This month personal trainer and television personality Jillian Michaels has been slammed for making what many believed to be “fatphobic” comments about singer Lizzo’s body. Now she’s coming forward to admit there’s one thing she wishes she had done differently.
“Why are we celebrating her body?” Michaels said during a now-infamous appearance on Buzzfeed News’ AM2DM morning show. “Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes. I love her music. My kid loves her music. But, there’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad that she’s overweight.’”
Following the backlash, Michaels, 45, told TMZ that while she understood that weight doesn’t determine a person’s value, she’d never back down from stating that being overweight is dangerous no matter what “PC culture” thinks of that statement.
Despite doubling down on her statements in the press, in her latest sit-down with Extra‘s Billy Bush Michaels expanded on her views, and acknowledged what she believes was her only misstep.
“I think this is where things can become unsafe. When we’re so PC that we’re denying the reality of certain health ramifications,” she said. “There’s two different narratives: One narrative is, love yourself, value yourself, and—by the way, only from this place can you be healthier, mentally, physically, have healthy love, have a healthy career—you’ve got to value you yourself, believe in your worth, and believe in your ability.
“But where this comes into play, right, you’re weight, your size, whatever you want to call it, is your health, and denying that there are serious health ramifications when we are overweight is just not a lie I’m willing to tell,” Michaels said.
But even she can admit that dragging Lizzo’s name into the discussion was a bad look.
“First of all, she didn’t invite this at all,” she acknowledged. “And what I really regret is this argument became about a person and what happened was I was asked if I celebrate her being overweight and I should have said, ‘I don’t celebrate anyone being overweight,’ and I don’t know what would I say to her. I’m a huge fan, which is exactly what I said in the interview. Unfortunately, a human being was attached to a case that I was making. I wish that I would have responded that I don’t celebrate anyone being overweight.”