I still remember the first time I “met” Carrie Duncan.
I was in middle school, and I used to stay up late after my parents went to bed to watch reality-style dating shows called “Next!” and “Elimidate” because we didn’t have cable and I thought I was being totally rebellious and really cool.
Before those came on, though, I liked to watch the 10 p.m. news on WLOX-TV. One night, I heard a new voice when the weather came on, and it was Carrie Duncan.
I thought it was so refreshing to hear a woman’s voice give the weather. She was super professional yet fun and inviting. She made me, a young person who at the time only really watched the news because we couldn’t get cable at my house, want to watch and tune in.
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I grew up planning my outfits for school according to Carrie’s weather reports.
Through the years, news became more important to me, and I started consuming it differently — mainly through online outlets or social media. Still, I followed Carrie.
I watched her get married and welcome her kids into the world. I’ve watched her do live shots in terrible weather. I’ve seen her at events, always talking to fans and stopping to take photos. I cheered when she was promoted to chief meteorologist.
Carrie Duncan is a boss.
I’m typically not surprised when I see negative comments about people in the media because I work in a newsroom and see those comments every single day. But I was SHOOK when I woke up to see the disgusting piece of garbage someone decided to e-mail Carrie.
Someone put on their keyboard warrior hat and typed up a hateful rant to Carrie, targeting her weight, her hair and the outfits she wore while on the clock.
First and foremost, bravo to Carrie for taking the high road in her response. I don’t know if I would have been that nice. I also don’t know if I would have protected the identity of the person who sent me that message. You, Carrie, are a bigger person than me.
More importantly, let’s get to the real issue: It’s 2017, and people still care more about a woman’s appearance than her accomplishments or bad-ass work ethic.
It happens all of the time. People were outraged because Hillary Clinton wore an Armani jacket to an event, and Melania Trump was just criticized for wearing a designer outfit as well. Katy Perry’s haircut is in the spotlight, and people are mad at Miley Cyrus because she’s letting her roots grow out.
To the person who wrote Carrie Duncan that email: You are one of the reasons why girls think they have to look a certain way and weigh a certain amount to be accepted in society. You are the reason people still think telling a woman she’s pretty is the best compliment there is.
What about “you’re strong” or “I don’t know how you do what you do in a day, being a wife, a mother and working a job that requires more than a 40-hour work week commitment?” What about “you’re really amazing at your job” or “I love your weather report because it shows you really care about South Mississippi?”
It’s so easy to tear people down. Try building others up instead.
We’re with you, Carrie Duncan.