celebrity

A 10-day smoothie diet and 'disappointed' fans: Why everyone is talking about Lizzo.

On Sunday (Monday AEDT), Lizzo uploaded videos to TikTok about doing a smoothie 'cleanse'.

"Practice safe detoxification, ya'll," she captioned one video showing the various smoothies and snacks she ate on the '10 day smoothie diet', with disclaimers she had guidance from a nutritionist.

In a second video, she ran through her reasons: "So I drank a lot and I ate a lot of food that f***ed up my stomach in Mexico so I decided to do the JJ Smith's 10-day smoothie plan," she said.

Watch: A compilation of the times Lizzo made us feel good. Post continues below video.


Video via Mamamia.

She said she'd struggled through the mid-part of the plan, but was "never really hungry".

"I think I just wanted to stress eat and do things that were kind of self-harming," she said.

Showing off her final day's 'results', she said: "I'm going to give you a complete twirl. I feel awesome and I think re-setting your stomach is fantastic… particularly when you’re struggling with gastrointestinal problems like I do, but I think I also look f-king great, so, period."

@lizzo

Watch me do JJ smith’s 10-day smoothie detox *cue inspirational music*

♬ Thick - Chiller Tribe Mosy

The videos were not labelled as sponsored, so it doesn't appear Lizzo was paid to promote the 'cleanse'.

Regardless, the tone in the comments was clear:

"Nooooooo, anything 'detox' is a scam."

"Never thought I would see the day where Lizzo promotes unhealthy 'slimming' detoxes."

"We know you aim for transparency but this is not the kind of stuff you should be promoting."

And of course, around the same time, the headlines started:

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"Lizzo slammed..."

"Fans devastated..."

"Lizzo upsets fans..."

Lizzo has since explained her thoughts further, addressing the backlash and disappointment felt by some of her followers. But it's also sparked an interesting, and complicated, conversation about diet culture.

Who is to blame here? Is this even something that should be up for discussion? Here's what is going on.

'Do whatever the f*** you want with your body'.

In a follow up video, Lizzo said she'd usually feel "afraid and ashamed" to share her 10-day 'detox' experiences publicly, "because 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." 

"In reality, November stressed me the f*** out," she continued.

"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."

She captioned the video to say she was just as proud of her smoothie 'detox' results as she was of her "belly curves and swerves".

Much of the criticism of Lizzo came from those who criticised whether the content was responsible to share with her 11.8 million TikTok followers (and 9.5m on Instagram).

The science around 'detoxes' and 'cleanses' is dubious at best, and these kinds of plans are often considered expensive, unhealthy and potentially dangerous.

On top of this, our bodies are designed to be able to detox themselves.

There was also disappointment expressed from people who looked up to Lizzo for her usual, body positive 'no f***s given' attitude.

"My heart hurts with all my fat peers today," one fan tweeted. "I'm sorry that Lizzo did that to us."

"Lizzo talking about going on a cleanse on her Insta Reels/TikTok really has me all kinds of fucked up," said another.

But many defended Lizzo, pointing out you cannot be mad at someone for not living up to standards we projected onto them.

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Others pointed that her body is under constant critique - whether she's posting her bikini videos or a video of the smoothies she's drinking.

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She pointed this out herself in an Instagram post.

"I detoxed my body and I'm still fat. I love my body and I'm still fat. I’m beautiful and I'm still fat," she wrote.

"These things are not mutually exclusive. To the people who look to me, please do not starve yourselves. I did not starve myself. I fed myself greens and water and fruit and protein and sunlight. 

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"You don't have to do that to be beautiful or healthy. That was my way. You can do life your way. Remember, despite anything anyone says or does DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH YOUR BODY."

Unsurprisingly, Jameela Jamil summed both sides of the controversy in just two tweets.

No one owes anyone an explanation for the choices they make about their own bodies. But it is crucial we equip people with the knowledge to know how to make these choices in an informed, healthy way.

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Misplaced anger.

Online commentators pointed out how Lizzo is facing a wrath that should be directed at a wider industry and society where women's bodies (especially those belonging to women of colour) and the toxic diet culture which informs them are even up for discussion.

Be upset that we still focus on how bodies look over how they feel. Be annoyed that 'tummy teas' and 'detox diets' are constantly advertised across social media platforms - including over and over again, by those with much larger platforms than Lizzo. Be mad that phrases like 'beauty water' and 'resetting our bodies' are part of our lexicon. Be pissed off at the societal myth that having clearer skin and a smaller stomach will make us happier.

And also, be frustrated at the belief that being body positivity is a destination and not a journey. 

No one can love every part of themselves every single moment of every single day in a world that is constantly preying on vulnerabilities. 

Not even Lizzo, who many heralded as the beacon of the body positivity movement, whether she asked to be or not.

Feature image: Getty/Instagram.

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