Jillian Michaels made the news for throwing shade about Lizzo’s body, suggesting those that admire her are “glorifying obesity” and it’s just one more example of the concern trolling bullshit that people of any size that isn’t 00 have to endure. Frankly, it comes off as the desperate plea of someone whose pockets are lined by the insecurities of others.

Lizzo is a badass whose shows are feats of athleticism. She knows how to bring it. Jillian Michaels should be THANKING Lizzo. Lizzo is out there showing that high-performance feats of endurance and badassery aren’t exclusive to a specific size and fitness and movement belong to everyone.  She should consider how many people look at Lizzo and say, “She can move and so can I!” For a “fitness guru” she should really be grateful that maybe her workout videos will sell to a broader range of people because people might start to believe they can be fit if Lizzo can.

Lizzo drips empowerment and joy and delight. Empowerment is so important. You can’t hate yourself into a smaller body so all this ableist “fat people can’t” bullshit isn’t helpful. (That’s what my friend Annie Brees taught me.) It does, conveniently, stir up feelings of shame and desperation which are important when you are selling “guilt shakes” I guess.

What would happen to the diet industry if we stopped giving a shit what judgmental skinny women in lycra thought about the size of our asses? I would happily roast marshmallows over the fire generated by an inherently abusive industry which perpetuates itself based on the number of people who gain back more than they lose. They impose ridiculously unsustainable restrictions and buy yachts with the spoils of the rebound effect provided by basic physiology and psychology.

Bodies come in all sizes. I’ve been fat and I’ve been emaciated but when I’ve felt the most unwell has been when I tried so hard to carry the weight of other people’s expectations dressed up as concern for my health. Healthy isn’t a size. A lot of women seriously harm themselves in pursuit of the perfect body and being skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

Skinny can mean a lot of things. I lost a lot of weight and people congratulated me not knowing it was from deep depression. “Thanks for noticing my ass is smaller, yes, I’m very sad.” You can’t tell just by looking at someone how healthy they are. Obese women may be starving themselves. Skinny women may be running on coffee fumes and haven’t seen a vegetable in weeks.

Weight gain can mean a lot of things. On the sliding scale of possible reactions to life’s devastations, emotional eating is preferable to suicide, it might be more manageable than developing an addiction and it might be safer than pursuing numbing anonymous sex from strangers on the internet. We all make choices as to how we handle things.

The bottom line though is that your body is nobody else’s business. Fat, skinny,  socially acceptable, whatever, it’s your body and it doesn’t need a disclaimer, an explanation or a goal to be something different. We don’t have to be skinny people in waiting to be valid. I choose for my cardio to be enthusiastically flipping anyone off who says otherwise. And if you have a problem with that, you can burn a lot of calories kissing my ass!

 

Alison Tedford
Author

Alison Tedford is a hot mess mom, daily writer of funny and serious shit, cookie arsonist and hogger of the bed. She's Canadian, but not sorry at all.

13 Comments

    • One of the performers in the australian children’s group, “The Wiggles” had a heart attack and died on stage. He was not fat. Just goes.to show that skinny does not necessarily.mean healthy.

  1. I was the opposite side of the spectrum my whole life – shamed for being too thin at a UK 4-6 . I got the ‘eat more, you must always be cold, man your skeletal’ and many other ‘skinny insults’. I also got the concerned ‘do you have an eating disorder’ probing questions by many people through my life. Even after 2 kids I was still painfully skinny and it’s only when I hit my mid 30’s I suddenly started gaining. At 38 I got to a size 14 and all the ‘fat’ jokes and unwanted attention about my fatter ass, bigger boobs , and such started.
    I spent 35 years trying to gain weight because other people kept shaming me. I then spent 3 years trying to lose that weight for those same people shaming me. Needless to say I cut weight for sure, in the form of those people.
    Never in that whole time was my health an issue. Not at all.
    I am now a size 12 (uk average) and no longer give a crap what people think, I have made peace with my body and the biggest most noticeable improvement was my mental health. No longer carrying the weight of other peoples opinions freed me on so many levels. I don;t look like I did, and I don’t care.You are so right with this article – our bodies are our business and people need to be less concerned with what I weigh and more concerned with treating me respectfully.

  2. This slam piece completely missed the mark. While Lizzo is a champion for size inclusivity, that doesn’t change the fact that she’s overweight and at a higher risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, and a host of other health conditions.

    I’m not thin, but I do agree with what Jillian says. And while Lizzo definitely shows off her athletic abilities at her shows, that doesn’t demonstrate that she’s clinically healthy. So while it’s easy to vilify Jillian for speaking bluntly, maybe pause to actually listen. She’s made a career of helping people live healthier lives, so maybe, just maybe, she has an idea of what she’s talking about.

    • This piece didn’t miss the mark, it’s right on target. It’s you who let everything go over their head. Why the hell should Jillian care about Lizzo’s health? Is she her doctor? Her fitness trainer? Is she anybody to her? No. So saying that liking a fat person “glorifies” obesity is just a shitty thing to say. Period. And why do you care about someone else’s health? You don’t, it’s just the more politically correct way to fat shame.

      • Joanna Mikkelsen Reply

        Oops.☺️ He did not die. Still, he and Bob Harper, (co host of “The Biggest Loser” ) had heart attacks and nearly died. All were thin.

    • demonqueen wheezey Reply

      Perhaps Jillian should only give personal advice when asked.

    • I had a hard time reading this as anything other than a rant.

      “…it’s just one more example of the concern trolling bullshit that people of any size that isn’t 00 have to endure.”

      My sister is a size 0, sometimes a 1, and gets skinny shamed (shes routinely called a 0 by women who aren’t.) I’m 6’5″ 180 and get skinny shamed. We both eat healthily and regularly since childhood and come from a family of “lanks,” “chicken legs,” “stringbeans,” “Polish long poles,” “zeroes,” and more that ive heard teased out. Sometimes the seemingly concerned questions are obviously thinly veiled (see what i did there) ridicule. Many times it seems to be assumed thay we’re anorexic, only eat tiny portions, or especially for my sister with women that she works with in the concert industry, that she does drugs. Smh at all of that.

      I say SMH and not LOL bc at the local hospital, in Skowhegan, Maine, an anorexic woman with no history of drug use was killed last year when the ER staff assumed she was a junkie. She was in a diabetic coma. The narcan killed her.

      “…emotional eating is preferable to suicide, it might be more manageable than developing an addiction and it might be safer than pursuing numbing anonymous sex from strangers on the internet. We all make choices as to how we handle things.”

      This seems to conote that, because skinny people are percieved/assumed to have it much better in society (even as a minority), obviously we don’t struggle with having to choose healthy coping mechanisms over unhealthy ones, if we even have a need for them since life is always great for waifs… Smh.

      “The bottom line though is that your body is nobody else’s business. Fat, skinny, socially acceptable, whatever, it’s your body and it doesn’t need a disclaimer, an explanation or a goal to be something different.”

      The unhealthy coping mechanisms she mentions before in comparison to overeating, are clearly unhealthy because of how they affect not just ones own body, but others in society. We wouldnt use the same justification for other unhealthy coping mechanisms or habits. Yet overeating is off limits?

      “We don’t have to be skinny people in waiting to be valid. I choose for my cardio to be enthusiastically flipping anyone off who says otherwise.”

      One of the many reasons Lizzo is amazing is because nobody can doubt her cardio ability. That it is not all about appearances, is one of the greatest points this article makes, while seemingly missing it as well.

  3. First off a healthy body weight is not a size 0. A healthy body weight is what you and your doctor determine it to be. Secondly the human body was never designed to carry weight like this. it is unhealthy and carries long term health implications if not gotten under control. Watching what you eat and exercising is what we should be teaching children, not telling h

  4. Jillian Michaels has absolutely not made a living out of making people healthier. She is a bully who made dozens of people ill on her tv show all for the money, and encouraged desperate people watching these dangerous practices to harm themselves so they can fit the ideals espoused by people like you. You, my dear, are the FUCKING PROBLEM. Jillian IS THE FUCKING PROBLEM. The diet industry, built on the dollars and the bodies of dead and dying fat people who are giving themselves eating disorders because DIETS DON’T FUCKING WORK–I hope you get the message. I hope you keep your body judgement and opinions to your fucking self. And I hope you never, ever end up in a position of any kind of authority over anyone who will be influenced by your shitty, junk science, uninformed opinions.

  5. Pingback: “I’m just worried about your health” and Other Bullshit Fat Shaming | Dentistry Information

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