Jennifer Livingston Fights Weight Criticism

Wisconsin news anchor hopes to raise awareness after viewer makes fun of her size.
3:00 | 10/03/12

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Transcript for Jennifer Livingston Fights Weight Criticism
a local anchorwoman who became the lead story when she went public with a hurtful e-mail from a viewer, criticizing her weight. Her four-minute response to him on-air has gone wildly viral. We'll talk to her live in a moment. But first, take a look. Good morning and wok to news 8 this morning. I'm jennifer livingston. Reporter: Jennifer livingston, the morning anchor at wkat in lacrosse, wisconsin, has spent her career reporting the news. But this week, she became it. I want to take a moment to address a situation that's been a talking point in this community over the past weekend, especially on facebook, that centers around me. viewer I mail from a local man who criticized her weight -- it reads as follows. 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 sponlt as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle. Good job. Reporter: Livingston tried to laugh off the hurtful comments. But her husband, also an anchor at the station, could not. He posted the e-mail on facebook. And an overwhelming amount of support poured in. Hundreds and hundreds of people have taken the time out of their day to not only lift my spirits, but take a stand that attacks like this are not okay. Reporter: In the end, it was livingston who got the final word. The truth is, I am overweight. You could call me fat. And, yes, even obese on a doctor's chart. But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think i don't know that? 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 have admitted that you don't watch this show. So, you know now about me than what you see on the outside. And I am much more than a number on a scale. Are you blowing a kiss? Reporter: Livingston, herself a mother of three daughters, spoke directly to the children in her audience. Saying, no one should ever let themselves feel victimized by others. Listen to me right now. Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many. And joining us, now, live, is jennifer livingston, along with her husband, mike thompson. Good morning to you both. Jennifer, I have to ask you. We all get e-mails from viewers that are sometimes not very nice. Why did you go public with this particular one? This is one of the worst that I've gotten. And usually, it's about a story which we encourage people to critique us about our stories. And sometimes, it's the occasional, your hair looks this way. Your jacket was not -- you know, you're not wearing your jacket well. But this was an attack. This was a personal attack. Calling me obese is one thing. Calling me a bad role model for our community where I've worked for 15 years, and especially young girls, which I have three girls, was a low blow. And I wanted to call him out on it. Do you think the man who wrote this was trying to be hurtful? Do you think it was thoughtlessness or cruelty? Or both? I think in his mind, he views himself as being helpful, which is what I think, a little bit of the problem is. He doesn't see the way he approached it was clearly hurtful to me. He is trying to shame me into losing weight. That's not being helpful. That's being a bully. Mike, you posted on this your facebook page because, quote, it made you sick, when you read this. You had a real reaction to it. I did. Like you said, we get e-mails here in the media all the time. But I feel like this one crossed the line out there. And what really angered me, more so than his attack on her not being a role model for our community is that he doesn't know jennifer. He doesn't know me. He doesn't know our family. He doesn't know that jennifer has ran triathlons. She ran in a race last weekend, a 5k race. She works out two or three times a week. She's going to run in a race this weekend. He doesn't know that. He doesn't know that she has a condition, a thyroid condition, that makes it harder for her to lose weight. He doesn't know any of that. He just decided to attack her for no reason. He doesn't know, in fact, she's been trying very hard to lose the weight that she fully well knows she has. You just put out, jennifer. I'm curious for your reaction. The internet has made advances in our lives. But has it made it easier to be a bully? You can insult somebody without the discomfort of having to say it face-to-face? You would never say the majority of what you see on the internet to someone's face. That's what it's about. Yourself because you're not saying it to their face, you have anonymity doesn't make it okay to say. We need to make sure we're teaching our children that, especially what's happening in our schools today. The general disproportioned conversation as a full. I was struck by something else, jennifer. If you were at home talking about the fat news lady in front of the kids, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat. You really think that discussions like this, comments like this, can lead to bullying in schools of kids? I absolutely think that. I do believe that for the majority of kids out there, this behavior is learned. It it's coming from someone else. We all need to have a discussion with our children about what's important, about whether kindness is the way we want to be. Or do we want to be critical of the way someone looks. And what did you say to your three young daughters about this issue? Our 10-year-old, we told her this might be something she has to deal with in the future. She needs to be strong. And hopefully, she can follow my example. Because she is a good role model. Oh, that's great. Jennifer, mike, thank you so much being with us. Be kind to others. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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