Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Hunk Vs. The Chunk

Ken Krause, a self-proclaimed anti-obesity crusader, got himself in hot water for daring to e-mail a La Crosse news anchor commenting on her long time  battle of the bulge, how it hadn't changed for years and how her current appearance certainly isn't a good role model for the young, especially girls. Plus the fact it was unhealthy.

My goodness, you'd have thought he'd posted photos of her like you often see of the lovelies who shop at Wal-Mart!  He was even invited to go on air and discuss his "hatred for people who are a bit overweight."

  Jennifer Livingston , the anchor, decided to read the e-mail on air and turn it into a case of bullying since this is Anti Bullying Month. Okay, I may be on the wrong side of this one, but I'm going to defend Mr. Krause.

Ms. Livingston complained that he didn't even know her nor what the causes of her obesity may be.  She claimed it was unfair to judge her on her appearance and that what he had done was akin to bullying.

Remember now, we have a First Lady who is so concerned about overweight youngsters she's changed the face of school menus to the point the kids are complaining about being hungry all the time.  The mayor of New York has legislated a limit on the size of soda you can buy.

Ms. Livingston is a public figure.  Forgive the pun.  In a business where image is everything.  As is often the case with smaller TV markets, the on air personalities don't present the level of professionalism in either demeanor nor dress you expect to see on the networks and bigger cable outlets.

I live in such a market and often have problems with how the locals appear on air.  Especially the women.  I wonder if some know they can get their hair trimmed and can comb it before going on.  I wonder if they know they can buy jackets that don't make them look like stuffed sausages or that a show of cleavage really isn't necessary to the news. Role models?  Hardly.  If anything it gives young people the idea there are no standards to which one should aspire.

Granted, I've never sent any of them e-mails on the subject though I've often thought about writing their management. Would that be considered bullying?  If I wrote them directly and the topic was anything other than weight would it be considered bullying?

Ms. Livingston reminds us she knows she's overweight and that she has struggled with it ever since she started having children.  So have a lot of others.  I too have a struggle with weight and have to be constantly vigilant to not let it get out of hand.  It's hard.  Darn hard.  But I do so because I care about how I look, how I appear to others, even if it's only the neighbors much less a television audience.

Frankly, I think all the venom directed at Mr. Krause by women commenters is misguided.  What he did is not bullying in my opinion.  If he had flooded her mailbox with diatribes and insults on the matter it would be different.  That doesn't appear to be the case.  If it is it certainly doesn't appear to be part of the story.

It seems to me she may be looking for acceptance and a sense of self she doesn't have because of her problem.  She was the topic of conversation on The Talk where she was given
a thumbs up by the hosts.  She's to get a shot on Ellen.  Wow.  That's one way to keep the issue alive isn't it?

I don't particularly enjoy looking at fat people.  I certainly don't enjoy being overweight myself.  Should I consider my doctor is bullying me when he says a few more pounds would be good?  Or if my husband says I have a ways to go before those slacks really fit well? I don't think so.

Obesity is a problem in this country.  A huge problem.  Again, pardon the pun.  A news anchor is a role model as is any other public figure.  Words pointing out she could be an even better one are not cruel, but fact.  If she has a health issue, state it.  But don't think for a minute Mr. Krause is the only one who finds her appearance less than desirable for a woman in her position. She's fortunate her management is willing to overlook it.

She chose to go public with the e-mail.  Why?  Nothing in it as I read it was cruel, certainly not bullying or what one reporter called bullying creep.  Is she consumed by guilt and looking for a scapegoat?  I don't know.  As she points out, none of us know her, but none of the commenters nor she herself know Mr. Krause either.

Is Ellen going to give him a shot to tell his side of it?  I doubt it.  I'm just thinking the delete key is well marked and the fat lady didn't have to sing. As for Mr. Krause trying to impart some constructive criticism, bully for him!


Betty said...

It's none of Mr. Krause's business whether Ms Livingston is overweight or not. He simply chose to show his personal displeasure. He should watch another channel, if her weight bothered him.

She is not a role model - she's simply a woman doing her job. If he chose to criticize her for being inept, that would be something he should take up with her employer. But, fortunately, employers can't discriminate against people for their weight.

You don't see people criticizing Rush Limbaugh for his weight, for instance, and there are plenty of newsmen and other men on television who could stand to lose some pounds, but they don't hear a lot of criticism.

Mari Meehan said...

I beg to differ. There has been a lot of criticism of Rush Limbaugh's weight. Even a book titled Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot by Al Franken.

As for what we don't hear about men and their weight may be bacause they choose not to make an issue of it.

There used to be expectations for those in the public eye. Apparently they mean nothing to you but then you're not alone.

Tommy said...

Very interesting post Mari. Personaly I think she looks fine. Hey, I could loose some weight also. What I read certainly doesn't sound like bulling to me either.

But, I do agree with one thing in you last comment and that is that "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot".

So with that being said, can we assume that your eye surgery went well and all is fine?