Jillian Michaels defends criticizing Lizzo's weight, says people should prioritize their health
Former The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels is defending her criticism of Lizzo‘s weight, even after social media users called her comments fatphobic and accused her of body shaming. In her new statement, Michaels did not apologize and said obesity comes with “serious health consequences.”
The controversy began after Michaels appeared on BuzzFeed’s digital show AM to DM on Wednesday morning to talk about her career, and the conversation veered into Lizzo’s appearance and the trend of body positivity.
“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t going to 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 when I’m like, ‘I’m so glad she’s overweight.’ Why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?”
The trainer released a followup statement on Twitter later in the day, sticking to her original sentiment about the consequences of being overweight, reinforcing that with a message of self-love.
“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.”
She ended her note, saying, “I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodies.”
Her response has already been slammed on the platform, similar to her original statement about Lizzo’s weight. Many Twitter users denounced Michaels earlier on Wednesday, saying she has no place to comment on someone else’s body and doesn’t realize how much physical work goes into Lizzo’s high-energy shows.
One commenter shared a Facebook message from a fan who mentioned that the artist’s performances include dancing, singing, and playing the flute for hours on stage.
Other commenters said Michaels’ critique was also hypocritical, as The Biggest Loser was based around making people lose significant weight in a short period of time, which many health experts have deemed unhealthy (that did not stop USA Network from rebooting it for this year). Additionally, Michaels has been sued four times over endorsing supplements that allegedly contained dangerous ingredients.
Lizzo has not publicly responded to Michaels, and reps for the artist have not replied to EW’s request for comment. The “Good as Hell” singer, who is tapped to perform at the Grammys on Jan. 26, recently quit Twitter after receiving a flood of abuse from users. On Wednesday, Lizzo, who’s currently on tour in Australia, shared a video that did not address any specific situation, but could be a response to haters in general.
“today’s mantra is: This is my life. I have done nothing wrong. I forgive myself for thinking I was wrong in the first place. I deserve to be happy,” her message read in part.