Meteorologist Slams Criticism Of Her Appearance In Stellar Fashion


Something that women are still battling in the workforce and many other public settings, is being judged on their appearance. It’s as if we have to go the extra mile to prove our worth beyond what we are wearing and how we look. One awesome meteorologist from Tennesee, Julya Johnson from WATE received a complaint letter from a “loyal” yet disgruntled viewer about her appearance, which she just couldn’t ignore. Julya even went one step further and posted the picture on the station’s facebook page, as an example to other people what not to do.

The letter reads:

Hello Julia, You are a great meterologist! I am at elderly person who depends on WATE 6 News for my daily news and weather — my daily beginnings — I watch this news from 2 a.m. — thru the day. I observed every one gets great compliments about their job, How they give great forecast.

There are not any compliments about you! Why? Please change your appearance!! Those high Bodice dresses are Not (for) you. Do you Have any dress or dresses that don’t fit snugly under your (Bust)? Please! You are Beautiful – But you need a change. Please don’t feel like I’m putting you down. Allow me to apologize. This letter is meant for the beautiful lady you are. Go forward (Be happy!)

And here is how Julya responded, in stellar fashion showing there is more to people than just their appearance and “never judging a book by its cover” still applies!

So, it’s not fun to wake up to things like this. No return address was left, so I’ll address it here. I will never, ever be able to please everyone with my appearance. It’s not possible. I have tried for 12 years on-air to do that. I have ‘changed my appearance’ to try to please people before. It never works. So, I please myself. I like my dresses. I feel good about my appearance. … Does the fact that I bring an accurate forecast mean nothing? I was a straight A student. If I had known being on People’s list of ‘best dressed’ mattered more than an accurate forecast, I could’ve saved a ton of money on that meteorology degree.

Don’t do this, people. Just don’t. It’s very rude. That’s my opinion, and it is as valuable as anyone else’s opinion.


Why did this story make headline news around the web? Because frankly women are sick of people feeling the need to voice their opinions about something that, if it WERE a pressing issue, don’t you think it would’ve already been addressed?

She’s not the only news personality who decided to take what was a private humiliation public, in the name of education people why criticisms relating to physical appearances hurt, and also in an attempt to encourage others going through the same deal.

In 2012 Wisconsin TV news anchor Jennifer Livingston received a letter from a man stating that A) he doesn’t really watch the show, but B) when he did he was appalled at her size and complained how dangerous it was for her to be “promoting” obesity. The nerve!

She also gave a very humble, yet courageous response, shutting down his criticism for her appearance.

Whatever valid points these people may have had about the news personalities completely went out the window when they focused only on their appearance as being the “problem”. In exposing these types of viewer letters, it reinforces how brainwashed we are as a society to think that anyone on screen must fit into a certain mold, or there is a problem. Like Jennifer said, she is well aware of her weight, she doesn’t need people to point it out. Yet miraculously she still has her job, is a functioning adult and the world hasn’t imploded because of her weight, or Julya Johnson’s choice of dresses.

But women being judged on their appearance isn’t the fault of men, or a patriarchy or any one person. It is an attitude that has been allowed to foster in society, thanks to industries like fashion and advertising, for way too long. Since the rise of supermodels in the 1980s, we have grown accustomed to seeing everything from clothes and accessories to everyday items like coffee mugs and cars being touted by women with (super-photoshopped) lithe bodies beautiful bone structures.

We have been brainwashed to think that an unrealistic image is the ideal or standard we should hold ourselves to, and when we see an image in public life, say, like that of a news reader who isn’t a size 0, we immediately feel the need to criticize and chastise.

Australia’s two most popular teen magazines, Dolly and Girlfriend each run a model search annually. Miranda Kerr was actually discovered at the tender age of 13 by Dolly magazine back in 1997. Journalist Mia Freedman, who used to be the editor-in-chief of Dolly by now runs her own lifestyle website Mamamia, wrote a post recently about why, during her magazine tenure, she decided to axe the long-running competition.


She was asked for a comment by the media on the current winner, and Mia complained that for every Miranda Kerr who goes on to be a Victoria’s Secret model with a Hollywood boyfriend, there are thousands who don’t.

“Side note: is becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel something we want to encourage girls to aspire to anyway? If that’s the pinnacle of your career, what does that say about the values of the modelling industry?”

“So why did I axe it? Because I thought the message it sent to girls – that the most important thing about you is how you look – was an appalling one. A negative one. A damaging one.” Just like Miranda winning in 1997, both the Dolly and Girlfriend comp winners this year were 13.

“At the most mentally and emotionally vulnerable time in a girl’s life, why on earth would you throw her into a world that judges and rejects you exclusively on how you look? And what you weigh. Here’s a clue that the modelling industry is messed up: the winner of this year’s contest was the youngest finalist. Why? Because if you want to be a model, 16 or 17 is too old.”

Mia goes on to lament how the fashion industry prefers young adolescent girls to adult women, which she finds an odd moniker, teaching adult women who buy those brands featuring underage models, that their adult bodies are somehow wrong.

“Modelling itself is an adult industry. Run by professionals, sure but photo shoots and castings are adult places. Nobody cares about the self-esteem of the girls they’re seeing. Nobody cares that they are smart or funny or kind. And modelling is an industry based on rejection. Adults looks at your face and your body, peer intently at the photos in your portfolio and then say “thanks” and you never know why you didn’t get the job. And you’re 13.It baffles me why anyone would think modelling was a good idea for themselves or their daughter.”


She is basically saying, why on earth would any parent want to willingly allow their child into an industry where their self-esteem is going to take a battering from day two (because on day one you are told you are great, awesome, beautiful, until the real work starts on day two.)

While she acknowledged that teen magazines such as the two in question and many other around the world are making a concerted effort to educate its young readers on important issues in life, throwing teenage girls into the dangerous world of modelling, which has long been associated with drugs, eating disorders and unhealthy lifestyles for so long, is never a good idea.

“If you do not want to be judged on how you look and what you weigh, do not become a model.If you do not want your daughter to be judged on how she looks and what she weighs, do not let her become a model.Same with your son. If you don’t want your daughter’s self-esteem to be DIRECTLY and inextricably linked to her weight and appearance, do not let her become a model.”

“If you don’t want your daughter to believe her value as a person is determined solely by how she looks and what she weighs, do not let her become a model. If you don’t want your daughter’s self confidence to be smashed to smithereens by an industry that rejects her 99% of the time based on how she looks or what she weighs, do not let her become a model.”

Mia Freedman’s words are important for parents and young girls to understand that when you start off life focusing on your physical appearance and making that your “money-maker”, then it will be much harder for you to be able to stand up to body bullies the way Julya Johnson and Jennifer Livingston so adequately did.Wanting to look your best is certainly not a crime, but when that becomes the sole basis of your worth, we have a problem. Ladies, you are worth more than just what people see on the outside. We hope these stories and messages hit home in a way to empower and encourage your self-esteem.



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