Jennifer Livingston: Too Fat For TV?
By now you’ve probably heard all about Jennifer Livingston, the local news anchor who sparked a massive debate this week after hitting back at a viewer’s snarky email. The email in question from a guy called Kenneth Krause attacked Livingston for being overweight and setting a bad example – and Jennifer sure wasn’t happy! . The story has been EVERYWHERE over the last few days and I thought I’d let the saga play out before I offer my two cents.
Well that time is now – so here’s my take!
If you don’t know or haven’t read Krause’s original email here’s an excerpt. He tells Jennifer:
“Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”
Okay here we go. First and foremost obesity is NOT a choice that a person simply says yes or no to, no more than any other bad behavior. I’ve said it countless times here on the site – I believe many obese and overweight (and underweight) people have underlying emotional issues and food happens to be their drug of choice. Seriously does anyone believe that anyone wants to be obese? I’m sure that answer is no.
Second, who the heck is this guy to decide who’s a positive role model for anyone? By Krause’s way of thinking I guess anyone who’s overweight isn’t setting a good example! By the way take a look at his pic above… what does it tell you about the guy?
Now look, if Jennifer were a fitness professional I may take issue, because I feel at the end of the day you need to lead by example and practice what you preach. But she’s not – she’s a news anchor and apparently she does her job just fine. It’s not Jennifer’s responsibility – or anyone else in the media – to help develop your child’s point of view, self esteem and teach them the morals and ethic of life. That’s a parent’s responsibility. If you feel TV and media has too much influence over your child, then as a parent step up, turn it off and remove it from their life. But don’t go around blaming people on TV for your lack of parenting. And worse, don’t go pointing fingers. What type of leadership is that displaying?
We could take this one step further and apply it to virtually anything in the media. We could have a field day attacking TV shows, movies, newspaper and magazine ads that show people who are overweight, celebrities who smoke, are too thin, are seen fighting, drinking alcohol, whatever. Those are not exactly positive images for our youth now are they? Interestingly I wonder if the writer has taken issue with McDonalds or other companies that solicit our youth into eating the garbage they sell. I mean have you ever just sat down and watched TV for the commercials? The amount of bright colors and fun associated with eating high fat high sugary garbage is astounding. And surely those multi million dollar ads have significantly more influence than a local news anchor in Wisconsin.
I think what this entire event showcases best is our continued ignorance towards obesity. I’ll be 100% honest and say that just a few years ago I was quite ignorant as well. Since launching Angry Trainer Fitness I’ve learned a great deal from the tonnes of letters from all over the world from people who have struggled with their weight. Obesity is NOT A CHOICE, nor is it a ‘habit’ that one maintains. It’s a vicious cycle of behavior that unlike other vices shows up in a person’s appearance.
People who are overweight are not lazy, they’re not slobs or untidy, they’re not gluttons, they’re not weak or unsuccessful human beings. They are simply people who struggle with weight, for one reason or another, the same as you may have a struggles in your life that keep haunting you. Saying that a person who is overweight is a bad role model is ludicrous, because it discounts everything about that individual and focuses only on their appearance – and that’s the problem with our society.
Listen I’ll be the first to tell you that in many areas of my life I’ve struggled for years and made terrible choices. Yet under Krause’s way of thinking because I’m fit and healthy I’m a better role model and better suited to lead our youth. Sorry but that’s just not right. I could talk about this forever, really I could. And I’m not saying that those who are overweight and obese shouldn’t take responsibility for their choices – of course they should. But to call someone out, bully and criticize them and belittle their value as an individual due to their weight is wrong and helps no one.
In fact I think the elitist, condescending tone of the email says far more about the writer than it does about Jennifer Livingston. If Krause himself has any children I seriously worry for them!
But what do you think? Do you agree with Kenneth’s letter? Is Jennifer a bad role model? Fire away…
All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer Fitness.com, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Alfonso on October 4, 2012 at 10:15 am, and is filed under NEWS. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|