News Flash: Nobody Bullies Jennifer Livingston

Wisconsin news anchor sets "suitable example for the community's young people" by turning to the camera to take on her fat-shaming bully

In case you missed it, a fantastic video has been making the rounds of the internet. A television news woman who received a bullying e-mail about her weight from a viewer stood up to the bully on air in epic fashion.

As someone who gets hate mail from my blog every day (including death threats), this is something I think about a lot. First, I don't know where people get the idea that fat people or our bodies are their business to accept or reject. We’ve traveled a long way down a bad road here and it is time to turn back.

This is not complicated: Everybody has the right to exist in the body they have without shame, stigma or oppression. Fat people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just like everyone else. That right is inalienable and not anyone else’s to confer. This is not up for discussion, debate or vote. There are no other valid opinions. Fat people have the right to exist. Period.

Plenty of evidence shows that healthy habits and not body size are the best determinant of health. But we all apparently still have to be thin to meet some bullies definition of health. Singling out a group of people based on their appearance and then trying to calculate their cost on society and blame them for things has historically been a horrible idea, so how about we stop doing it.

If you want to be helpful then work for access to healthy food and safe movement options (which means physically and psychologically safe – because if everybody can’t throw on a swimsuit and go to the pool without fearing for bullies or shaming, then we not there yet). If you want to be a good role model to the community, respect other people's choices and bodies like you want yours to be respected. If you want to bully people in the name of health, then as Glinda the Good Witch said to a bully many years ago, you have no power here, be gone.

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