Jillian Michaels is getting largely roasted in culture news for suggesting that Lizzo’s weight “…isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes.”
You can tell how much of an affront this has been to those who want everyone to feel good about whatever choices they make. This article in Vox goes to great lengths to say that while weight is an indicator of future obesity-related health risks, there are plenty of overweight people who are fine.
There are probably at least a handful of terrorists who are actually pretty funny, once you get to know them.
Much of this story is well-covered. But the angle that intrigues me is this idea that we can’t have stigmas and everyone has to love who they are.
I would argue loving yourself and being unhappy with your weight are two entirely different things.
Having lost 35 pounds in the past eight months, I can tell you that through it all, including the time I was at my heaviest and concluding that something must be done, I didn’t hate myself. I didn’t think I was a bad person.
But I didn’t like my physical shape. I felt like I was putting myself at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and all the normal diseases that accompany talk of obesity. So I did something about it.
It wasn’t easy. It required a dedication to exercise and some restrictions on what I ate. But I did it. It is possible.
I’m not Jilllian Michaels, so I’ll never know her true intentions. But based on what she’s said, she’s exactly right. Why are we talking about Lizzo’s body at all? She’s a musician, and in the public eye because she’s really talented.
I’m not Lizzo, either, but I would hope any potential unhappiness brought about by her weight or body could be undone with the sheer amount of talent she possesses.
The fact is, the stigma around weight isn’t bad. We have similar stigmas around stealing or killing people (both far worse than being overweight, obviously). But to make the point, if there’s societal pressure to not do things that are potentially bad for you and to do things potentially good for you, why do we object to those?
What about someone with a drinking problem? Shouldn’t they be allowed to love themselves? They should be allowed to feel at peace about their drinking problem. We’ll just sit by and hope they don’t get behind the wheel of a car while drunk and kill someone.
But if they do, at least we’ll know they felt really good about themselves while they were doing it.