Jennifer Livingston with husband Mike Thompson

* Epic Victory: Hurtful comments from a viewer turns into outpouring of support

Jennifer Livingston of WKBT-TV

Epic Victory: Jennifer Livingston of WKBT-TV takes on weight “bully” on air.

Here is the story:

CBS affiliate anchor Jennifer Livingston of WKBT-TV, received a hurtful comment calling her fat from a viewer. This left Livingston’s husband, fellow WKBT anchor Mike Thompson, upset. He posted on his Facebook page and called the writer a bully. Moments later he began receiving massive support from people. In a newscast statement to viewers Thompson pointed out that she was aware of her body image and that she was much more than a number on a scale.

Livingston said in her statement, “You can call me fat and yes, even obese on a doctor’s chart. To the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that? Your cruel words are pointing out something I don’t see? You don’t know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family, and you admitted that you don’t watch this show so you know nothing about me besides what you see on the outside — and I am much more than a number on a scale.”

She continued by stating, “We are better than that bully. We are better than this email. We are better than the bullies that would try to take us down.”

Overcoming bullying is a global problem that many face in America. The numbers only continue to rise monthly as countless numbers of children report them. According to the National Education Association, “160,000 children miss school everyday due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.”

American schools harbor millions of bullies and countless victims. Grades suffer as a result of bullying and children often become fearful and need to seek counseling in order to work through their issues. Truth is, bullying is considered verbal abuse and should not be tolerated. The bully often bully’s another in order to gain status as a superior to others or to gain a fellow bonding amongst others. The person who is bullying often does not know how to bond with others or how to connect with people. Various attacks can be on thoughts, feelings, views, expressions or desires.

There is often no visible proof of the abuse; therefore, it is generally not taken seriously until problems get out of hand. Due to the psychological issues that plague the abuse victim, the victim is driven to the breaking point; with often drastic regretful results. Abuse is not a joke. We must not accuse and blame, judge or criticize. We must work through the anger. I believe education is the tool to breaking the chains that have left terrible effects. The emotional pain is over and we must rise! Rise together with strength and educate our youth to not continue the trends that have often plagued our society.

Just as CBS affiliate Jennifer Livingston did in her comment, she had to speak out against the bullying to get the attention; we must too. Abuse is not a joke and has become a chronic problem in our society. Examples of this are written all over magazines as they rate body appearance and justify their stance. We can stop the trends by speaking out, telling our stories of how we overcome and how to rise above.

Inspirational leader, author and physician, Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) once said, “Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.”

Live victoriously!



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