If you were even remotely interested in fitness or reality TV in the early ’00s, then you’re likely familiar with Jillian Michaels. The fitness celeb made appearances on The Biggest Loser, Sweat, INC., and her Biggest Loser spin-off, Losing It With Jillian.
Additionally, Michaels had a series of exercise DVDs, which sold millions of copies. For years, she was synonymous with healthy living and effective training.
But according to exercise psychologist Mal Lynne, that couldn’t be further from the truth. She took to TikTok to share her argument for canceling Michaels for good.
Self-proclaimed ‘anti-Jillian Michaels’ @thejockscientist shared her case over three videos. In the first, she outlines Michaels’ career. Lynne includes several clips of Michaels from The Biggest Loser, in which she verbally assaults the contestants.
The most recent clip was from January 2020, during which Michaels speaks candidly about singer and body-positive icon Lizzo. “Why are we celebrating her body? It isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes.”
The clips from Biggest Loser are even harder to watch. Michaels told one exhausted contestant, “the only time you’re getting off this treadmill is when you die on it.”
In another, a contestant broke her hip while training with Michaels. Rather than going home to rehabilitate her injury, Michaels encouraged the contestant to stay focused on her weight loss.
“Are you sensing a theme?” Lynne asks. “Her entire brand was abuse. Screaming, yelling, manipulating, using exercise as punishment. You name it, Jillian Michaels did it.”
Lynne goes on to cite Michaels’ spin-off show, Losing It With Jillian. In this show, Michaels worked with clients from their homes.
The intimate look into clients’ lives revealed many of their health issues were related to mental illness and systemic racial inequity. Despite this, Michaels attempted to solve the clients’ problems with physical training alone.
“This is what we call maladaptive coping mechanisms,” Lynne says. “This is how you make people obsessed with exercise. This ghoul is in there acting like she’s a therapist, a doctor, a dietitian. The audacity of you, Jillian. Shame on you.”
Michaels has an adopted daughter from Haiti, and in her final video, Lynne argues Michaels’ child is at risk of the same abuse the trainer puts on her clients.
Lynne reads direct quotes from Michaels, in which she explains how she convinces her daughter, Lukensia, to eat well. This included telling her daughter that her favorite singer, Katy Perry, loved kale but hated pizza.
“Speaking about then-nine-year-old Lukensia,” Lynne reads, “Michaels’ declares, ‘I know she is going to struggle with food. I know it.’”
Certainly, if Michaels’ daughter does develop issues with food, it will be due in no small part to her mother’s unhealthy relationship with exercise and dieting.
“I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that Jillian was once fat herself,” Lynne says. “Looks like that self-loathing really paid off, didn’t it, Jill?”
“This woman has not only been a danger to all of us outside, but she is a danger inside her home, too. And she should be f–king ashamed.”
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