“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes,” Jillian Michaels said in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
Michaels is best known for her time on The Biggest Loser, the reality TV show in which people competed to lose the most weight. In an ideal world, all the contestants would, several years later, be enjoying fabulous health thanks to all the diet and exercise information Michaels gave them. However, exactly the opposite is the truth.
Jillian Michael’s The Biggest Loser Contestants Gained Back Weight
It appears that almost nobody’s long-term health was improved by being on that show. In fact, a fascinating study in the journal Obesity, reported in the New York Times, recounts the experiences of the 16 contestants of Season 8.
“After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight” is not an encouraging story. The metabolisms of these contestants were found to have slowed significantly, and other hormonal changes in the contestants’ bodies evolved in a way that made weight gain close to inevitable.
In other words, even if Lizzo or anybody else were to follow every suggestion Jillian Michaels dishes out, and continue to follow those instructions for the rest of their lives, there is, statistically, a very good chance that they would still regain all the weight they lost, and more besides. So she’s body shaming people for their size even knowing she has been peddling a program with a very poor success rate.
Body Shaming is Never Right
Implicit in Michaels’ criticism is the assumption that people can change their body type with a little hard work. But it’s not at all clear that that’s true — and even if it were, it is still nobody’s business what anybody else weighs. Should we repeat that? It is still nobody’s business what anybody else weighs.
We shouldn’t have to point out that it’s rude to criticise someone else’s body. Body shaming is never OK. It’s particularly not OK when you’ve been a part of an organization that has touted the promise of diets and exercise to change bodies but has not been able to keep that promise.
Lizzo recently took to Instagram and said, “today’s mantra is: This is my life. I have done nothing wrong. I forgive myself for thinking I was wrong in the first place. I deserve to be happy.”
Indeed she does. You keep being you, Lizzo.