DENVER -- If you follow me on social media, you are likely aware of an interaction I had with a viewer earlier this week.
Here is the email I received:
If you’re like me, your initial reaction was probably shock — how could someone say this? I have been in this business of TV news for 17 years and have developed some thick skin. Does is still hurt? Of course. Anytime someone says anything less than flattering about you, it makes you feel bad.
But, here’s part of what bugs me about this particular critique — this viewer didn’t actually have to “say” it.
For some reason, people — men and women, young and old — think it’s OK to deliver commentary via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. that they would never say to a person’s face. I have no issue with people making comments and voicing their opinions. Everyone has that right. But if you would not say it to my face, you should not write it to me.
This comment came in an e-mail, so I could have written back. I didn’t because I didn’t know what to say. Instead, I posted it to my Facebook account. Why? Because there needs to be a discussion about this type of thing. Again, I am not doing this as a pity party for myself.
Here’s the deal: An e-mail like this could have major ramifications. If you sent that to a young reporter or anchor or even posted something like that on a teenager’s social media page, you could put the recipient in a bad spot, potentially leading to an eating disorder or other issues.
This particular comment is about physical appearance. We are all different. Yes, I work on television, so how I look does matter. But I do not need to be a size zero to look good and do a good job. If you have seen me in person, you know I am smaller than I appear on television. It is true, TV does lend the appearance of being heavier (they say it adds 10 pounds). Do I have some weight to lose? Perhaps. But that is between me and myself.
I think we as a society need to really think before we speak. Some of my viewers who follow me on Facebook commented that this is bullying. Maybe. Again, I am able to let this roll off my back more easily than maybe some. And yes, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to all 250+ viewers who commented on my Facebook page. I can definitely say you all value “me,” not my appearance, and I am truly grateful for that.