“[The Biggest Loser] has all sorts of critics who say, ‘You’re putting these people up to be insulted or laughed at or made the butt of a joke,” Bridges told Australian Story.
“I think it might be seen that I have this agenda on people who are overweight or people who are deemed fat. Honestly if you are happy where you are, genuinely, more power to you.
“But I can tell you now, I am yet to have met someone who is morbidly obese and happy.”
Watch a snippet of Michelle Bridges on the programme. Post continues after video…
The 44-year-old, tough-as-nails trainer has since been criticised for her insensitive comments, with Chalmers, 41, claiming that the TV series featuring Bridges is now one of the “greatest body-shaming platforms.”
Chalmers first appeared on the show as a feature trainer in 2009, but later declined an offer as a permanent trainer.
“I could see that the show wouldn’t keep on working in its current format. People were already criticising it, but they weren’t willing to change and evolve, to create another message other than weight loss,” she told News.com.au.
“They had it in their heads that they needed a female version of ‘The Commando’. But my job on that show wasn’t about weight loss or to physically break them. It was more emotional and psychological, helping them connect to the person they could be.”
Since refusing her role as a permanently featured trainer, Chalmers has begun running a media agency in hopes that she can alter the “fitspo” trend currently taking the women’s fitness world by storm. She further told News.com.au that she "dodged a bullet" by no longer being part of the show.
According to Chalmers, Bridges' perspective on women’s fitness needs is “so out of touch” and needs to be changed.
“I was like, ‘Here we go again.’ First Lorna Jane, then Lola Berry, then Ashy Bines, now this. If [Bridges] had made that comment five years ago, no one would really have noticed. But women are more educated now. They’re empowered and they’re over it. How did she not see this coming?
“We’re done with gurus,” Chalmers explained. “The women I speak to, they say, ‘If I turn around and see one more freaking 12-week program or bikini body challenge, I’m going to punch someone in the face.’ They’re repulsed and they’re over it.”
Since Bridges' statements, many other Australian celebrities have also taken the defensive, condemning the trainer’s archaic views.
TV presenter and author Ajay Rochester took to their personal blog to call out Bridges as “fat-phobic” while host of Chrissie, Sam & Browny, Chrissie Swan, also countered Bridges’ claims.
“Michelle Bridges last night on Australian Story said that she’s never met a happy fat person,” Swan said. “And yet mysteriously I have met her many times.”
“Hi Michelle if you are listening,” Swan continued, “Remember me? I’ve known you for years. We have met many, many times … You can take it back now. I’m happy.”
Did you agree with Michelle Bridges' comments on Australian Story?
Michelle Bridges came in to chat to Mamamia last month. Listen below...
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