Jillian Michaels Reveals What Prompted Her Controversial Conversation About Lizzo

The comments made by former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels about popular singer Lizzo seem to remain in the headlines. The fitness guru has clarified her statements several times, saying that her focus has been on health rather than weight.

Michaels recently revealed how the conversation began during her Buzzfeed interview, and how it shifted focus to the music star.

Jillian Michaels | Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Clarification on comments

The now-spotlighted conversation took place during Michaels’ interview on BuzzFeed News’ Twitter morning show AM to DM. The health and wellness expert was asked about her comments on the danger of obesity being glamorized, where the host brought up Lizzo as an example of self-acceptance.

“Why are we celebrating her body?” Michaels said. “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. 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.’”

After receiving an onslaught of criticism for her statements, Michaels attempted to explain her view in greater detail. “As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving,” she tweeted. “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.”

When the topic was brought up by TMZ on January 9, Michaels again tried to clarify her comments. “For decades I have said repeatedly that your weight and your size have no bearing or merit on your value, your beauty, your worth, your ability,” Michael told TMZ, according to Yahoo! Celebrity. “Where it does have relevance is your health. To pretend that it doesn’t is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous — and it’s just not a lie that I’m willing to tell because it’s politically correct.”

Setting the record straight … again

Few will be surprised to learn that the topic came up yet again when Michaels appeared on Extra earlier this week. The fitness guru referenced her former reality show and today’s ‘politically correct’ culture to explain how the entire conversation began and how it ended up taking a detour towards Lizzo.

“Here’s the reality… It was actually about The Biggest Loser and does that show work today, and I said I don’t think so,” she told host Billy Bush, “because I think the world has become so PC that we’ve gone so far to glamorize obesity and… I think this is where things can become unsafe, that we’re denying the reality of certain health ramifications.”

Michaels went on to clarify her point, again hoping to convey the emphasis on health rather than weight. “There’s two different narratives. One narrative is love yourself, value yourself, and — by the way — only from this place can you be healthier, mentally, physically,” she said, “believe in your worth and believe in your ability, but where this comes into play, right, you’re weight, your size, whatever you want to call it, is your health, and denying that there are serious health ramifications when we are overweight is just not a lie I’m willing to tell.”

Her comments on Lizzo post-Buzzfeed interview

When Bush asked what Michaels would now say to Lizzo, she acknowledged that she could have done a better job at choosing her words. “Well, first of all, she didn’t invite this at all and what I really regret is this argument became about a person,” she said. “What happened was I was asked if I celebrate her being overweight and I should have said, ‘I don’t celebrate anyone being overweight,’ and I don’t know what would I say to her. I’m a huge fan, which is exactly what I said in the interview.”

Michaels expressed her regret at how the interview snowballed and also pointed out that she personally has struggled in the past with her weight. “Unfortunately, a human being was attached to a case that I was making. I wish that I would have responded that I don’t celebrate anyone being overweight,” she said. “I happen to be one of them. I was an overweight kid… 175 pounds at five foot one.”

The former Biggest Loser trainer reiterated that her viewpoint comes from actual data regarding the negative effects of obesity. “I understand this from a 360-degree perspective… Are we all built the same? No, I’m built with a slower metabolism, it just means I gotta to eat a little bit less, I gotta move a little more,” Michaels explained. “Nevertheless, no matter how you look at it… I’m simply saying it’s extremely unhealthy and obesity is the number one contributor to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, which are the number one things to kill Americans — this is a fact.”