Social media users accused Lizzo of promoting “toxic diet culture” after she posted about her 10-day smoothie detox on TikTok.
The 32-year-old singer is known for her music and messaging emphasizing body positivity and acceptance. She is far from the first celebrity to promote a diet plan on her social media, but some of her fans saw it as a reversal of her typical message of self-love.
Celebrities like the Kardashians have come under fire multiple times in the past for promoting potentially harmful juice diets and detox teas. Jameela Jamil of The Good Place has brought attention to juice diets and similar weight-loss methods over the last several years, blasting celebrities who promote harmful diet culture. Women, particularly bigger women like Lizzo, are typically seen as the victims of diet culture, which equates a person's worth to the size of their waistband.
Lizzo shared her detox journey via TikTok on Sunday. It's a straightforward diet video, displaying progress shots of Lizzo over the 10 days of her detox. By the end, she said she felt "amazing." She added that it felt great to "reset your stomach," particularly for those who deal with gastrointestinal issues.
The backlash to the video was swift and strong.
"Not Lizzo doing toxic diet culture," one TikToker commented on the video.
"No hate whatsoever," another person wrote. "Juice cleanses are very harmful and it hurt to see you promoting them to your impressionable audience. Ur liver does its job."
"Never thought I would see the day where Lizzo promotes unhealthy 'slimming' detoxes," another user wrote.
In response to the backlash, Lizzo posted a follow-up video explaining her reasoning for trying the detox cleanse.
"As you know, I would normally be so afraid and ashamed to post things like this online," she explained. "Because I feel like as a big girl, people just expect, if you are doing something for health, you are doing it for like a dramatic weight loss. That is not the case. In reality, November stressed me the fuck out."
Lizzo explained that November saw her burying her anxiety in booze and spicy food. She said it "fucked" her stomach up, and the cleanse was an attempt to restart her body.
"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 fuckin' body, my fuckin' skin," she said. "I feel and look like a bad bitch. ... I'm a big girl who did a smoothie detox, and I wanted to share that with you guys. Every big girl should do whatever the fuck they want with their bodies."
Following her second post, Lizzo's supporters flocked to Twitter to defend her decision. Many expressed frustration over the seemingly impossible situation in which the singer found herself. Typically, Lizzo's haters use her weight as ammunition. But when she turns around and does something for her health, critics also use it as an excuse to attack her.
"So, let y'all tell it @lizzo can't be fat, so she changes her diet. Now, she can't be skinny!" @GirlGoneBoss tweeted. "Damn, can she just be HAPPY?! However SHE defines it."
"You all lack basic empathy," @ItsZaeOk wrote. "Imagine your body being the subject of constant critique and conversation. i hope lizzo is doing very well and is having a great day today."
"Wait people are mad at @lizzo for dieting? Her message is body positivity, no matter the body," @LizOnTheRadio wrote. "I’m a full sized lady who loves her music and feels empowered regardless if she is on a vegan/smoothie kick. She is a musician who doesn’t just exist to be my role model."
User @Shayna_Bayna reminded people that Lizzo has always supported people "doing whatever the fuck you want to do with your body."
"Y'all love reaching for shit especially when it comes to her," @Shayna_Bayna added. "She owes us nothing."
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