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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, Jennifer Livingston doesn’t let one person’s hurtful words define her!

Dear Daughters,

Jennifer Livingston is a television anchorwoman in Wisconsin and the mother of three daughters. On Friday, September 28, 2012 she received an email from a man who admits he rarely watches her show. There has been much discussion about the insulting email and on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, Jennifer responded to it. According to the video clip of her reponse, the subject line of the much-talked about email is “Community Responsibility” and the body of the message states:

“Hi Jennifer,

It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

As the mother of you, my three dear daughters, I for one am very proud of her response. With her response, Jennifer Livingston has proved herself a most suitable example for not only her community’s young people, but for all young people, girls in particular (especially her three dear daughters) and here is why.

She admits the content of the email was hurtful but she did not let the words of only one person bring her down or define her self-worth. ¬†Unfortunately many of us find that hard to do. Ninety-nine (99) people of one-hundred (100) could shower us with positive words but often it is the negative words of only one person on which we focus ¬†and allow to bring us down. Follow Jennifer’s example and focus on the positive words, especially when they far outweigh the negative ones.

Jennifer Livingston also makes a very good point when she mentions that most people who are overweight are already aware of that fact. They do not need people, especially people who know nothing more about them, judging their character based on their outward appearance. No one should do that to you, nor should you to anyone else. As Jennifer says, “she is much more than a number on a scale”. Sadly, girls and women are constantly scrutinized for their outward appearances and bombarded with images of sexualized women. Society screams at us that if we do not look like these women, we are unattractive.

Jennifer Livingston’s response to the email is an excellent example to people – young and old, boys and men, girls and women. Some people may have chosen to not respond to the man at all, which Jennifer at first considered. Sometimes silence is permission for a person to treat you a certain way. By addressing his accusations, Jennifer has made it clear that this is unacceptable. In her response, Jennifer was assertive, not aggressive, which is the best way to address an emotional situation. She stuck to the facts and did not insult or attack the man who wrote the email.

Although Jennifer Livingston is a public figure, the youth she is most responsible to is her three dear daughters, and she did not fail them here. She was a strong, respectful and confident role model for them, and for many, many daughters and sons in North America, including mine.

Good for you Jennifer!

 

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