Jillian Michaels Defends Controversial Comments About Lizzo After Singer Quits Twitter
Fitness expert Jillian Michaels has defended her controversial comments about Lizzo’s weight, following a fierce backlash.
The personal trainer, 45, laid into the Truth Hurts singer’s body shape on January 8, remarking that ‘it isn’t gonna be awesome if she [Lizzo] gets diabetes’.
Following this very public bodyshaming, Lizzo – who has long been an advocate for body positivity – announced her decision to take a break from Twitter, explaining that there were ‘too many trolls’ on the platform.
The initial comments were made during an appearance on Buzzfeed’s AM2DM show, with Michaels stating:
I love her music, yeah, a hundred percent. I don’t know anything about her, I’m sure she’s a cool, awesome chick.
[…] But why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? That’s what I’m saying. Why aren’t we celebrating her music?
Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes. 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 that she’s overweight!’ Like, why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?
Michaels has since been widely criticised for making such a personal judgement about Lizzo’s body, with many left angered by her attempt to fat shame the Grammy nominated artist under the socially acceptable guise of concern.
Unfortunately, Michaels doesn’t appear to have reflected too much on the hurt caused by her comments, and her subsequent response to the backlash is less of an apology and more of a reinforcement of her initial statement.
Continuing to claim her comments were made out of concern for the ‘health consequences that come with obesity’, Michaels tweeted the following message:
As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving. 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.
Of course, nobody would argue against the assertion that it’s vitally important to look after your health. But this sort of nastiness is anything but healthy, and is highly unlikely to help anyone who is currently struggling with weight issues.
Indeed, the effects of stigmatising plus sized individuals can prove deeply harmful. As reported by Healthline, stress caused by fat shaming can actually drive an individual to eat more and put on more weight.
A study of 93 women found exposure to weight-stigmatizing information made those who were overweight — consume more calories and lose a sense of control over their eating habits.
A separate study of 73 overweight women, found those who watched a stigmatizing video proceeded to eat three times more calories afterwards than those who had watched a non-stigmatizing video.
Lizzo has yet to address the controversy directly, but she appears to be keeping up a positive attitude while taking time out from Twitter.
Writing on Instagram, Lizzo said:
At the 25 second mark I want you to take 5 deep breaths… in through the nose… out through the mouth.. 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.
Here’s hoping Lizzo gets the space and support she needs to brush these comments aside and keep on being a bright, shining talent who inspires so many.
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