Lizzo is an incredibly talented person – a singer/songwriter who, at her concerts, sings, dances, and plays the flute. She killed it on Saturday Night Live. She writes and performs songs that inspire, and holds the line for body love at any size in the media including social media. And she does all of this at great personal expense as she is the victim of incessant racist and fatphobic bullying. Lizzo is a fucking hero.
Jillian Michaels is a professional bully who became rich and famous by mentally and physically abusing fat people for money on an abomination of a show on which she once starred. And I say “once starred” because she got booted off (and sued repeatedly for selling dangerous diet supplements) and since then she has been clawing to get back up in the public eye. And today, she decided to do that by trying to step on Lizzo.
Jillian was on a digital talk show called “AM to DM” and the host mentioned that she was excited about stars like Lizzo who are showing bodies that we don’t often get to celebrate. Jillian jumped in, saying “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.”
Ok, Type 2 diabetes (which is the type that Jillian is talking about, even though she is not informed enough to be clear about that) is an illness that people of all sizes get, it’s not anybody’s fault if they get it, and there’s no shame in it. There is, at most, a complicated and not-at-all direct relationship between Type 2 Diabetes and weight. There is a major genetic component, many health conditions that can cause diabetes can also cause weight gain, some diabetes medications can cause weight gain, and certain diets – recommended for weight loss – can increase the risks of diabetes, just to name a few.
None of that really matters in this situation though, because adding healthism to your fatphobia does not improve the situation. And if Jillian is so fucking worried about diabetes why isn’t she using her platform to push the pharmaceutical industry to stop letting diabetics die because they’ve decided that making even more profits on medications for diabetes is far more important than the lives of people with diabetes.
Spoiler alert – it’s because Jillian doesn’t give a shit about diabetes, or fat people’s health. And her actions prove that. But don’t take my word for it, here’s Kai Hibbard, one of the people harmed by the abomination of a show on which Jillian once starred.
But Jillian wasn’t satisfied with blending fatphobia, healthism, and concern trolling. She actually tried to make herself the victim in the situation bemoaning “Why is it my job to care about her weight?”
Newflash Jillian: IT FUCKING ISN’T YOUR JOB. LITERALLY NOBODY ASKED YOU!
So we have Jillian jumping on her first opportunity to fat-shame Lizzo, then trying to make herself into the victim for doing it, but of course she wasn’t done.
Lizzo’s fans were not having this bullshit and they began giving Jillian exactly what she deserved. And of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that a white woman criticizing the body of a Black woman is part of a long and horrible history of racism. Black women’s bodies should never be within the purview of white women.
But Jillian, overjoyed for the attention she desperately craves and doesn’t deserve because she has no real talent other than being a bully and an abuser, couldn’t help going back for a second serving. So she proudly said:
“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.”
This is chock full o’ bullshit. We are allowed to love ourselves and our bodies in any way that we decide. Health, by any definition, is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control. It’s ok to be fat, period. But this is Jillian’s new thing as she tries to glamorize bullying – it’s also classic gaslighting and part of the cycle of an abuser.
In truth you either think everyone is beautiful, worthy, and deserving (in which case you’re a decent person, congrats,) or you think that only people who you don’t believe might have or get health problems are beautiful, worthy, and deserving (in which case you’re a healthist asshole, no congrats.) In Jillian’s case, she seems fine with the health problems that may develop from, for example, extreme dieting, so all this healthism is really just a smokescreen for the fatphobia that has been her source of income and fame for so long. The truth is that if fat people stop hating themselves and believing that they deserve abuse, then Jillian is completely out of a job (which would, obviously, be fantastic on all counts.)
This makes me want to punch Jillian Michaels in the face repeatedly while saying “I’ve always said that violence is wrong for all of us. But we can’t overlook the fact that punching Jillian in the face might help her be a better person and less of a smug fat-hating piece of shit, and while I wouldn’t wish repeated face punching on ANYONE, we have to love her enough to prioritize her personal growth.”
Of course, I’m not going to do that, because Jillian Michaels isn’t worth crossing the street for, let alone going to jail for, but it’s a nice dream.
In conclusion, fuck Jillian Michaels and her bullying, abusing tactics. Lizzo forever!
Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get bonus content, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video, and special deals on fat-positive stuff!)
I’ll be doing a stand-up comedy set as a guest performer at the Fatch – the Fat Sketch Comedy Group’s New Year, Same You show on January 10th at 9pm at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on Sunset in Los Angeles. Tickets and info can be found here (Accessibility info: there is a fat-friendly bench in the front, the rest of the seating is stadium theater seats with arms up at least one step. The venue is wheelchair accessible, but there is limited space for wheelchairs.)
In case you missed it, my adorable dog and I have a poem to help you resolve (for the first time, or again) to ditch diets. I’m having fun doing videos like this so there will definitely be more – if you want to make sure not to miss future videos, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective. This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)
This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)
Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)
Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here! (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)
Book Me! I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!
I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .
If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.