A local news anchor took the air Tuesday to blast a viewer who attacked her for being overweight.
Jennifer Livingston of WKBT in La Crosse, Wis., slammed the viewer on-air after he wrote in to complain that Livingston wasn't "a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular" because of her size.
"I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn't improved for many years," the viewer wrote in the email titled "Community Responsibility."
"I leave you this note hoping that you'll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle."
The letter quickly went viral
after her husband, fellow WKBT anchor Mike Thompson posted it to his Facebook page Friday, telling followers that it made him "sick to his stomach."
WKBT TV anchor Jennifer Livingston got this letter from a viewer and used it to highlight bullying about weight and other issues on her show.
On Tuesday, Livingston thanked the "hundreds" of people who have supported her — a response she called "truly inspiring" — before taking on her attacker
"The truth is, I am overweight," she said. "But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don't know that? You don't know me ... so you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside and I am much more than a number on a scale."
Livingston used the personal attack to send a public message about bullying, noting that October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month.
"That man's words mean nothing to me, but really angers me about this is there are children who don't know better — who get emails as critical as the one I received or in many cases, even worse, each and every day," she said, adding that children often learn bullying from their parents.
"To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference
, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now," Livingston continued.
"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."