“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter?” Michaels, 45, asked during an interview with BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM on Wednesday, January 8. “Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes. I’m just being honest.”
The personal trainer went on to say that she and her children, Lukensia, 9, and Phoenix, 7, “love [Lizzo’s] 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?”
Elsewhere in the discussion, which centered around body positivity, Michaels argued that people should not “glorify obesity.”
The 6 Keys author’s comments quickly went viral on social media, where many people accused her of body-shaming. Actress and activist Jameela Jamil tweeted, “Just saying… MY WHOLE DAMN THIN FAMILY HAS DIABETES AND HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND PROBLEMS WITH OUR JOINTS. Why is This woman acting like she’s an MRI Stop concern-trolling fat people and get in the bin.”
Comedian Sara Benincasa, meanwhile, tweeted, “People who have incredibly deep-seated self-hatred and have spun it into a ‘fitness’ empire are particularly inclined to say s–t like this. Jillian Michaels has successfully projected her body dysmorphia outwards for years and made a ton of cash off it. Jillian Michaels hates her own body and is worried that if other people hate their bodies less, they’ll stop buying the s–t she peddles. She’s worried about the bottom line, not Lizzo’s health (or yours, or mine.).”
One fan pointed out on Twitter that Lizzo, 31, “spends hours every night singing and playing the flute during intensive dance cardio” on stage. “Just admit that the only self worth you’ve found for yourself is in your thinness, Jillian, then go to therapy & do the work to love yourself,” the fan added.
In response to the backlash, Michaels released a statement on Instagram later on Wednesday, writing, “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.”
Lizzo has not publicly addressed the TV personality’s remarks as she announced earlier in the week that she would be taking a break from Twitter. “Too many trolls,” she wrote on Sunday, January 5. “I’ll be back when I feel like it.”
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