Jillian Michaels regrets discussing Lizzo's weight: 'She didn't invite this'
The fitness pro and former The Biggest Loser trainer, 45, again discussed the controversy on Monday’s Extra. She said that while she sticks by her sentiment — that glamorizing obesity is dangerous — she regrets talking about it related to one specific person.
“Well, first of all, she didn’t invite this at all,” Michaels said of the “Truth Hurts” singer, who has been praised for her body positivity, “and what I really regret is this argument became about a person.”
Michaels said that her initial comments, on BuzzFeed’s show AM to DM earlier this month, came after, “I was asked if I celebrate her being overweight. 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 [of her music], which is exactly what I said in the interview.”
“Unfortunately,” she continued, “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."
That said, Michaels maintains her position that “the world has become so PC that we’ve gone so far to glamorize obesity.” And she says, “This is where things can become unsafe, that we’re denying the reality of certain health ramifications.”
Michaels also reminded viewers that she’s been overweight, so obesity is something she understands from both sides.
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“I happen to be [someone who had weight issues],” she said. “I was an overweight kid — 175 pounds at five foot one. So when I tell you I understand this, I understand this from a 360-degree perspective... 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.”
Michaels added, “Denying that there are serious health ramifications when we are overweight is just not a lie I’m willing to tell.”
Michaels has long warned of the ramifications of “glamorizing” obesity — a topic that was covered on the Jan. 8 Buzzfeed video. During the conversation, show host Alex Berg brought up Lizzo, applauding her for “preaching self-acceptance.” That led Michaels to say, “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. 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.’”
Michaels was swiftly criticized for “body-shaming” the singer — and celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg and Jameela Jamil came to Lizzo’s defense. While the trainer clarified her comments in a social media post, she stood by them in an interview with TMZ, saying, “I am a health expert! People come to me, they ask me about health information. Obesity is the number one contributor to diabetes, heart disease, cancer. I wish that on absolutely no one.”
As for Lizzo, she hasn’t addressed the controversy about her weight, but she continues to spread her message of body positivity. While appearing on the Australian show The Project on Monday, she said, “I love myself.”
And the singer — who recently announced a break from social media amid bullying — said she’s going to keep preaching that to her fanbase. "I love the fact that kids love me because I'm making music to make us better, to make us smile, to make you love yourself and I think that children need that more than anything so that they can teach the next generation how to love themselves,” she said. “Love your body."
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