I think I have 382,024,205,523 things to say about the story of the News Anchor v. Internet Tough Guy. Too many that I can’t focus on just one thing so it might turn into a series of things. Poor Elena. She gets to hear me yell and kvetch before I write it down. She’s just generally awesome. Onto the point…
Having been the victim of my own Internet Tough Guy several years ago (see my response here all of which had to do with this video that was linked on the old Nashville is Talking blog), the dust up is rather personal to me.
Especially since Internet Tough Guy issued a statement offering to “help” the Newscaster become a better role model by taking the next year to lose a significant amount of weight. I am not sure if that angered me more than his original email.
Sure – ITG maybe thought he was saying something helpful. My grandpa did when he would poke me in the stomach or arm and call me “chubby” – that the insult would motivate me to stop eating junk food. The reverse happened – because I felt bad about myself and didn’t measure up and didn’t feel loved by my own family, I would eat more because the food wasn’t judgmental. The endorphin rush made me feel good for a while (sound like an addict?)
When you put yourself in the public eye for whatever reason – by profession, blogging, or just going to Wal-Mart, you leave yourself open to positive as well as negative criticism. The anchors knew that. I didn’t think in 2007 when I uploaded my video that I would be called a “blogging whale” by some dude in Memphis because I didn’t see myself that way and wanted to share what was so much fun for me with others.
The truth is: words hurt. And with the advent of relatively anonymous communication online, mean things get said far more often than ever would have face to face. Now that I’ve wandered back into the virtual fray, I’m sure it will happen again. Haters gonna hate. Fatties be fat. There I said it for you, future jerk. Save the bandwidth because I don’t want to hear you opine on how I disgust you. Well, you disgust me so it’s mutual. I don’t care if you wouldn’t sleep with me because… HEY! I wouldn’t want to sleep with you either even if it meant saving humanity from extinction, and I’m kinda OK with that.
Also, the reason why your comment may or may not be approved is that I’m trying to… protect you from yourself. Push your luck and I might not be so forgiving (sorta said Darth Vader.)
Sorry. Got sidetracked.
This response from the Fat Nutritionist is NSFW but raises important issues on “helpful” comments that do far more damage.
But, to the Ms. Livingston’s response (which was beautiful and classy – highlighting bigger issues than just one email from random guy… that this is a cultural problem) and anything else we may come across, one has to ask “what is the wise thing to do?” My knee jerk reaction is to pummel these ITG’s with all verbal barrels blazing. Or to beat them with my bag if confronted in person. While I may feel better, they aren’t exactly “wise.”
I do think that we must confront the bullies because they need to know that they are “sad little kings of sad little hills.” It may not change their mind or opinion, but maybe they will think twice before pulling the proverbial trigger on the next person they encounter. And you will feel better for being better than them.