wrote me that letter — do you think I don't know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don't see? 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. So you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside. And I am much more than a number on the scale."
The person who sent the email Kenneth Krause first stood by his message. Now says he would reword his email. I think partially because the spotlight casted him as an asshole and partially because he didn't know Livingston had a thyroid condition. Because Ms. Livingston has a disease that keeps her fat, she is now in the acceptable fat category.
Krause probably didn't feel he was a bully because he was fat as a child and was now a thin and perfectly normal in every way adult (BTW, fat children don't always become fat adults. Sometimes thin children become fat adults) and we have made it socially acceptable to ridicule a fat person. Say critizing a fat woman with junk food in her cart.
We have so entrenched fat = unacceptable and unhealthy and thin=beautiful and healthy that we have given bullies the right to lecture and shame us. Livingston had the power of TV to bitch slap this guy. We don't have the luxury.
But we can try. First, you must not let the bullies have any power. They get a charge from knowing they make you feel bad. This is not to say they have a right to continue their behavior. Report bullies when you can. But let's be realistic. We can't always be in the same situation as Jennifer Livingston, sometimes we have to let the bully's words go as meaningless. I get nasty comments on my blog every week, which I ignore 100 percent (except the funny ones, I sometimes share those on facebook.)
Ragan Chastiain has put together a website where you can make your own video to call out your bullies. I urge you to share stories, videos, whatever you want.