When meteorologist Julya Johnson opened her fan mail Friday morning, she didn’t expect it to include an attack on her appearance. Yet, according to Julya, she received exactly that: a letter first detailing how wonderful Johnson is at her job, then the message jumps into a suggestion that Johnson should change her appearance!
Johnson is a meteorologist for WATE, an ABC affiliate in Knoxville. The letter she shared Friday is reproduced in it’s entirety below, but the part that caught Julya’s attention is this:
“I observed every one gets great Compliments about their Job. How they give great forecast (sic).
There are not any compliments about you!
Please change your appearance!! Those high Bodice dresses are not (for) you.
Do you Have any dressier dresses that don’t fit snugly under your (bust)? Please!”
The anonymous writer goes on to say that she means no offense to Ms. Johnson, but still insists once more that Julya must change.
Since there was no return address, Johnson decided to respond openly to the letter on her Facebook page.
Julya gently, but firmly explained that she dresses to please herself, not others, and intends to continue doing so:
“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. I am always covered, dressed modestly and professionally. Yet, she mentions that I am a great meteorologist! And she also says I get ‘no compliments’? 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.
It’s notable that some rude letters in the past have turned out to be hoaxes — consider the case in February, when radio hosts claimed an anti-gay mom responded nastily to a party invite for her child, only to admit later it was a fake.
While some commenters have already accused Julya Johnson of sharing the letter for attention, if not making it up entirely, one fact that is certain is that Ms. Johnson’s response is full of truth. People, and women in particular, are often expected to change to suit others, and as Julya says, it’s impossible to please everyone at once.
Most fans rallied to support the forecaster, calling the criticism of Julya Johnson sexist, rude, and inappropriate.