Over and over on Facebook I have been seeing this video being played that is noted below. So many workmates and others on Facebook have come to the side of the news anchor in support and it is heartwarming to see so many stand up for this young lady. The words that were sent to her obviously did nothing to make her feel good about herself and many of her colleagues and others have denounced what they called bullying. Please watch this and then I will comment on what I saw and heard.
Sending an email like this to someone whom you do not know anything about but what you see on TV was wrong. Would I like to see her lose weight. Yes for her own health’s sake. Do I know if she is on a medication that may lead to retention of weight? No I do not. Do I know if she has a medical condition that causes her to not be able to keep weight off? I do not. So I should keep my mouth shut and accept her for who she is and how she conducts herself. I may want to practice some empathy, tolerance, consideration.
But is this a case of bullying? The answer is a clear NO. Is this a case of a typical bullying behavior (name calling)? That is a clear YES. This was not bullying as defined by all of the experts, as bullying is defined as being DELIBERATE (with the intention to hurt someone) REPEATED (targeting the same person again and again) POWER IMBALANCE (difference in social, economical or some other perceived imbalance). This situation does not seem to fit this definition.
However the message she delivered in response to the sender was spot on. It covered many good points and I commend her for the response. But I would suggest that it was not bullying and not fair to those who are really being bullied, who have put up with all sorts of messages, physical and verbal abuse, being ostracized or manipulated or rumors & gossip being spread about them or many times much worse.
We should not be misusing the bullying tag. We can and should stand up against bullying behavior and bullying. But when we mix up bullying with bad taste, uncivilized behavior it is a slap in the face to the thousands of individuals who are bullied everyday.