1. ratbastard says

    I don’t quite get it,actually. Is this just another attempt to bring ’emotion’ and drama into reporting the news, in order to attract and keep the much advertiser-coveted female demographic?

    I’m sure people in public positions receive all kinds of mean spirited correspondence, even death threats.

  2. R8 says

    @ Ratbastard

    You were spot on with your first sentence.The rest of your comment is pure nonsense.

  3. Pete N SFO says

    It’s been all over my Facebook page for a day now… frankly, I don’t get it. The letter seems rude, but not really bullying. The power dynamic is not equal, although I assume the writer is a man, in which case… why does he think he has the right… but again the answer might be more about private people thinking public people are our friends.

    My only takeaway from this… She definitely needs a better tailor. There’s no reason she has to look so dumpy in that horribly fitting jacket!

  4. DanSwon says

    She’s amazing. That was quite moving. You just couldn’t have put it any better.

    @Ratbastard @Petensfo – no you clearly don’t get it. It’s very simple. She’s trying to help make the lives of bullied kids less unbearable by relating her own personal experience.

  5. Wade says

    But she does need to lose weight or health problems might come later in her life. The letter was a bit out of line but I think it carries a message that she chose not to address.

  6. Gigi says

    It’s amazing to me how many people just didn’t get the point of Livingston’s impassioned message. I’m not sure why but I expected The Gays to be better than the dim-witted evangelicals who say that my “chosen lifestyle” is dangerous. That I should change. That I have a choice.

    This isn’t just a story about a news personality who got a rude e-mail. Ben Cohen (whom I love btw) delivers the same anti-bullying message daily and many of us swoon. LET’S STAND UP TO BULLYING! If the vessel delivering the same message isn’t so cute…we worry about future health issues. They hypocrisy astounds me.

  7. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I had a mixed reaction to that. The email was critical, but respectful, which *bullying* never is. But like Jennifer says, it was also presumptuous, since the writer doesn’t know her situation.

  8. datlaw says

    I love this woman. I actually am good looking, fit, and healthy all around. At 48, I am probably in better shape than all of you posting here, and I look years younger. I’m sure this means that I have carte blanche to criticize Pete and Ratbastard and anyone else when I see them – you know, given that I am a better role model for children than they are. I think this gives me the right to be condescending and rude to everyone who is fat and average looking. IT DOESN’T! That’s the point. Now go away and let the adults play.

  9. endo says

    LOL that on a post about anonymous bullying, the first comment is by Towleroad’s favorite racist, Ratbastard.

    Irony tastes delicious in the morning.

  10. says

    The email from that viewer was not bullying, was probably meant to be a private communication, and should have remained a private communication.

  11. Your Mom says

    LOL @ Datlaw. Thanks for letting us know just how amazing you are. Your comment’s just as irresistible as you are.

  12. jayjay says

    wow ppl really dont get the concept of bullying..she’s an adult and the man is an adult bully. By nuances of lack direct name calling does not excuse the fact that he’s calling her fat and should be ashamed of herself by being in the public. Adults can experience bullying too in even more insidious and well calculated ways, like this man using the excuse that she’s a bad role model to girls in the community.

  13. Jake says

    @Rick Roberts

    Since when does anyone expect an email to a person with a public persona to remain “a private communication”?

    Furthermore, what did this crude rude loon know about Ms Livingston’s personal habits, health markers, etc? Fat healthy people exist. What possible business is it of this dufus to call her out for simply her body size?

  14. Jersey says

    She seems like a well adjusted, healthy woman to me. Don’t buy into the hype that everyone needs to look like a supermodel or Olympic swimmer. I go to boot camp twice a week, lift every other day and do tae bo and insanity classes the other days in addition to three 30 minute abs classes a week and I am healthy as an ox but you know what, I still have a serious gut that none of that work seems to touch, just genetics I guess. I think I’m just supposed to have it. I love working out and the camaraderie of the gym.

    She says she has children she’s no doubt chasing around constantly, she is going to work daily at what I’m sure is a demanding job and she’s absolutely adorable. The person who wrote that letter is an idiot.

  15. Wren says

    I was bullied as a kid, both verbally and physically. Frankly I don’t see it here. The letter seemed to me to be making a point about the obesity epidemic in this country and that somehow we have become complacent as a society as to think that fat as the norm is ok. While letter was rude, I don’t think it rose to the level of bullying and I’m glad some people are finally beginning to wake up to the fact that we as a country are becoming a herd of fat cows. After traveling e world and returning here, and comparing the fat status quo here to other populations, it was really quite disturbing.

  16. ratbastard says


    HOW am I a ‘racist’? I bet you love accusing people of being ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ and ‘homophobic’ just in an attempt to get them to conform to you’re attitude and feelings, don’t you? Isn’t that similar to ‘bullying’?

  17. ratbastard says

    We do have a a very serious public health [and cost$] problem associated with high levels of adults and now kids and teens being overweight and obese, in this country. There are various causes for this IMO. The #1 cause [IMO] is our mostly car-centric, suburban-style ‘lifestyle’ and lack of physical activity. Other main cause are an abundance of food, a post-industrial society, a high level of people on prescription meds that have side effects like weight gain, some subcultures and regions of the country have a well established tradition of eating very fattening and unhealthy food, etc.

    IMO, this is the #1 public health problem in the country, not smoking and tobacco use [which many ‘advocates’ like to promote since it involves government revenue enhancement, lawsuits, and big $$$].

  18. ratbastard says


    I’ve stated in past posts things such as the statistically true and accurate very high level of violence and criminality among some demographics in the U.S. HOW is this ‘Racist’? I assume this is what you’re referring to?

    I’ve also made HONEST observations about some demographics from my own life experiences, some of which are un-flattering. I have un-flattering things to say about my own so-called people, also. How the F is this ‘Racist’?

  19. endo says

    Denigrating entire groups of people based on personal anecdotes to is the very definition of racism.

    You are not bright.

  20. Nanuq says

    I take issue with the anchor’s message to kids “struggling with” weight, skin color, sexual preference, “even the acne on your face.”

    It isn’t weight, skin color, sexual preference, or acne that’s the problem. It’s other people’s ignorant reactions that are the problem.

    As long as the “problem” is identified as being contained in the body or being of the person, the damage to self-esteem remains difficult to overcome.

    When the problem is correctly identified as located in the less than well-informed reactions of others, it’s much easier to shrug it off.

    The letter, btw, was simply a slightly more subtle kind of bullying than is usually the case. It represents the entitlement many men feel to pronounce judgments on the fitness of a woman who doesn’t meet their criteria of attractiveness to do a job in the public eye.

    It’s all too typical for anti-fat, anti-woman bullying to present itself in pseudo-scientific “concern” for “health.” It’s like “concern trolling.” I wonder if the letter writer ever sent a similar message to an overweight male anchor, or sportscaster, or weatherman. Naaahhh. Not likely.

  21. MateoM says

    Endo, the Ratbastard/Rick/Jason troll (yes, it’s the same person) is a notorious source of bigotry, racism, misogyny and femmaphobia. It’s best to just ignore them because they just want to terrorize.

  22. ratbastard says


    Learn how to properly read; I never denigrated an entire group. You’re argument/ploy is obviously to keep me on the defensive. You simply troll blogs, read someone’s opinion you don’t, troll them with various accusations. It’s pathetic


    NO, I’m not ‘Jason’, ‘Rick’ or anybody else except me. You must be confusing me with ‘Little Kiwi’, AKA Lil’ Canadian, who has many personas.

  23. jamal49 says

    It’s all about being allowed to feel comfortable in your own skin, no matter what your physical appearance.

    Bullies don’t allow that. They invade your space, either physically or psychologically, and take away your dignity, your sense of self-esteem.

    Bullying is a scourge no matter how minor or benign it might seem to some of the more insensitive commenting here.

    It hurts. And, the after-effects can last long after the bullying stops, sometimes causing an entire life to be wasted in a miasma of self-doubt and self-loathing.

    So, kudos to Ms. Livingstone.

    By quietly and maturely standing up to that bully, Ms. Livingstone will perhaps have given hope to a child or adolescent or young adult or even a mature adult that they, too, can simply turn their back on a bully and walk away.

    Because that is a bully’s worst nightmare: to be ignored. A bully thrives on the power they believe they hold over you if they know that their harassment and vitriol is affecting you.

    People like Ms. Livingstone or the “It Gets Better” campaign can give the victims of bullying the courage to take that power away.

  24. Gabriel says

    Wait….but she is unhealthy. I don’t get it. Would we give the same respect to a newscaster who smokes cigars on her morning show? Obesity kills people. That isn’t an opinion that’s a fact.

  25. John says

    Replace the world “obesity” with the word “smoking.” Is this still bullying?

    I quote,
    “[Smoking] 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.”

    Obese people ARE a public liability, like smoking. Who pays for their future medicare? Who pays the higher insurance premiums after they get their Nth gastric bypass? We do.

    It is absurd that people are supporting complacency.

    It’s completely legitimate to call someone out for smoking at a restaurant, but not so when a 400 pound man orders 4 big macs, even though they arguably have the same stresses to society as the other.

  26. anon says

    “Childhood obesity isn’t just a public health issue, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well.”
    Michelle Obama

    Is that typical for anti-fat bullying to present itself in pseudo-scientific “concern” for “health.”

  27. Leonard says

    Wow, I hate to play this card, but you would think that people judged, bullied, and oppressed for a human trait would be able to empathize more with others in similar situations, but one look at these comments would say otherwise.

    I’m glad that she stood up to someone who thought they could reduce her to her mere physical appearance and then attack, belittle, and degenerate her because of it.

    The letter-writer has no inkling of any medical problems Jennifer Livingston may have, diets she may have already started, or contributions that she might make to her community (and those “young people, especially girls” that the writer is so focused on).

    @Anon/John/David R./fat-shamers
    Do you think that shaming people for being overweight will entice them to lose that weight? Studies have said that such shaming and bullying does nothing but increase weight gain.

  28. Randy says

    The letter was NOT bullying. And she lies. First it’s hurtful, then it means nothing? I’m dismayed that an adult would turn this into a school bullying issue.

  29. John says

    “but you would think that people judged, bullied, and oppressed for a human trait would be able to empathize more with others in similar situations, but one look at these comments would say otherwise.”

    You weren’t born fat. If you had a thyroid problem that produced disproportionate amounts of metabolic hormones and enzymes… you have a case of being born with star-crossed with the bathroom scale.

    The shaming isn’t so much to influence already large people, it’s great when they do figure out something is wrong AND do something about it, as opposed to this woman, who seems to just want to be a martyr for this obese cause.

    The shaming is directed towards those who believe that gluttony is okay. We live in a world where the American stereotype includes in the word “fat.” I work at an international programs office at my college, and international students, coming into America, make jokes about how much weight they will gain here.

    If you want to talk about studies, get me a peer-reviewed article from a journal with 50+ articles that have cited it..

    This shaming is to encourage mothers to feed their children in a proper manner and promote healthy activities. No bulimia no anorexia, this can help prevent childhood obesity, which can make their lives easier. Look at this article about ADHD and obesity, (cited by 119)

    Pretend you are a boss and you have two applicants sitting in front of you.

    One is fat (600 lbs) and the other is svelte and toned. For all intents and purposes they are identical candidates. Same qualifications. Same personality. Same everything, except weight. Which do you hire?

    If you were honest to yourself you should have been knocked off your high horse.

    I called this woman a martyr. Some may disagree with me. Think of her position. She loves attention. Would a shy reclusive person become a news anchor? No. People who are news anchors thrive on attention and love to bask in the spotlight. I don’t like to be cynical but she may try to sugarcoat herself to make it sound like she is appealing to the greater good but there is probably some personal ambition on her side.

    (went off topic)

  30. joe c says

    People criticizing this woman: you want honesty? Being gay makes you statistically more likely to drink too much, use drugs, and contract an STD. So are you going to go straight?

  31. MIKATUNE says

    Good for her. Local news stations are supposed to devote time to community issues so I thought this was very appropriate. She is addressing the B.S. of some a-hole people in her community. The letter was bullying as it served no purpose other than to insult her appearance veiled as a constructive criticism “for the good of the young people” in their area.

  32. acevedo says

    I would not call her obese. Sure, she could lose some weight but she is NOT obese. This country has made all women become overly obsessed with looking anorexic and doing everything from snorting and starving themselves etc. to get there.

  33. Leonard says

    >You weren’t born fat.

    Some people do have predispositions to larger body sizes, but that’s besides the point. Making assumptions about a person’s lifestyle because of their size or sexual orientation is wrong.

    >The shaming is directed towards those who believe that gluttony is okay.

    You don’t know if this woman believes that gluttony is okay. You’re assuming that because of prejudices you hold regarding fat people. Just like it’s not okay to infer certain stereotypes about me because of my (or your’s) orientation it is just as wrong to say such presumptive things about the anchor based on the limited information you have.

    And, again, fat-shaming does not work:

    I never said obesity was healthy, should be promoted, or does not create a wide-range of negative health effects. Only that fat-shaming does no good. Which the study linked above proves. And that bigotry against others because of perceived characteristic traits is wrong no matter what. An empathetic person would agree.

  34. D says

    Are you people serious? Bullying takes all shapes and forms. If you don’t agree or appreciate someone for who they are and feel the need to write an email criticizing them, THAT’S A FORM OF BULLYING!!! For those of you on here who say they have been bullied and “don’t see it”, look again. It’s very subtle but, it’s there. This woman took charge of the situation and took the power away from that writer. Good for her! The fact that we live in a day and age where anyone can critcise anyone for anything publicly disgusts me. If we were all the same, how BORING life would be! Our differences are what make us unique and special. Don’t EVER let anyone take that away from you. Don’t let them bring you down or make you feel small. I made that mistake when I was younger and will NEVER do it again. Be proud of your individuality, whether by choice or genetics. Just my opinion….God bless everyone. :)

  35. Tristram says

    Weirdly enough, i actually agree with what the letter says: She’s fat and needs help. The point about being a bad role model for children, however, I can take or leave.