By Sonya Magett, EnStarz | Oct 03, 2012 12:00 PM EDT
Jennifer Livingston, a local television news anchor, made a surprise move and fired back at a show viewer who wrote an insensitive email to her.
The viewer criticized her weight by stating that he was surprised her "physical condition hasn't improved for many years" and that her size was not a "suitable example for young girls."
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The email was sent to the 15-year veteran at the station she works for, "WKBT News 8 This Morning" in LaCrosse, Wis.
"I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn't improved for many years," wrote the viewer, identified as Kenneth Krause. "I leave you this note hoping that you'll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make."
Livingston's husband, Mike Thompson, a fellow news anchor at the station, posted the scathing email to the news station's Facebook page on Sept. 28
Livingston, 37, addressed her "bully" on-air on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
"The truth is, I am overweight," said Livingston. "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 that I don't see? 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."
She added the following:
"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. If you are at home and you are talking about the fat newslady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat."
She ended her response by addressing young viewers in honor of Anti-Bullying Month, which is in October.
"I leave you with this: 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. 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."
Livingston told The Associated Press that she and Krause exchanged a few emails and that he wouldn't back down from his opinion. She shared that she has received more than 1,000 positive messages from people on Facebook and the bullying scared her as the mother of three daughters.
"It's not what this one particular man said to me," she told the AP. "It's the reaction that what I am saying back to him and bullies everywhere is impacting me. I am just shocked right now that the words of one journalist in small La Crosse, Wisconsin can make such a loud roar."
Krause told The Associated Press his emails had nothing to do with bullying. He declined to reveal his age and profession and said he no longer had the emails.
Watch the four-minute segment featuring Livingston addressing the letter sent to her by Krause.
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