Jillian Michaels (and celebrity trainers in general) are a double-edged sword. They have the ability to inspire literally millions of people towards changing their lives for the better. The flip side: they earn the trust of the public at large and consequently, people hang on their every word – the good and the not-so-good.
In the latest issue of Women’s Health, Jillian said she wouldn’t get pregnant because she is afraid of gaining baby weight. In her words,
I can’t handle doing that to my body.” Source
I am anxious to hear people’s thoughts on this one. In the meantime I’ll give you my uninitiated “guy” perspective, and even play amateur psychologist for a minute.
A while back, Jillian’s supplement endorsement was met with some controversy. Many individuals described the move as “hypocritical” and “selling out”.
I don’t know how to tip-toe around this topic, so I’ll just come right out and say it. People who are afraid of getting pregnant because of the weight gain smacks of body image issues, and perhaps even narcissism.
To be clear, I realize that pregnancy is a life-changing and oftentimes scary event. And understandably, women will experience some anxiety and fears. Look, I rub a towel over a scab the wrong way and I come pretty close to tears. So, let me just say that as a vicarious participant in two childbirth experiences, you (ladies) are my heroes.
JM’s childhood seems to connect the dots of my theory, as she confesses she turned to food for comfort when her parents divorced at the age of 12, pushing her weight to 175 lbs.
From this, it’s easy to see why she would be borderline obsessive about not gaining any weight, even if it’s through a very natural phenomenon such as pregnancy. (Besides, I’m pretty confident Jillian of all people could lose the baby weight.)
This begs the question however, is this the kind of mentality you would expect from someone who is supposed to be a role model? It’s my opinion that being a health role model isn’t just about the 6-pack, the high-decibel motivation, or the physical transformation. It’s about the whole package, including (and especially) a mindset of acceptance and positive body image.
What do you think — Was Jillian’s comment out of line or no big deal? Does this change your opinion of Jillian?