Fitness expert Jillian Michaels found herself in some hot water in January 2020 following a viral appearance on Buzzfeed News’ “AM to DM” when she questioned why society was praising Lizzo’s body. At the time, Michaels suggested that fans celebrated the singer’s music, stating, “it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes.” The backlash ensued almost instantly. Michael noted that while she was a fan of the Grammy Award winner’s music, she didn’t care much for her style of body positivity.
Recently, the controversy was brought up once more in an interview with Carlos Watson on his self-titled YouTube series. Around the 15-minute mark, Watson asked the personal trainer about the remarks she made. While the 47-year-old admitted that she regrets commenting on the “Truth Hurts” singer during the conversation, she still stands by her statements regarding overweight people.
“This poor woman. Every single time I do an interview, her name comes up. She must want to die. I never once actually brought her up. I would like to make that clear, she has been brought up to me, and I would like to separate her from the issue if at all possible,” she began. She continued, “I should have done that the first time I was asked. I should’ve said, ‘Let’s separate an individual from a conversation about health,’ and that is where I genuinely went wrong, and this is literally the only place I will tell you that I went wrong.”
Michaels doubled down on her previous comments, reiterating that being overweight was not something to applaud, telling host Watson, “If the conversation is about celebrating obesity, I would tell you that we need to celebrate individuals.”
The former “Biggest Loser” star continued, “We shouldn’t celebrate somebody because they’re big. We shouldn’t celebrate somebody because they’re small. We should celebrate somebody because of the quality of their character. Obesity is just unhealthy. That’s it, and it has no merit on the quality of the human. They’re not connected. They’re totally separate issues. So the fact that these two things have become interwoven in some bizarre politically correct alternate universe is an absolute shame, and we’re not doing anyone any favors.”
Michaels said as an expert in her field she’d be doing a disservice if she did not tell about health and dieting, regardless of where it puts her on the popularity scale. She also isn’t phased by “keyboard warriors,” claiming that behind closed doors, many in the health field would agree with her takes but are too afraid to admit it publicly.
Still, many who took to social media felt otherwise. Critics continued to slam the television personality, including one user who called her “trash.”
“Lizzo is gorgeous and on amazing shape. Have y’all seen her dance and play a fucking flute at the same time? Do you know what kind of lung function that takes? Go fuck right off, Jillian,” the Twitter user wrote.
Another wrote, “Skinny people get diabetes, too, Jillian. Let’s stop with that age old pearl clutch.”
“She has some serious fat phobia which turns into her fat shaming,” expressed a third. “I was done with her after she said she didn’t want to ruin her body with pregnancy. Work on your own issues girl and leave Lizzo alone. Lizzo has more stamina on stage than I’ll ever have.”
Lizzo has been very outspoken when it comes to her physical image. However, last year she was accused of promoting “diet culture” and showing off her new diet and exercise regime on social media.
In December 2020, she fired back at her critics in an Instagram video, stating, “So next time you want to come to somebody and judge them — whether they drink kale smoothies or eat McDonald’s or work out or not work out — how ’bout you look at your own f–king self and worry about your own goddamn body,” she continued. “Because health is not just determined on what you look like on the outside. Health is also what happens on the inside, and a lot of y’all need to do a f–king cleanse for your insides. Namaste, have a great day.”