A man in my area seems to think that they shouldn’t, and his opinion has gotten far more attention than he expected.
I rarely comment on these types of things here, as I feel it isn’t really the place.
HOWEVER. This is a topic that has interested me personally, and I suspect has affected the vast majority of women who read this blog – whether personally or not.
Jennifer Livingston, a news anchor in La Crosse, Wisconsin (not far from my city), received an email addressing her “obesity problem” and decided to read it on-air and address it publicly. Watch the video:
This has made national news – even Ellen is weighing in (no pun intended).
I’m not surprised that she got a letter like that. As someone who has been bullied for my weight (and other things), I know that some people are insensitive at best and cruel at worst. Even admitting to that is hard – I can’t imagine doing what this woman did. That takes a huge amount of courage.
The letter surmised that a person in the public eye has a responsibility to be a picture of good health. This opinion is worth discussing, I think. On one hand, it is a valid point.
On the other – the same expectation is not nearly as often extended to other facets of life. There is an enormous double-standard when it comes to weight and appearance, probably because it’s more physically apparent than other things.
Furthermore, I feel that the public is far more responsible for what is presented in the media than those who actually appear in the media. Celebrities are famous because we pay attention to them. News anchors get their job because the viewers expect a certain thing, and networks need to provide that to stay in business. If the “public” really wanted someone who set a better “example”, they would flip the channel to watch a “healthier” anchor and Ms. Livingston would lose her job.
The position, though, that I find most offensive is that this woman (and others who struggle with their weight) are “glorifying” obesity. That’s just… absurd. A starlet who parties and binge drinks and does cocaine and makes it look glamorous is “glorifying” that lifestyle. Someone who is overweight is not.
I hope that the one thing people take from this is that nice, kind, and empathetic people far outweigh (again, no pun intended) negative, ignorant, and judgmental people. Sometimes I think that if I had realized that when I was younger, my life would have been much easier. Negative voices always seem to be the loudest and most persistent, though.
So – what do you think? Legitimately concerned citizen with valid point, or a cruel and ignorant bully? Somewhere in between?