Reporter was called "fat" and calls it bullying

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Reporter was called "fat" and calls it bullying
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Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:44am

http://www.fashionfoiegras.com/2012/10/news-anchor-called-obese-fights-back.html


Anyone else read this story? First, let me say that I find the letter nasty, mean, inappropriate and unnecessary. However, I don't find it bullying. It was ONE email. One nasty comment. When did it become bullying when you're just rude and stupid?

The homosexual kid teased mercilessly for his preferences who then killed himself (and the list of others just like him) -- that is bullying.

The girl with the huge birthmark teased daily and wouldn't come out of the house again after years of verbal abuse -- that's bullying.

The overweight waitress teased by her supervisor day after day who finally quit and preferred being unemployed to the endless teasing -- that's bullying.

The disabled child teased daily by his classmates for the speech impediment -- that's bullying.

But one nasty comment? Nah. Not even close. It's wrong, and the guy is probably a bully..but was he bullying her?

What happens when we use the term 'bullying' for everything? Eventualy, the real cases, like the ones I've listed above -- the ones that result in death, financial strain, anguish -- no longer are seen as serious. They're just one of a long list of 'bullying' that we'll become insensitive to.

Let's save the term for the serious cases, not just where someone's rude and stupid. He made an inappropriate comment and was stupid enough to put it in writing, but unless he continues to do it, he's not bullying her -- he's sharing his opinion.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007

I don't quite see this as bullying, but deffinitly innappropriate, unnecessary and just plain mean. I think the guy that wrote it, just wanted to entertain himself and gets off on pushing people's buttons and clearly has issues with himself, if he feels the need like that to go to all the trouble to send an overweight person a letter telling them so. Really? He has nothing better to do with his time? Is she the ONLY overweight person in the public eye? What about all the overweight celebrities, talk show hosts and other news anchors? Why doesn't he just write a letter to all of them as well? I don't see what is so "special" about her that he would go to all that effort just to send her a hurtful letter. I honestly think thats how he gets his jollies, which is pretty sad and he totally should be called out for it. Guarenteed hes no prize pig himself and only did it to make himself feel better by putting someone else down. Maybe he thrives on unnecessary drama.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2012
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

I don't think the letter was bullying. The writer did not use the fat word. He was stating facts. She is overweight and that is not good for your health. Being overweight is,except for those on a very few medications and those for thyroid conditions (there are medications for that), is directly related to the amount and type of food intake and exercise (i.e. lifestyle choices). It's a simple equation. If calories in - calories burnt off is positive, you gradually gain weight.

Would she think that TV news items she reports on about some athlete or actor going to rehab or being arrested for drug or alcohol use is bullying? Does she report TV news items on childhood or adult obesity, new items where pictures of overweight people are shown? Does she report on the problems in the fashion industry, on super-thin models with unhealthy lifestyles? Does she report on tanning and its relation to skin cancer? If so, she is reporting on an other person's issues,putting that person up for ridicule & public shame. When she goes to the doctor and he tells her that she is overweight, does she think the doctor is bullying her?

Instead of making this one private email public and a bully issue, she would have been more a positive role model if she started a weekly on-camera bit exploring the difficulties of weight loss, proper nutrition,providing advice on how to increase one's exercise level without resorting to expensive gyms etc.. That would be much more positive to the long term health of her viewers. I am sure she would have more credibility that some of these super-thin people; she would be seen as an average woman struggling with a common problem helping other women like herself.

The email writer alluded to the number of overweight young women. I don't know about you ladies but I am noticing that the under 21 girls tend to be,on average, larger than previous generations. I don't remember seeing so many chubby young women, when I was that age or when I was in my 30s and 40s. That is so sad; if they are overweight in their teens many will have a much harder time keeping their weight under check when they are older. A recent news report on childhood obesity said that they are finding signs of heart disease and other nutrition/weight related diseases in young children and teens.

Granted, these children should not be bullied, called names or made fun of by other children because they are overweight. But in the case of this email, the writer was not making fun of her. He was not calling her names and she is not a child. She is an adult. He should have not sent the email but maybe he is a parent too and he is concerned about the long term health of young women. Has anyone asked him why he sent the email?

And,by the way, this is coming from a mom whose kids were bullied when they were young and from someone who struggles with weight too as she has aged.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003

Right, the key word is repeatedly.

The bullying laws work well here. Just for the reason we are seeing during debate. People really don't know what bullying means. Different staff members, at school, would have a different perspective. And parents have a whole other view. Even some boys would be told to man up and take it. With laws in place and clear school policies, parents and staff have something to fall back on.

Here, another key word would ...  intimidating. The child, as in your description, "simply torments kids because he/she is mean", would count.

Some of the cases we're seeing involving teen suicide are due to bullying has been just that sort .... verbal.

However, if a child calls another child fat, it doesn't count unless it occurs repeatedly and is done to intimidate the other child.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
If that had happened in NJ in school, it would qualify as bullying. The way I've always understood bullying is the scaring and tormenting of someond repeatedly. Under our law, that doesn't qualify as bullying unless the reason for the torment is a physical or other characteristic such as body type, race, language, impairment, glasses, freckles - if a child simply torments other kids because he/she is mean, it doesn't count. Stupid, IMO. They should call it something else because we all really do know what the word bullying means and it's been hijacked by well-intentioned legislators. In NJ, one incident is enough to label it bullying.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003

Again, I tihnk people are smart enough to look at the degree, or the extent, of what we call bullying.I don't put it in the same degree of severity as a child being bullied every day at school or kids bullied through FB or emails. I don't think of this as just black or white, but on a spectrum. The anchor woman's bullying was far less severe than many other cases.

Don't you find some of the new laws concerning bullying are taking it out of that grey area?

Degree or extent of bullying does not mean we decide to call a one time name calling session ... bullying. Bullying, by definition, is a habitual act, not a one time event. It involves intimidation or badgering of one smaller and weaker ... habitually.

So, IMO, if one wants to discuss the spectrum of bullying, that would be, for example, someone calling a girl fat, repeatedly, over time vs, the other end of the spectrum, someone beating someone up for lunch money or for sheer intimidation.

A one time letter, stating one's crude opinion, is not bullying, IMO

As for her stating the writer's name, I agree that was inappropriate and not wise. She could have addressed this issue without mentioning where it came from.

Agreed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2004

There are numerous dictionaries online to look up the word "spectrum" if that is confusing to you. Most things in life are not black or white, but have grey areas--the whole spectrum of things in betwen. It's a fairly simple concept really. "Harrassment is bullying" you said. Yep, the anchor woman was harassed by a man who took the time to try to shame her in to losing weight. He went out of his way to attempt to make her feel bad so she'd change herself.

And what difference does it make if we call it bullying or not? Obviously some of us here don't agree on what is and isn't bullying. Fine. We agree to disagree. Does it make her wrong to stand up for herself if you don't believe he was being a bully?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2004

Again, I tihnk people are smart enough to look at the degree, or the extent, of what we call bullying. While I think this was bullying, I don't put it in the same degree of severity as a child being bullied every day at school or kids bullied through FB or emails. I don't think of this as just black or white, but on a spectrum. The anchor woman's bullying was far less severe than many other cases.

As for her stating the writer's name, I agree that was inappropriate and not wise. She could have addressed this issue without mentioning where it came from.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003

No, it's not bullying.

If I have this right, this was a private message sent to her? Because what I find odd, is although this letter is rude and tasteless, he is not bullying her, but, by releasing his name and letter to the public who is now attacking him, repeatedly, is bullying.

Just a thought.

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