Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bullying, Role Models

In THIS article, NBC news tells about a local news anchor who was criticized for her obesity.The writer of the email expressed rage that she was , as an obese person, a poor role model.
    The criticism came from a writer who admitted to not being a regular viewer of the show. Perhaps the news anchor has even promoted healthy living.
   However, our world is unfortunately full of people who feel that they can trample on other person's feelings. I remember being a new mother in the hospital and having another patient tell me "You know, you are fat." I replied much as the news anchor did: "Do you really think you are telling me something I didn't know?"
   All of us are imperfect. But people who are overweight are easy targets for criticism, because their flaw is visible for all to see, But people who are not overweight may often not realize just how difficult the journey to health is.People who are severely overweight often have some psychological issue playing part in their overeating, and entrenched habits ARE difficult to break. Just this week, with holiday meals coupled up with lack of sleep AND stress, I found myself noshing (snacking) on cake more than my "holiday lee-way" would allow.
    Now I am confident that as I get back into post-holiday routine in a week, having more time for exercise, I will be able to deal with stress in healthier and more productive ways.But I do not feel that my ability over the last three years to lose 70 (plus) kilos means that I am any better than a person who is fat. Yes, I am healthier in all probability. And I may live longer. But I am not intrinsically superior.Because we all have our weaknesses, and if someone's fault is NOT readily visible, that does not mean that it doesn't exist. I certainly would see a woman who was overweight as a superior role model than a person who shoots off his mouth.


Cindy said...

Amen to that! Great post. I'm shocked at how often people comment about Chuck or Beth. They don't know their history or their medical concerns, they just see the weight.

You're right, we all have issues. Some are easy to see, others are hidden.

frum single female said...

Wow. That is a an amazing story. I think that obesity has remained the only group that it is pc to harass. It is such a shame . I read the article about Jennifer Livingston that you linked to . She took a good opportunity to address a sensitive subject and in my opinion became a role model for addressing the bullying issue. The sad part is that there are more woman with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia who are in the media. I would venture to say that they are far worse role models for young girls than Jennifer Livngston could ever be. In fact I think that it is great that a female newscaster who is noticeably un-thin is successful.