Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bullying Shmullying

Yesterday, I posted the following video on my Facebook page:

Watch it because I'm not going to explain it to you. But I will point out that the anchor calls this incident bullying. Some people have disagreed with her. Some people agree with the writer. Some people think it doesn't fit the technical definition of bullying. I'm not sure if anyone who has ever been bullied would agree with them.

"Bully" is such a juvenile term. It's something that invokes images of playgrounds and wedgies. Or at least it used to. It's become so much more than that. People bully and get bullied throughout their entire lives. They sit behind their computers in the comfort of their bedroom and write terrible things about people they don't know. They eat lunch alone because their coworkers won't invite them out with them. I read an article recently about how people, adults, legitimately worry about what people think of them because of the brand of coffee they are carrying. We have become so judgmental of and awful to each other that grown adults are scared that people will think negatively of them because of what their fucking coffee cup looks like. That is bull shit. We should be better than that.

In 6th grade, I almost never went to school because kids were so mean to me. Luckily, I overcame that. I made many many genuinely good friends. And more importantly, I realized that what I think about myself is more important than what anyone else thinks of me. Yet, sometimes when I cross the street, I still have an innate fear that someone will lean out their window and scream "You're fat!" at me (based on true events). Bullying has lifelong effects. Some people manage them better than others. Some people don't manage them at all.

So, perhaps instead of judging other people, we should focus on ourselves.  You think obesity is a problem? Then promote a healthy lifestyle. You think Dunkin' Donuts is unclassy? Don't drink it. You can't believe that girl would wear that? Ask yourself, "How the fuck does her outfit affect me?" Self-awareness could cure a lot of our nation's problems. Let's all get some.


  1. Agreed. Im glad this lady spoke out about it saying you dont have the right to say it but to bully back is a little much. I'm terrified someone will call me a fat faggot again if i cut my hair because thats what they said when I was a preteen. But its not gonna stop me especially since now I am indeed a FF and i embrace it.

  2. i don't think this anchor bullied back. i think she called a spineless weasel out for being just that.

    that being said, i also shared this on my fb wall and someone commented with this post:

    let's not overlook the fact that an overweight male news anchor draws no attention. he probably looks distinguished. but an overweight female anchor?! she's lazy and clearly isn't willing to spend a month at the gym to fix the problem forever (as the terrible barstool sports article suggests). gross.

  3. I regret not writing about what this incident tells us about society's perception of women and how the media plays a huge, perhaps the largest role, in forming and maintaining these ideas. Another post, perhaps.

  4. Though, if you're around me much, you've been hearing me say these things almost daily.

  5. My mom posted this on her Lynn's Weigh facebook page yesterday. Here's my response.

    I think this is partially criticism and mostly cruel. I often wonder what is wrong with the person who wrote the email to have so much hate in his heart. What makes him think he's the greatest thing to walk the earth? Regardless if this is bullying or not, some people just need to learn to realize that if that person doesn't directly affect your day, then just move along.

    While yes, someone in the public eye has more 'obligation,' if you would, to be at a certain level of fitness, but would someone be criticizing someone else for being too thin? Would they automatically assume that person is a bulimic? Who's to say that this woman isn't trying. As she said, she knows she's heavy. So why write an email? I doubt pointing out the obvious and being so cruel would cause her to want to suddenly want to lose weight. From my experience true weight loss happens when a person has support. Pushing someone down isn't being supportive.

  6. I had mixed feelings about the video. The guy was definitely rude and his email was inappropriate. Without actually knowing the person I felt unfair making the judgement call myself if it was "an asshole being a 'bully'" as she chose to label it or an "awkward and ignorant, yet well meaning" individual. The tone seems to indicate the former but it doesn't mean his point is completely invalid. And to his credit this was a private email, it's not like he was trying to humiliate her or get her fired or anything.

    I think it's important to teach people to be okay with themselves and I certainly don't think only "skinny" people should be on TV. But I did have a problem with her tone of voice when she said "according to some doctor's charts". The solution to the obesity problem in America is not redefining Obese.

  7. I, too, thought, "Well, that guy was lame, but a bully? I dunno."

    But then I thought: If you think that seeing a large woman on television is what's causing the obesity epidemic in this country, you are sorely, sadly, wildly mistaken. You're not helping anything. You're just an asshole.

  8. Perhaps he had a point, but he did a terrible job making it. Again, if you believe obesity is a problem, then promote a healthy lifestyle. Attacking someone's weight will never solve the issue. In fact, it could make it worse.

    They're are a lot of reasons why people are "fat". One of them is people's perception of what fat is. And what "healthy" is.

    I'm overweight for many reasons and by many standards. But am I unhealthy? I eat moderately well. I work out. I have no major medical issues, low cholesterol, low blood pressure. I can walk up the stairs and still breathe.

    You know what my problem is? My problem is that people like this guy are constantly telling me what is right and what is wrong and it's confusing and unmanageable and discouraging. If we weren't so focused on weight, weight wouldn't be an issue.


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