I’m moved to respond because one, I’ve been overweight nearly all of my life. Born a very small baby, somehow by 12 months of age (where the first photos of me were done) I’m Guiness-Book-of-World-Records huge. How that happened? It just did. Not my choice. Grew up in an age where weight, like addiction or sexual orientation, was a matter of self-control. Period.
Secondly, saw Lizzo for the first time on SNL not long ago, & was really impressed. In a way I haven’t been since seeing Nirvana 28 years ago. She is incredible. Bought her album. The music’s great, but watching her perform is better still.
So, issues: Michael’s isn’t wrong. Obesity is like smoking. Every year new health risks, e.g. cancer, are added to go along with the traditional ones, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes. & no, of course it isn’t just plus size folks who suffer thusly. My father, a small man his entire life, developed type ii DM in part because it ran in his family. Jim Fixx, of Complete Book of Running, died from an MI while in his forties.
In health care, risks are statistical. Being obese makes you more likely to suffer the above conditions. It doesn’t guarantee you will, just as being slender doesn’t promise you won’t.
The author asks why do people give Lady Gaga a pass but then criticize Lizzo for similar attire? Of course, many do criticize Gaga. Furthermore, I don’t see how Michaels dismisses Lizzo’s worthiness. On the contrary, she appears to be quite a fan.
“But the important lesson is the equal distribution of that lifesaving narrative in ways that don’t unfairly harass or berate people who are always subject to mistreatment.”
Yes. True. Given revelations about the Biggest Loser’s abuse of contestants in the quest to drop that last milligram prior to weigh-ins, it might be best for Michael’s to remain silent, but she didn’t bring up Lizzo, her BF host did. It seems some commentators here are also forgetting that. How is she supposed to reference Tom Hanks when being asked about Lizzo?
As I get older myself, I look around for role models. For people who have managed to maintain a good quality of life as they blaze through the decades. One thing old-old people who are active generally have in common is being thin. Not just not obese, but thin. It seems that as we grow older every ounce of body weight takes on added dimension, & pushes back against every movement. As we age, weight becomes physiologic entropy.
In closing, I don’t know how much Lizzo’s size finesses the quality of her performance. Certainly it does some. But isn’t it a bit selfish to cheer someone on for displaying characteristics that will lead her to, at the very least, a greatly attenuated quality of life?