Jillian Michaels, a personal trainer and television personality best known for being a coach on “The Biggest Loser,” is being criticized as “fatphobic” after her recent comments about singer Lizzo’s body.
“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music?” Michaels asked during an appearance Wednesday on the BuzzFeed News morning show “AM to DM.” “Because it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes.”
Michaels added that while she and her children love the “Truth Hurts” singer’s music, “there’s never been a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad she’s overweight.'”
A clip of the interview went viral Wednesday and had been viewed more than 2.6 million times as of Thursday morning, with many of those who shared the video accusing Michaels of “body-shaming” Lizzo.
“Honestly can the world just get off Lizzo’s d— already? The woman can outrun, out dance, out sing, out sex, out earn and out do most of the wastes of space who pointlessly take time out of their day to criticize her,” “The Good Place” actress Jameela Jamil tweeted. “You aren’t fit to lick her designer boots.”
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
“@JillianMichaels participates in the diet industry & profits from us hating our bodies. Don’t listen to her,” Sami Schalk, an assistant professor of gender & women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tweeted. “You can be fat & healthy. Besides, health is not a barometer for a person’s value.”
“Lizzo is celebrated because not only is she talented, she shows other girls to love themselves no matter what,” Tony Posnanaski, an artist, wrote on Twitter. “Jillian Michaels can only trend for being an a——.”
Despite her fans rising to her defense, Lizzo — and her body — have been routinely scrutinized and criticized on social media. Last month, Boyce Watkins, a social commentator and political analyst, wrote in a viral tweet that the musician’s popularity is because of “an obesity epidemic in America.”
At the time, Lizzo effectively thwarted his critique, tweeting “I’m popular because I write good songs and I’m talented and perform high energy hour and a half shows filled with love.”
Yet, earlier this week the singer announced that she was taking a break from Twitter because of “trolls.”
“I would love to be on Twitter ’cause I could connect with you people who positively support me… not to mention spreading my own positive messages,” the Grammy-nominated singer said on Instagram. “But now I’ve gotten to a point where I’m not just dealing with Internet bullies, I’m dealing with seeing a lot of negativity on the Internet dealing with everyone.”
Following the criticism, Michaels doubled down on her comments and issued a statement advising her followers to “prioritize their health.”
“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving,” she wrote on Instagram Wednesday evening. “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.”
Though a number of people agreed with Michaels in the comment section of the post, others said that she should not be commenting on Lizzo’s body unless she’s the singer’s doctor.