Let Me Translate Jennifer Livingston’s Email From a Bully for People Who Say He Wasn’t Being a Bully
I wasn’t going to say anything about the Wisconsin reporter who stood up to a bully on the air. She pretty much covered it, right? But then I started seeing comments from people who thought that nope, the email wasn’t someone being a bully, just someone being honest.
Here’s the original letter:
It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. 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 a person 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.
Just because the author, whose name hasn’t been released, used big, fancy words and knows proper grammar doesn’t mean that he isn’t being a bully. His words were meant to intimidate, humiliate, and shame Jennifer Livingston. Let me translate the letter to help clear it up:
I saw your show today and how you’re still fat after all these years. You’ve been fat for a long time! You’re a horrible role model because you’re fat. You like being fat, and you tell little girls it’s okay to be fat. You should be perfect because you’re on TV, not a Fatty McFatterson. Go eat a salad and hit the gym.
Same point, different words… still bullying. I’m glad she addressed it on tv. I’ve gotten the same crap, and sometimes I reply, sometimes I don’t. Like she said, I know what I look like. My mirrors work just fine, thanks. I never share any hate mail that I get. Maybe I should? This is one of my favorites, from a guy who was pissed that I didn’t kiss his feet after he hurled sexist insults at me (the subject line was “hey Ms. Piggy”):
Maybe if you weren’t such a snobby little porker I wouldn’t be a “douchebro!” Do yourself a favor and take a joke! And I didn’t say “you’re fat” I said “fat ssslut”
He’s (obviously) not as nuanced as the guy who emailed Jennifer Livingston, but they’re working on getting the same result. Make us ashamed of who we are, make us hide in the shadows and retreat from society. Make us feel like we’re less than.
Sorry, dudes, but we’re not going anywhere. And while I’m proud of the original guy for having a firm grasp of the English language, that doesn’t mean he’s not a bully. Because he is.
I’ve gotten this sort of crap for as long as I can remember, as have most women. (We’re never good enough for the a-holes, are we?) We’re always too fat or too thin or we dress too slutty or like nuns or we don’t smile enough… it’s always something. Feel free to steal this last gif and keep it on hand for the next time some jerk tries to make you feel like you’re not good enough. Because it’s true… compared to you, a bully’s awesomeness is tiny. And that’s us being kind.