Jillian Michaels Responds To Heated Backlash Over Her "Diabetes" Comment About Lizzo
After facing severe backlash on social media for making insensitive, fat-phobic comments about Lizzo's body, fitness guru Jillian Michaels has spoken out. The former Biggest Loser coach issued a statement on Instagram, which did not directly address the singer, writing that "we are beautiful," while also standing by her original remarks.
The controversy unfolded on Wednesday after Michaels appeared on BuzzFeed News' morning talkshow on Twitter, AM To DM. When the "Truth Hurts" singer was brought up, Michaels told host that she and her kids, 9-year-old Lukensia and 7-year-old Phoenix, are all big fans of Lizzo, who's quickly become an icon for self-love and body positivity. But Michaels also said she doesn't understand why people celebrate the singer's body.
"Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? That's what I'm saying," Michaels said during the interview with AM To DM. "Why aren't we celebrating her music? 'Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes. I’m just being honest."
Michaels went on to repeat that she loves Lizzo's music, but added that "there’s never a moment where I’m like, 'And I’m so glad she’s overweight.' Why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?"
Romper has reached out to Michaels' reps for comment.
Though an obvious statement, it should be noted that Michaels, who is not a medical professional, has absolutely zero insight into the Grammy award-winning singer's health or medical history. Additionally, there are many factors behind diabetes beyond someone's weight, such as genetics and environmental factors, according to the Mayo Clinic. Actress and body positivity activist Jameela Jamil highlighted this fact when she responded to Michaels' comments on Twitter, noting that her "thin family has diabetes and high cholesterol and problems with our joints."
Jamil was hardly the only person to speak out against Michaels' comments. One Twitter user fired back at the trainer, "Jillian Michaels can go f*ck herself. Lizzo is celebrated because not only is she talented, she shows other girls to love themselves no matter what." Meanwhile, another said, "As a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and a Mom, I prefer Lizzo as a role model to my daughter over Jillian Michaels. Self love and acceptance will do more for you than a size 2 dress."
On Wednesday, Michaels responded to the furor surrounding her comments about Lizzo, writing on Instagram: "As I’ve stated repeatedly, 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 — 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."
On Thursday, Michaels spoke to TMZ about the situation, and doubled down on her initial comments. "I'm a health expert, for years I have said repeatedly that your weight and your size have no bearing or merit on your value, your beauty, your worth, your ability," she told TMZ, and added that she considers pretending that your weight has no bearing on a person's health is "irresponsible and not a lie I'm willing to tell."
Fortunately Lizzo doesn't seem too concerned by all of this. Instead of allowing herself to be drawn into a fruitless argument about her own body with a stranger, she has been spending her time volunteering at a food bank in Australia during her tour to help wildfire victims. Turns out, Jillian Michaels is 100% not her problem.