Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – TV can be a superficial business.
Viewers sometimes email to let you know what they don’t like about your appearance.
“The truth is, I am overweight, but to the person who wrote me that letter: Do you think I don’t know that,” asks Jennifer Livingston, an anchorwoman at WCCO’s sister station in La Crosse, WKBT.
Livingston believes an attack on her weight went too far.
Over the weekend, people from around the world started commenting about an email that was posted to Facebook by Livingston’s husband, the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. anchor for WKBT.
“What happened next has been truly inspiring,” Livingston says. “Hundreds and hundreds of people took time out of their day to not only make me feel better, but to take a stand that attacks like this are not OK.”
The email not only criticized Livingston for her size, but told her she wasn’t a suitable example for young girls. It asked Livingston to reconsider her responsibility as a local public personality and to present and promote a healthy lifestyle. She addressed that in a new interview Tuesday.
“What got to me was that he said I was a bad role model for young girls and I have three young girls,” Livingston said.
Livingston directly responded to the viewer.
“You know nothing about me then what you see on the outside, and I am more than a number on the scale,” she said.
Livingston has a message for all parents to help stop bullying at home.
“I hope people have the conversation with their kids to not be so critical,” she said.
Besides the thousands of viewer comments praising Livingston for taking a stand, Ellen also tweeted about her, saying: “What a powerful message against bullying.@News8Jennifer, I would love to meet you in person.”
Now, the emailer also responded Tuesday, saying:
“Given this country’s present epidemic of obesity and the many truly horrible diseases related thereto, and considering Jennifer Livingston’s fortuitous position in the community, I hope she will finally take advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of Coulee Region children by transforming herself for all of her viewers to see over the next year, and, to that end, I would be absolutely pleased to offer Jennifer any advice or support she would be willing to accept.”