Current Event Friday #90

Cancel culture has a humongous issue with a celebrity weight loss trainer

One of the stars of The Biggest Loser didn’t have to take the DNA test, but according to backlash from music fans and online critics, Jillian Michaels is 100% a word that rhymes with witch. So, there’s a new target for cancel culture and the outrage mob in today’s #CurrentEventFriday.

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Jillian Michaels, former trainer on The Biggest Loser

Last week, Jillian Michaels appeared on a talk show hosted by BuzzFeed to talk about her ongoing projects and offer some sort of expertise about fitness and healthy living. While talking about pop culture somehow the topic turned to Lizzo and Ashley Graham. Born Melissa Jefferson, an R&B star using the stage name Lizzo has become known for her body positivity as well as Graham, a plus-size model was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2016. The host mentioned the body positivity angle espoused by Lizzo and Graham, when Jillian Michaels commented that while a healthy attitude about body image is good and she enjoys Lizzo’s music for her artistic ability and that the body shape was irrelevant. The host pushed back on Michaels, who said why was the body image so important and that celebrating Lizzo’s weight was misguided as Lizzo is dangerously obese. Michaels joked that dying early of diabetes shouldn’t mean that Lizzo’s body image positivity was more important.

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Lizzo, performing at a recent awards show

Naturally, everyone connected to pop culture moved to cancel Jillian Michaels for her harmful and hateful comments towards Lizzo. Complaints that Michaels was fat-shaming Lizzo were leveled by many on social media who pointed out that it’s the 21st Century and we have moved beyond such bullying.

Thankfully, Lizzo hasn’t responded on her social media to Michaels’s comments about her weight. Michaels posted a throwback photo of herself on Instagram from her teenage years with a caption stating, “Here’s me at 5’0 tall and 175 lbs. If I can do it – anyone can.” Michaels’s post was her attempt to show that weight loss can be safe and healthy.

You can probably guess that I agree with Jillian Michaels on this. We now live in a culture where saying a person who is 300+ pounds is celebrated for being happy at that weight. The only person we should expect to be happy being that rotund is Santa Claus. Shows like My 600-lb Life or Hot & Heavy are produced by TLC to show the dangers of unhealthy weight and are guilty pleasures for people who are entertained by the odd and unusual. Even The Biggest Loser, Celebrity Fit Club, and other shows that promote healthy weight loss are popular as Americans realize that the Land of Plenty is sometimes a blessing and a curse and being healthy promotes longer lives. Honestly, I know that my eating habits could be better and the best way to change my habits is to eat meals while watching television shows featuring people at unhealthy weights in order that I might put down that next morsel.

Cancel culture and the outrage mob exemplify where we are that telling objective truth is to be shamed and what was shameful before is now celebrated whether it’s obesity, infidelity, abortions, gender dysphoria, or many other issues that are now so politically charged.

Was Jillian Michaels correct that Lizzo’s weight is unhealthy and the music should be the particular focus?