Is self-acceptance the same as self-love?
Exercise guru Jillian Michaels came under fire recently because of her remarks about pop star Lizzo during an appearance on BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM. When the host said to Michaels, “I love celebrities like Lizzo or Ashley Graham who are really preaching self-acceptance…” Michaels responded by saying. “I love her music, yeah 100%. I don’t know much about her. I’m sure she’s a cool awesome chick.” The host went on to say, “I love that they are putting images out there that we normally don’t get to see of bodies that we don’t get to see being celebrated.”
“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter?,” said Michaels in response to the hosts comments. “Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes.”
This is a really tricky wicket.
In today’s world, how we say what we say is becoming more important that what we actually say.
On the one hand it isn’t healthy for a society and a culture to uphold a completely and utterly unattainable or sustainable ideal of beauty above all others. But, on the other hand, it isn’t necessarily healthy for other “shapes” and sizes that are truly unhealthy to be lauded, either.
I get it. People should not be shamed for how they look. Much of our physique is a direct result of our DNA, but a significant part of it comes from our lifestyle choices as well. We should applaud people who are now using a platform like the internet and social media as a platform for self-acceptance and to challenge age-old norms. However, if it is something that is not healthy, should we just celebrate it because the person is coming out of the shadows of shame, or should we applaud their acceptance of who they are in that moment and encourage them to move to a place of better health?
Again, I get it. It’s hard. There are so many things in our society and culture that lead us down unhealthy pathways. A person may look amazing on the outside while suffering many maladies within, especially mentally. Most of us know the things that we need to do or not do in order to improve our own physical and mental health, but knowing it and doing it are two completely different things.
On the surface, you could say that it is easy for Michaels to say what she said about Lizzo. Michaels appears to be in great shape and she makes a living by helping folks lose weight and become healthier. In today’s world, how we say what we say is becoming more important that what we actually say.
I’m sure that what Michaels said may not have been received well by Lizzo and it may have even hurt her feelings especially because it was said in such a public way.
If we use the Golden Rule of treating others the way we would want them to treat us, then I wonder what Lizzo would want Michaels to say to her if they were in private.
I’m all about the truth in love.
The truth is easy for me. The love is a work in progress through Christ.