Blog: A wave of standing up to bullies


Jennifer Livingston received an email from someone she didn’t know critiquing her about her weight.

Livingston, an anchor for WKBT, a local channel in La Crosse, Wis., went on air Tuesday morning and addressed the viewer who sent the email. The email said, “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 people can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. 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’s husband, Mike Thompson, who is also an anchor at WKBT, posted the email on his Facebook page, and the support started rolling in.

Livingston said on air, “hundreds and hundreds of people have taken the time out of their day to not only lift my spirits but take a stand that attacks like this are not okay … To the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that?”

The video has gone viral, hitting more than five million views on YouTube. The video has been tweeted out by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ellen DeGeneres, to name two celebrities. Livingston and her husband were on Good Morning America to talk about her experience.

This video comes recently after Bullya movie campaigning to stop bullying in America, came into theaters. The Bully Project is a campaign sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization. The movie has stirred emotions across the nation as children take field trips to see it.

Livingston wrote to her viewers on Facebook, “Call it bullying, out of line, mean – call it what you want. I won’t accept it, and I don’t think you should have to either.”

On WKBT air, she said directly to the children in her audience, “Listen to me right now. Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience that the cruel rules from one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.”

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