“I’m just worried about your health” and Other Bullshit Fat Shaming

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. 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!

This content was originally published here.