Yet with all this talk about weight and speaking up and bullying and fighting the bully, I think the most disappointing thing to come out of this story has been the criticism of other media outlets and countless viewers who believe that Ms. Livingston blew this man's email out of proportion, misused her position as a public figure, and/or is simply in denial about the reality of her size. When I hear comments like this, I often wonder if I am even watching and reading the same versions of things that other people appear to be referencing. But clearly, we are all reading the same page, we just don't happen to all be on the same page
But here's the deal: This woman is in a position of power. And yes, she used that position to shed light on a serious issue that is neither about her nor about "fat" per se. It is as much about the destructive power of words as it is about their empowerment. It is also about the fact that we live in a world often dictated by fears - some of which we can't even identify or define. We are just fearful, on a global scale, of anything we do no understand or anything that feels personally threatening, either because it is so different from our own lives, or because it is too close for comfort and is forcing us to confront what we judge in ourselves.
But my ultimate question is this: How many people, when given the chance, use their access and their power to speak about issues - whether or not they, themselves, are directly impacted - and how many of them choose the politically safe, non-boat-ricking alternative of silence and complacency instead?
So my only response to Ms. Livingston, after all this, is a very simple "Thank you."
Just something to think about until next time -