Jillian Michaels Says We Shouldn’t Celebrate Lizzo’s Body. It’s Not the First Time Her Comments Have Raised Eyebrows.

Jillian Michaels has been accused of fat-shaming after saying that people shouldn’t be “celebrating” Lizzo’s body. The ex-The Biggest Loser trainer made the comments during an appearance on Buzzfeed News’ AM to DM after host Alex Berg asked Michaels to share her opinion on Lizzo’s message of body positivity and self-acceptance. 

Jillian Michaels says she loves Lizzo’s music but is worried about her health 

The fitness buff had nothing but positive things to say about the “Juice” singer’s music, but she wondered why we were talking about her body at all. 

“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? Because it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes?” Michaels said. “I’m just being honest. I love her music. My kids loves her music. But there’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad that she’s overweight!’ Why do we even care? Why is it my job to even care about her weight?”   

Lizzo and her fans respond

Lizzo wasn’t letting Jillian Michaels’ comments about her weight get her down. Soon after, she took to Instagram to declare she’d “done nothing wrong” and that she  “deserve[s] to be happy.” 

Supporters of the “Juice” singer were also quick to slam Michaels for what they labeled as “fat-shaming” comments. “Stop concern-trolling fat people and get in the bin,” tweeted actress Jameela Jamil. Writer Sarah Benincasa said Michaels was “BAD AT HER JOB” and that Lizzo is “doing JUSSSST FINE.”

Michaels defended her comments, tweeting that “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.” 

This isn’t the first time that Michaels’ blunt comments have drawn attention

Jillian Michaels with Alex Berg
Jillian Michaels with Alex Berg | John Lamparski/Getty Images

Michaels, 45, has drawn fire for her blunt comments on diet and fitness in the past. In 2019, she got into a spat with Al Roker over the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, which The Today Show host says helped him lose a significant amount of weight. 

“So @JillianMichaels says #Keto is a bad idea. This from a woman who promoted on camera bullying, deprivation, manipulation and more weekly in the name of weight loss. Now those sound like bad ideas,” Roker tweeted

In response, Michaels challenged Roker to a “civil, intelligent debate” on the diet. But Roker never responded, she told Buzzfeed. At some point, Bravo’s Andy Cohen also weighed in, calling Michaels a “bad idea.” 

Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak (he’s worked with stars like Jessica Simpson) has also criticized Michaels. In 2004, he was hired to be a trainer on The Biggest Loser, but later backed out. Pasternak told the Guardian in 2016 that he had a number of concerns about the show, including the casting of Michaels. He described her as an “actress” and “a TV trainer, not a real one.”

Michaels says political correctness is ‘endangering people’ 

Michaels’ comments about Lizzo weren’t the first time she’s spoken out about her concerns about the body positivity movement. In an interview published the Jan./Feb. 2020 issue of Women’s Health U.K., she said that inclusivity goes too far when it starts putting people’s health at risk. 

“I think we’re politically correct to the point of endangering people. Yes, we want to be inclusive of everyone [and respect that] everyone comes in all different shapes and sizes,” the Slim for Life author said. 

“That nobody should ever be body shamed or fat shamed or excluded and that everyone is equally deserving and should feel equally valuable,” she added. “But obesity in itself is not something that should be glamourised. But we’ve become so politically correct that no one wants to say it.”