Losing It is Jillian Michaels' new show in which she moves in with a family leading an unhealthy lifestyle and tries to help them change their habits and lose weight. I've seen The Biggest Loser a few times (of course I have), but I didn't really pay attention to who she was until I began watching Losing It. And while her voice is grating at times (especially when she's yelling at...err...motivating people), I like her. She's hard-core, she has a rockin' body, and she's overcome childhood obesity to become a fitness expert and personal trainer.
Which is why I believe she absolutely does not deserve the flack she received a few months ago (yes, I am behind with my posts) for the comments she made in Women's Health Magazine. Jillian said she plans to adopt rather than giving birth because "I can't handle doing that to my body."
Critics assailed Jillian Michaels for portraying pregnancy as a negative thing, and as something other than a natural function for a woman's body. They said her comments were insensitive to new mothers who are struggling to lose weight and that pregnancy was a wonderful, life-changing experience that she should feel fortunate to experience.
Contrary to what the lithe, lovely, and apparently extraordinarily dim-witted Gwenyth Paltrow has said recently about every woman having the time to work out and lose her baby weight, pregnancy, while wondrous for some women, can create pretty hard-to-reverse changes to our bodies. For many, losing the baby weight isn't as easy scheduling an on-call trainer for a three-hour workout while our nanny(ies) watch our baby.
Real women (read: those of us without a staff to make our meals, clean our houses, and tend to our children) have to work hard to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, and even then, our bodies sometimes look differently than our pre-kids one. Stretch marks, sagging breasts, and persistent cellulite are the war wounds of pregnancy and childbirth. And yes, our little bundles of joy are worth it (most days anyway), but that doesn't erase the fact that having a baby takes both an emotional and a physical toll on a woman's body. And admitting the truth about this and our displeasure with it doesn't make us unappreciative, horrible mothers.
Jillian Michaels' livelihood is dependant upon...her body. She's not only a fitness expert and personal trainer; she's a celebrity whose image is constantly on tv, on the web, and on bookstore shelves. The last five pounds many women struggle to lose after giving birth? The droopy post-nursing boobs? Probably wouldn't help Jillian's career. And although critics can argue all day that our culture needs to stop holding up an unattainable figure as the "ideal woman," the fact is that the entertainment industry is brutal, and if Jillian wants to keep her celebrity fitness guru job, having a baby might compromise that.
And also, it's her body and her life. She's not asking other women to forgo pregnancy and pursue a six-pack. If she doesn't want to have biological children, why do people care so much?
What do you think about the Jillian Michaels' controversy?