Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jillian Michaels opts for commenting on Lizzo’s body over practicing basic decency

Photo: John Lamparski (Getty Images), Denise Truscello/WireImage (Getty Images)

We suspect that someone like Jillian Michaels can’t help but be threatened by a body-positive force like Lizzo: After all, the former Biggest Loser trainer makes her living selling books and DVDs featuring meal plans and workouts for people who want to lose weight. She even has a fitness app, My Fitness By Jillian Michaels, which she mentioned on the BuzzFeed News morning show, AM To DM, yesterday while discussing new year’s resolutions with host Alex Berg.

Right after she knocks fat shaming and says that she’s pushing “inclusivity,” Michaels segues into talking about the apparent dangers of “glorify[ing] obesity,” which is “dangerous,” “kills people,” and “the number one cause of bankruptcy in our country.” Host Alex Berg then brings up celebrities like Ashley Graham and Lizzo in a positive light, commending them for preaching self-acceptance, resulting in images of bodies that we don’t usually get to see being celebrated in the media. Jillian immediately cuts in, “But why are we celebrating her body?… Why aren’t we celebrating her music?” (Um, who said that we weren’t? Pretty sure that we all are.) Michaels continues/rambles, “Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes… I like her music, my kid likes her music, but there’s never a moment when I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad she’s overweight!’” (All of the fireworks start in the clip above around the eight-minute mark.) Berg soon tries to switch the conversational topic to Michael’s kids, but the damage had been done: Nobody messes with Lizzo, especially when she didn’t request anyone’s takes on her body in the first place.

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Michaels has since received a ton of backlash online and elsewhere, classifying her as a fatphobic member of the diet industry. Some noted how Michaels’ seemingly disingenuous concern align with the public’s tendency to police the bodies of Black women in particular. She then made a weak attempt on Twitter to kind of/sort of/not really apologize:

How did Lizzo spend her day yesterday, you ask? Well:

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The queen wins again.

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About the author

Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.