Last week, fitness trainer Jillian Michaels, who appears on “The Biggest Loser,” asked on a news program why people were “celebrating” the body of rapper Lizzo. (“It isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes,” Michaels added.) The comments, not surprisingly, sparked all kinds of backlash.
Fundamentalist blogger Lori Alexander, however, had no problem with it. She’s not exactly known for being graceful or polite, but shaming other people is right up her alley.
The word “shaming” is a common word being used these day. Mommy shaming. Fat shaming. How can women feel shame if there’s no reason to feel shame? Can shame be another word for conviction? Are women who are feeling “fat shamed” being convicted about being overweight and don’t want to admit it so they use the word “shame” instead of “convict” because they don’t want to be convicted of their sin?… Eating too much makes us feel badly and affects our health. A lot of problems people are suffering from are due to their own negligence concerning their health and care of their bodies. There’s a good reason God warns us to be temperate and have self-control…
While she says later in her piece that she’s not referring to those who exercise or eat healthy, she fails to point out that there’s a distinction between the harsh condemnation of internet strangers and a word of caution from an actual doctor or licensed dietician.
Shame doesn’t motivate people to take better care of themselves; shame is an integral part of body insecurity and eating disorders. Fundamentalist Christians, who shame others for all kinds of reasons, ought to know that better than most.
She gets worse in the comments, too, wrongly asserting that obesity is “only” caused by overeating. That’s a lie. Genetics, medication, and diseases are also possible factors. But, par for the course, it’s easier to sit on a high horse and condemn people than understand them.