Wow—How Dare She Be Big?

The morning anchor on WKBT TV in LaCrosse, Wisconsin had a powerful editorial on the local TV news this morning, based on an e-mail she received from a viewer. The viewer suggested that she is setting a bad example. Why? Because she is overweight.

Wow. How weird that someone feels that he has to suggest to a local TV anchor that she is a bad example simply because she is overweight.

Now, I know that obesity is a national health problem. But I also know that the reasons that an individual person is the size that he or she is has to do with lots of factors—genetics, lifestyle, stress, availability of particular kinds of calories, health condition, etc., etc.

It seems the height of arrogance for a viewer to e-mail an anchor with a message that basically says: “You’re fat, that’s a bad example, I’m disappointed in you.” What ripe bull.

One wonders whether a rotund TV male personality would be so soundly subjected to this kind of “helpful” critique. There is an odd tendency in this culture for both men and women to treat public women’s bodies as if they were a public park—something that’s open to all, something that needs to be controlled and beautified for the benefit of all.

But a body is personal—next to the mind or soul, the most intimate and personal thing that each of us owns. Yes, if you’re a performer you put that body out there—and yes others will see and react to it.

But, to snidely suggest to an overweight TV anchor that she is setting a “bad example” just because she exists in a plus size? Beyond bad form—it is a dangerous type of arrogance that does, in my opinion, rise to the level of bullying.

I became aware of the video due to a local news anchor at Channel 9 in Cedar Rapids posting it to her Facebook page. Apparently there have been many supportive message sent to this news anchor.

While that’s good, then again, the video has since been posted to YouTube. And the YouTube community is responding with the kind of kindness and sensitivity that the internet is famous for. Here are a few comments it has collected:

  • I guess doctors are bullies too when they tell their patients that they’re overweight (for their own health).
  • That letter is in no way whatsoever bullying. That letter is constructive criticism. Please dont connect bullying with constructive criticism. As a person on a televised news show it is an absolute slap in the face to 1000s of children who everyday FEAR walking into a school building due to physical, mental, or cyber bullying. As a “journalist” you and WKBT as a whole should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves.
  • after watching this, i have still come to the conclusion that you are still fat.
  • 100% sure every doctor would tell her, that she is over weight and thats unhealthy. And nobody is just fat by genetics. That’s just wrong.

Geez, the editorial is in response to an insensitive, narrow-minded e-mail. Get a grip, people. You don’t know why this anchor weighs what she weighs, and honestly, that’s none of your damn business. She should be able to pursue a public career and not be molested by this kind of narrow-minded, bigoted commentary.

And no, I’m not endorsing “fat” or saying overweight is “good.” I’m just saying that size does not disqualify a newswoman from being seen. And too many of you YouTube boobs don’t seem to see that there is a difference between a well understood rule of health (I am personally better off if I weigh less) and an uncalled for, bullying attack on this individual woman.

And no, her doctor, in the privacy of a consult with her, would not be out of bounds telling her that she needs to lose weight. But you, YouTube boobs, are not doctors in a private consult with her, and you don’t seem to realize that’s what’s OK for a healthcare expert to discuss with an individual patient is not the same thing that’s OK for your to blurt out in public.

Jeesh. Wash your mouths out with soap and hang your heads in shame. I despair, sometimes, for the future of my species when open communication so often reveals our basest, worst instincts.



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2 responses to “Wow—How Dare She Be Big?

  1. Isn’t it amazing that you “never” seem to hear anybody griping or criticizing the “fat” sports anchors and commentators. I notice all the time how those people have packed on the pounds, but there is no way in hell I would ever have the audacity to email them and insult them. NOTE: I am referring to MALE sports-oriented mouthpieces here. The Female versions are usually quite slim, often blonde, and frequently displaying the ol’ cleavage thing. Funny ol’ world, ain’t it? Wonder if a heavier set Female Athletic mouthpiece could even get one of those jobs??? Oh, yeah…sexism is alive and well in America, yes it is. And what a stinkin’ shame, too. Americans are such conflicted and arrogant creatures. How sad is that?

    • crgardenjoe

      It’s sad. Now to be fair, I did choose what I thought were outrageous comments that the video was getting on YouTube–I was not being representative, and there are plenty of supportive comments on both YouTube and Facebook. But, still … yes, sexism is way too alive. And I’m man enough to admit it.

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