Jillian Michaels, a famous fitness and life coach, came under fire on Twitter after she asked the host of Buzzfeed News’ live morning show “AM to DM” why people are celebrating the body of pop star Lizzo.
On Wednesday, “AM to DM” host Alex Berg interviewed Michaels about a variety of topics including political correctness, body positivity and healthy living.
Berg mentioned Michaels’ previous comments about how political correctness has gone too far in the health and fitness industry. “I think it’s insane,” Michaels said. She said she believes that PC culture has led to extremes in body image.
“‘Oh, she’s too fat to be a pop star.’ … You should never be able to say things like that,” Michaels said. “But for years people were. They could fat-shame and they could exclude people and they could make people feel less than in all forms of media, and we should always be inclusive.”
“But you cannot glorify obesity. It’s dangerous. It kills people,” Michaels said.
“So there’s a middle ground here. Now it’s like, ‘Oh, that woman is 250 pounds. Good for her!'” Michaels continued. “It shouldn’t be one way or the other. It’s really no one’s business to comment. It’s not something you should judge, it’s not something you should celebrate.”
Michaels said that a woman’s health is determined by her alone, but a woman that is 250 pounds will end up with “heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune issues, [and] an early death.”
Berg praised rapper Lizzo for preaching self-acceptance, adding that she loved seeing images of bodies like Lizzo’s that aren’t usually celebrated.
Michaels said she loved Lizzo’s music and that she was sure Lizzo was an “awesome” person, but she took issue with celebrating the singer’s body.
“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? … Why aren’t we celebrating her music? Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes,” Michaels said.
“I’m just being honest. I love her music, my kid loves her music, but there’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad she’s overweight.’ Why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?” she went on.
“I’m not saying, and never have I said, that we shouldn’t be inclusive and accepting. I’m saying that I don’t love Lizzo because she’s overweight, I like her because of her music.”
Twitter users were horrified with what Michaels had to say about Lizzo, calling her a “bully.”
“Jillian Michaels has always been a bully and a sell out,” one user wrote. “Her voice is deep and her facial structure to me looks like she’s used steroids for years.”
“Have you ever seen Jillian Michaels work? Empathy is not part of the equation,” another person tweeted. “She’s a bully who puts being skinny before being healthy.”
“Jillian Michaels is a bully who hates herself,” another Twitter user wrote.
Later that day, Michaels tweeted out a statement.
“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving,” she wrote.
“I also feel strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity – heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few. I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodies.”
— Jillian Michaels (@JillianMichaels) January 9, 2020
On the flip side, many people who commented on the “AM to DM” video on YouTube were supportive of Michaels.
“I don’t understand why she is getting so much criticism? She wasn’t being a ‘bully’ or anything. She was just being honest,” a YouTube commenter wrote. “And sometimes the truth can’t be sugar coated.”
“I’ve worked various hospitals for almost 30 years. Patients have gotten bigger every year,” another YouTube commenter posted. “Obese patients come in more often, do worse, require more resources, and don’t follow up as directed way more than normal weighted patients. Obesity is one of the most preventable causes of pain, suffering and death in existence. She’s completely right.”
“It is not compassion, but cruelty, to pretend that obesity is perfectly fine, let alone worthy of celebration,” Polumbo wrote.”Whether we like it or not, pop stars such as Lizzo are role models for millions of young people.
“When we pretend that their obesity is not a problem or bizarrely delude ourselves into saying it’s ‘beautiful,’ it only encourages an entire generation of kids like me to grow up and never make the tough choices they need to make to be healthy.”
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