The singer, who's been a formidable force in the fight against harmful beauty and body standards, recently promoted a detox diet to her 9.6 million fans on Instagram.
Content warning: Diet-culture, detox dieting, before-and-after pictures
First off, I love Lizzo. I love her music, I love her performances, I love her interviews, I love her social media presence... In short, we stan. However, recent years have seared into my mind the importance of calling out our favorite celebs when it's required. And as it turns out, even the body-positive queen Lizzo is human and fallible. The "Truth Hurts" singer, who's been a formidable force in the fight against harmful beauty and body standards, recently had us do a double-take when she promoted a detox diet to her 9.6 million fans on Instagram. Yup, Lizzo. THE Lizzo shared details of a 10-day diet where smoothies were pretty much all she seemed to consume.
The singer documented the diet on her Reels this week where she revealed that her daily food intake consisted of three smoothies, some cashews, apples with peanut butter, cucumbers, and a lot of water and tea. To make matters worse, the video also featured a series of before-and-after photos, which are such a toxic part of diet culture. In addition to the day-by-day full body shots and side-by-side comparison photos, Lizzo also did a series of stories shared what she ate in a day. Worrying, it appeared to be aggressively low in calories.
The whole thing was incredibly triggering for many of her followers who've dealt or still are dealing with eating disorders and body image issues. Instead of the body-positive messaging they'd come to appreciate from the "Good As Hell" singer in what they'd believed to be a safe space, they were bombarded with a dose of the same evils she'd spoken against for so long. Needless to say, they had some feelings about this sudden and rather disappointing turn of events.
"This, as they say, ain't it. Not now, during a year and season when people are struggling extra hard with body issues, and not ever," wrote Instagram user @missxvincent. "Oh, Lizzo. Come on girl, you’ve always promoted body positivity and a healthful mindset. Smoothie cleanses are shown to be dangerous and they don’t even work. Please don’t go down the diet promotions road," pleaded @mscaroline91. "You gotta do what feels right for you, I respect that. But I have to say for those of us in recovery from ED who loved your body positivity, this is a real bummer. Always will be a fan of your music, but I can't have this kind of diet industry hype on my feed," wrote @krabonfilio.
I don't mind her losing weight/going on a diet or whatever. That is her business and some folks really do need to or want to lose weight for health (mental or physical). I just think advertising something like a juice cleanse diet or whatever is deeply irresponsible.— SonjaSays (@SaysSonja) December 14, 2020
Not Lizzo promoting a 10 day detox fad diet including detox "supplements" and foot pads on her Instagram 😢 pic.twitter.com/2YsQqNYK4h— Poppy (@Poppy_Kimish) December 14, 2020
Lizzo responded to the criticism with another video in which she explained that she had done the diet for her health and not weight loss. "I feel like, as a big girl, people expect if you are doing something for health, you’re doing it for a dramatic weight loss, and that is not the case," she said, reports Billboard. "I drank a lot, I ate a lot of spicy things and things that f---ed my stomach up. I wanted to reverse it and get back to where I was. I'm so proud of myself. I'm proud of my results. My sleep has improved, my hydration, my inner peace, my mental stability, my f---ing body, my f---ing skin, the whites of my eyes, I feel and look like a bad b--- and that's it."
"I’m a big girl who did a smoothie detox and I wanted to share it with you guys," she concluded, before adding, "And every big girl should do whatever the f--- they want with their bodies." She's right, everyone should do what they want with their own bodies. However, they should also not have to see every celebrity out there peddling harmful diet-culture products that promote speedy weight loss or quick "results" over health.