Jennifer Livingston Fires Back!

I’m sure you are all aware of News Anchor, Jennifer Livingston’s amazing and powerful response to her “fat mail” (see video link below). You have probably seen her video about her opportunity to set the record straight, saying: “I am much more than a number on a scale”. I, for one, am impressed with her ability to stand up to a bully and not only call him out, but with how Livingston turned a negative situation into a positive and inspiring one. She could have hidden from this, but she didn’t.

As Jennifer Livingston said, being in the public eye or putting yourself out there brings this on. The fact that someone can think it is OK to judge another so harshly and treat him or her as if they are not human or without feelings has always blown my mind. No one is perfect. We all have flaws. That’s what makes us beautifully unique. I know from my own experience in news that it can be a very critical microscope that we walk under. Sometimes you have that feeling of not being able to win because you either look too young, too thin, too curvy, too fat, too old and so on. The opinions of others can leave you feeling defeated. I have seen the affects the business can have on people of all walks of life and from all different backgrounds, so this story struck a chord with me. This is not to say that all news is bad. No. News is still something I hold dear to my heart, but it does open the gateway to unwanted and cruel feedback. Those who want to be on air can be subjected to harsh criticism that can be delivered in a way that makes you feel less that worthy.

Jennifer Livingston on WKBT

News Anchor Jennifer Livingston, not only showed courage in confronting the situation head on, but she also brought to light the issues we all face with bullying. The fact that others think it is ok to go out of their way to hurt you and/or make you feel bad about yourself or your appearance. When did we, as a whole, as a society start thinking it was acceptable to tear people down? What do we get out of it? Does it make the man who did this feel better about himself? I love, love, love that Livingston took a stand. Someone needs to, to make a difference, to change the way we think. We live in a world of all different people, from all different backgrounds, with all different stories and of all shapes and sizes. No two are alike… even twins. We all have our own unique personality, beginnings and eventual ends.

To me, this statement is power. “The truth is, I am overweight,” she said. “But 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… so you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside and I am much more than a number on a scale.” To me, the fact that she was able to deliver this address in such a dignified and graceful manner was remarkable. Another moving and powerful statement from her address to this bully was: “Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.”

We all need reminders of what to fight for and THIS is something to stand for. We all need to remember to love ourselves and embrace where we are in the moment, whether we want to lose or gain weight, change our hair style or color, reinvent ourselves that is our choice as an individual. While writing this, the thought that keeps echoing in my mind is… Love is Love. Our love of ourselves, our sexual orientation, the color of our skin, where we come from… embrace it, it’s what made you who you are today and THAT is amazing.

Hats off to you Jennifer Livingston to a job well done. Thank you for being the voice to those who don’t have one.

What are your thoughts, Big Girl Runway readers?


Erin Dunphy



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