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Trainer Jillian Michaels Takes Flak Over Lizzo Remarks

Trainer is accused of fat-shaming, but she says she's talking only about health risks
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2020 11:55 AM CST
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This June 23, 2019, file photo shows Lizzo playing the flute at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – Personal trainer Jillian Michaels—best known as a coach on The Biggest Loser—is receiving lots of criticism Thursday from fans of singer Lizzo. It stems from comments Michaels made Wednesday on the BuzzFeed News show AM to DM. “Why are we celebrating her body?" Michaels said. "Why does it matter? Why aren't we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes." (See the clip here.) "I’m just being honest," she added. "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.'' The comments triggered a quick backlash, with critics (like this one) accusing Michaels of fat-shaming. Michaels later issued a statement reiterating her main point: She loves Lizzo as a performer but thinks it's a little dangerous for people to glorify her weight.

"We are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving,” she wrote, but "I also strongly believe 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.” Lizzo herself put up an Instagram post with a message of acceptance, though she did not directly address the controversy. "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," she wrote. Michaels made her initial comments after show co-host Alex Berg mentioned that she thought it was a good thing that Lizzo and other plus-size celebs preached body positivity, notes the Washington Post. (Read more Lizzo stories.)

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