On “AM2DM,” a morning talk show produced by BuzzFeed News, fitness star Jillian Michaels questioned why people are celebrating pop-star Lizzo’s body instead of her music.
“I love that they’re putting images out there that we normally don’t get to see, of bodies that we don’t get to see being celebrated,” said host Alex Berg.
“But, why are 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 going to be awesome if she gets diabetes. I’m just being honest,” said Michaels. “There’s never a moment where I’m like ‘I’m so glad she’s overweight!’ Like, why do I even care?”
.@JillianMichaels on Lizzo: "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." pic.twitter.com/FkKBd8J87b
— AM2DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) January 8, 2020
Berg responded to the segment with a tweet claiming she was restraining herself from responding to Michaels.
The truth is, if an individual is overweight, especially around the waist, they are more likely to get Type 2 Diabetes. Belly fat is particularly risky for Type 2 Diabetes.
In Michaels’ defense, there is a difference between fat-shaming a woman and being concerned that her size can lead to health problems down the road. In this segment, Michaels said Lizzo’s music, not her obesity should not be the reason for celebration. It’s true: Lizzo is a talented artist, regardless of her size.
But it’s also true, as Michaels pointed, that Lizzo’s weight puts her at a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Michaels asks a valid question which is, why would society uphold someone who is at risk for a horrible health problem just for the sake of being inclusive? We can be inclusive in society without uplifting poor habits that lead to obesity and other health problems.
“There’s obviously a kernel of wisdom in the Lizzo approach, and it’s especially apt for the Instagram generation,” said Daniella Greenbaum Davis at Spectator USA. While there’s plenty of room for women to agree that Lizzo is an empowering figure, as Greenbaum points out, with such a vast knowledge on health, pop-stars should try their hardest to empower women to be the best versions of themselves. Not to shove fast food down their throats and sing “thank god, thank god, I’m gettin’ thicker.”