Nearly a month after Jillian Michaels warned of the dangers of “glamorizing” obesity, the trainer and former Biggest Loser host gave her two cents about society’s celebration of body-positive singer Lizzo and said “it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes.”
The 45-year-old was making an appearance on BuzzFeed News’s live Twitter show AM to DM on Wednesday when she was asked about the comments that she made about obesity during her earlier Women’s Health U.K interview.
“You cannot glorify obesity,” Michaels repeated on the digital show. “It’s dangerous. It kills people.”
And when the show’s host, Alex Berg, suggested that she loves celebrities like Lizzo for “preaching self-acceptance” and allowing people to see different types of bodies being celebrated, Michaels pushed back.
.@JillianMichaels on Lizzo: "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." pic.twitter.com/FkKBd8J87b
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) January 8, 2020
“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? That’s what I’m saying. Like why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes,” Michaels said of the singer. “I’m just being honest. I love her music, my kid loves her music. But there’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘I’m so glad that she’s overweight.’ Like why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?”
The clip was posted to the outlet’s Twitter account, where followers started speaking out against Michaels, calling her words “incredibly gross” and pointing out the irony of her statement considering her work on Biggest Loser.
This is incredibly gross.
— Kelsey✨12/6 👼🏾 Dad (@KRileyTips) January 8, 2020
The only reason we know who Jillian Michaels is, is because of a reality show where people used incredibly unhealthy practices in order to lose as much weight as possible - not to become the most physically fit or to get the healthiest vitals - in a dangerously short time. +
— Zoe (@Zoe_of_Elyon) January 8, 2020
JM has a lot to lose if people begin demanding we treat all bodies with respect. how come you’re the only one that gets to talk about bodies, J? your outdated, stigmatizing fearmongering is tired.
— KathleenMeehan MS RD (@kathleenmRDN) January 8, 2020
While asking "why is it my job to care about her weight" you sure found a lot to say about her weight. And if you don't know that there are lots of fat people who never get Type II diabetes go to school and learn more before you suggest you can see Lizzo's future.
— Silence=Death (@tapati) January 8, 2020
"Why do I even care?" Very good question. What is it about a black woman who loves herself that makes you so goddamn angry? Reflect on that with your tiny reptilian brain as the sun's sweet heat fries you to a crisp.
— Heather Havrilesky (@hhavrilesky) January 8, 2020
It matters because the standard of health and beauty in this country is you. And the average women in this country doesnt and will most likely never look like you. So its high time we change our perception of ourselves and what beauty is to reflect the average woman.
— Sunshine ☀️🤩😋 (@Joy_Anna15) January 8, 2020
Actress and activist Jameela Jamil also commented to say that her “whole damn thin family has diabetes.” She even went on to tell Michaels to “stop concern-trolling fat people and get in the bin.”
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. 🚮 https://t.co/2fKVJrkWm3
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) January 8, 2020
Others responded to BuzzFeed News’s tweet to suggest that posting the clip seemed like an endorsement.
This is so gross that you would not only allow her on your platform but that you would amplify the disgusting thing she said here on Twitter. Shame on you
— Brooke Obie (@BrookeObie) January 8, 2020
However, Michaels’s full interview was later posted to give the clip context. A spokesperson for BuzzFeed News, Matt Mittenthal, additionally tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “AM to DM is a live morning show that brings viewers unfiltered, revealing moments from guests. Alex's interview today did just that.”
Berg also took to Twitter to share her intention of bringing Lizzo up in conversation with Michaels. The host thanked viewers for “checking me on the conversation.”
What I was going to say here is that Lizzo has been incredibly important in giving so many of us a possibility model for accepting our bodies as we are and celebrating bodies that are normally ridiculed. Had to restrain myself from defending Lizzo's honor! https://t.co/UH2k5MulWo
— Alex Berg (@itsalexberg) January 8, 2020
I just wanted to say: I really appreciate folks thoughts and checking me on the conversation. I'm reading through the comments and discussion, and wanted to acknowledge that.
— Alex Berg (@itsalexberg) January 8, 2020
Michaels posted a statement to Twitter on Wednesday night where she addressed the controversy.
“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,” Michaels wrote. “I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodies.”
This story was originally published on Jan. 8, 2019 at 5:41 p.m. ET and has been updated to include Jillian Michaels’s statement.
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