Jennifer Livingston, a local news anchor in La Crosse, Wisconsin, responded to a viewer's outrageous attack on her appearance on Tuesday morning.
Livingston recently received an email from a male viewer criticizing her weight. Her husband and fellow news anchor Mike Thompson posted the text to the Facebook page for "WKBT News 8 This Morning."
"I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years," wrote the viewer, who said Livingston was not a "suitable example" for young girls. "I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle."
Livingston addressed her bully on-air Tuesday, prefacing her message by saying that she has received words of support from "hundreds" of people and that the response has been "truly inspiring."
“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."
Livingston continued, "That man’s words mean nothing to me, but really angers me about this is is there are children who don’t know better — who get emails as critical as the one I received or in many cases, even worse, each and every day."
She said that bullying scared her as the mother of three daughters. "If you are at home and you are talking about the fat newslady, guess what?" she said. "Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat."
Livingston thanked the viewers, friends and colleagues who have stood up for her, and ended with these words:
“I leave you with this: To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. 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.”