Lizzo, accused of promoting ‘diet culture’, explains why she did a 10-day cleanse

The many faces of Lizzo at the Lakers game!

Lizzo’s brand is self-love and self-celebration. She’s never said that only certain kinds of women with certain skin tones or bodies should be celebrated. She celebrates herself and encourages other women to do the same, all while noting that white women tend to co-opt her message for their own narrow purposes. Speaking of, Lizzo decided to try something which was positively Goop-esque. Lizzo went on a 10-day smoothie detox and there was backlash because… something about “diet culture” or “how can someone be body positive AND crash-diet?” I really feel like people are holding Lizzo to a different standard than they hold skinny white women.

Lizzo is defending herself after she was criticized for doing a 10-day smoothie detox and sharing her experience on social media. The “Truth Hurts” singer, 32, shared a video recap of her detox process on Instagram and TikTok on Monday, explaining that she decided to try out the program after she “drank a lot, and I ate a lot of food that f—ed my stomach up in Mexico.”

Lizzo then showed a sample of what she ate and drank on the detox, from green smoothies to supplements to alkaline water to vegan protein bars and nuts. The Grammy winner said that days four, five and six were the “hardest,” and “started to get to me mentally.”

“I was never super hungry, I think I just wanted to stress eat and do things that were like, kind of self-harming,” she said.

Lizzo said that by days nine and ten, she felt “amazing.”

“I think that it’s just great to reset your stomach and reset things, especially when you deal with gastrointestinal issues like I do. But I think I look f—ing great too,” she said.

After sharing the videos on social media, though, the comment section filled up with people criticizing Lizzo for “selling out to diet culture” with a detox diet. Others said it was “triggering” for people with eating disorders, and were surprised to see someone who promotes body positivity talking about restrictive eating.

The star followed up with another video explaining her reasoning for the heath decision, sharing that she’d usually feel “afraid and ashamed” to share her experience with the 10-day detox “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. I’m a big girl who did a smoothie detox and I wanted to share it with you guys,” she concluded, before adding, “And every big girl should do whatever the f— they want with their bodies.”

[From People & Billboard]

If you check out Lizzo’s TikTok, she did several posts with photos and videos, talking about her cleanse and how it made her feel. It wasn’t like she just posted “starve yourself, bitches” and left it at that. She really explained what she was doing and how it made her feel. While I think “cleanses” are junk science and a fancy way to say “crash dieting,” the reaction to Lizzo was absurd. Yes, she can be body-positive and all about self-love… and she can also try a juice cleanse, just to see what it’s like. Who cares? A lot of people, apparently. So I’m glad that Lizzo sent out the other video explaining why she did the cleanse. Every woman should do whatever the hell they want with their bodies. Period. It wasn’t even like Lizzo was getting paid to promote a particular diet or cleanse! She wasn’t trying to monetize or profit from “diet culture.” She was literally just trying to change up her diet so she would feel better.

Lizzo on stage for Lizzo LIVE in Concert...

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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64 Responses to “Lizzo, accused of promoting ‘diet culture’, explains why she did a 10-day cleanse”

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  1. mynameispearl says:

    Fuck sake, leave Lizzo alone. I seen Jameela Jamil putting something on Twitter about it, why does she feel like shes the body police. I liked her message re body positivity/neutrality initially, but I feel like she should butt out of people’s personal business also.

    • Angel says:

      Because she is crazy and delusional. She is always body shaming and attacking people.

      • mynameispearl says:

        It I feel like absolute shit I usually eat really light for a few days and it sorts me out, like a reset. It’s not as regimented as what Lizzo is doing, but flip sakes, we need to get out of each others business

    • Watson says:

      Agreed. Jameela needs to butt out of Lizzo’s food choices.

      • GRUEY says:

        The reality is people wouldn’t even be policing her if she were a size 4. They would just ignore. It’s just more of a double standard where people are obsessed with and feel the right to comment on larger women’s bodies.

        I also happen to think fasts are gimmicks and there’s really only one way to lose weight and keep it off. But she’s not even doing it to drop lbs. And so what if she did want to lose weight?!? It’s her choice either way.

    • Meg says:

      Ugh that is not what jameela said.

      • mynameispearl says:

        She totally subtweeted Lizzo though. And her larger point about not doing crash diets/ cleanses is fine, but it was obvious she was getting at Lizzo on this, I just think she shouldnt be so quick to react/ attack on stuff, there is no official jobtitle ‘spokesperson of all body related issues’. Every action/comment/ whatever doesn’t need to be responded to. Its high handed half the time and obscures her better points.

        I deleted Instagram and facebook over the summer. Instagram because I just dont need to see peoples highlight reels, Facebook because it’s all older people being radicalised into stuff that makes me concerned. I held onto twitter for news (but really it was for celebrity beefs lol). I’m deleting it too, weaning myself off social media has honestly only been good for me. Jameela is one who honestly could benefit from just stepping back a little, maybe think a little before she reacts/ speaks out.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      Oh who cares what the Baroness Munchausen has to say anymore! Her whole brand has become trolling more famous people for their perceived slights.

    • Valerie says:

      Jameela expects the world to cater to her. She has given shitty “advice” and made erroneous statements about body image and eating disorders on more than one occasion. She has set herself up as some kind of an expert when she’s nowhere near being one. I used to like what she had to say in the beginning (when she kalled the Kardashians out for promoting those BS lollipops), but she now comes across as conflict-seeking and attention-getting.

  2. Eleonor says:

    Oh please.
    She has explained why she was doing it, and she has all the right to do what she wants.

    • Mustang Sally says:

      I agree! Her methods were sound, safe and she limited herself to 10 days. I have auto immune issues and I can say that between the stress of the pandemic and some very bad food/alcohol choices, I was having bad flare ups (eczema, IBS, etc.). I did a detox (5 days) similar to Lizzo and slowly introduced foods over the next 5 days – it was a good choice for ME. Lizzo’s was good for her. I so agree with you that FFS we need to all stop judging each other. (as a side note, it’s not like she was hawking detox teas or drink mixes!).

  3. FF says:

    People are a bit too quick to come after Black women celebrities for trivial matters.

    Where were the remarks about the patriarchy and bullying on this one?

    I’ve had moments where my gut is acting up and green juices and smoothies do calm it. People are being ridiculous, they need to leave Lizzo alone and unfollow if they find a brief juice break for gastro-intestinal issues triggering (and frankly I’ve no idea how such a person could survive on Instagram at all, tbh).

  4. Lizzie says:

    From what I’ve read a short term liquid diet can be good for you. Good for Lizzo for giving it a try.

  5. FrenchGirl says:

    She totally is right and above all,she does what she wants .
    I am going to start a diet cleanse 3 days before X mas also just to be able to eat every meal without to be sick . In my family ,X Mas is a binge porn food during 2 days even if we are only 4 ( our home) this year .

  6. Stacy Dresden says:

    I think it is appalling to criticize a Black woman’s dietary choices. Pretty sure they have been through enough.

  7. Sofia says:

    Was there similar backlash when Beyoncé did the cayenne-lemon juice diet?

    • Anna says:

      See, this right here hits the nail on the head. Everyone needs to leave Lizzo alone. Why are people criticizing something that’s pretty much common sense i.e. if you overdo it, cut back and give your body a chance to chill and reset. Why the f is that so difficult for people to see? Back to the policing of (certain) Black women’s bodies.

    • tcbc says:

      There was, but that was also wrong. People really need to mind their own business (and no, someone posting something on social media does not automatically make it your business. You can talk about it all you want, but you shouldn’t @ someone who has no interest in your trash opinions anyway.)

  8. Oh_Hey says:

    Where was all this heat for already thin (mostly white) women frequenting Liquiteria and pressed juicery and “cleansing” like 5 times a year. That was and still is a regular thing for massive amounts of people. What is IF but starving for most of the day? She definitely getting more because she’s big. We’ve normalized shitty eating habits as lifestyle choices for thin women and dangerous eating disorders for big women. She’s in no danger for trying smoothies for a week. Leave her alone.

    Miss me with this. Please.

  9. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    She promotes body positivity, and if she goes on a diet, many of her fans feel she’s a hypocrite, as she advotaces loving yourself no matter what and then tries to change herself to come closer to the current beauty standards. The ones her fanbase tries to oppose.

    I’m not in the body positivity group, because I believe her weight isn’t healthy and it’s great she’s doing something for her health (not a fan of crash course diets, tho). So I hope people stop criticize her. I don’t want this backlash to dissuade her from getting fitter.

    • Betsy says:

      She’s plenty fit. Just because someone is fat doesn’t mean they don’t exercise.

      • chaotik says:

        ‘She’s plenty fit. Just because someone is fat doesn’t mean they don’t exercise.’

        Ofc you can be fat & still exercise. Lizzo is the same height/size as me. I exercise, but that doesn’t make my weight/Lizzo’s weight healthy. the fat puts stress and sequeeze on the surrounding organs, the bones, etc. But lets be real, this statement is truth: you can’t outrun a bad diet. you can be fat & still exercise everyday, but it doesn’t make you healthy. its ALL about what you put INTO your body.

        you can feel great about yourself, love yourself, but still admit truthfully that past a certain weight, it is hurting your body. its possible to do both. its a journey, like life.

      • Betsy says:

        @chaotik – and do you think we’re all entitled to hear her flagellate herself for being fat? What do you want from fat people? Do you know her diet? I mean, just the reach of your comment is something else.

      • christina says:

        She is morbidly obese. She is also talented and pretty.

      • Betsy says:

        @Christina, yeah, she knows. What we don’t know, nor are we entitled to, is guessing how she became fat or how much she eats now.

        And if anyone actually appropriately named the state of Kate Keen’s body – unhealthily emaciated – people would flip out at the unnecessary body shaming. I sure wish that standard went both ways.

    • Anna says:

      Cleansing after a particularly intense time of eating (amidst pandemic, too, let’s not forget, Lizzo is in this as we all are) is body positivity. She’s taking care of her body which she loves. End of story. Why is this even a thing?!

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      Neither her weight nor binge eating and then cleansing is healthy.
      We as society glorify unhealthy too skinny people all the time, which is absurd, but going into the other extreme isn’t good either.

      • Betsy says:

        I don’t think she said anything about binge eating, which is a different activity from overeating while on vacation.

    • LL says:

      People like you are part of the problem. That’s messed up what you just said. She isn’t promoting fatness. She is promoting being happy with yourself. Do you realize how painful your words can be to people? Who are you to tell anyone how healthy they are?

    • Amando says:

      How do you know how healthy she is or isn’t? I’ve been overweight my whole life and I have zero health issues. She’s vegan and exercises and loves herself. Nothing wrong with that.

      • Nanny to the Rescue says:

        Chaotic explained it a bit further up much better than I could.

      • Betsy says:

        @Nanny to the Rescue, no, chaotik didn’t explain it very well. She continued to opine on the insides of someone else’s body and whether or not it was healthy, with absolutely zero proof, because she does not like the outside of Lizzo’s body. I know it really angers some people, but fat is in an inherently unhealthy condition, certainly not for someone who exercises like Lizzo does.

    • tcbc says:

      Does she promote body positivity, or is she not afraid to love herself on her own terms? Because this is exactly what the post is talking about. White women are laying claim to a black woman’s body AGAIN. STOP.

  10. jaylee says:

    Who would anyone take health & nutrition advice from Lizzo? Same with Goop, they’re entertainers & neither one of them has a healthy relationship with their body IMO. Twerking in lingerie & saying you love yourself isn’t the same as actually doing it. Jazzercising hours a day & being extremely restrictive to earn your nightly wine & cigarette doesn’t scream self love either. Now if Serena shared some health advice I might listen.

  11. Miranda says:

    This is a bit personal, but oh well, it’s relevant: about 10 years ago, I had to have a bit of my intestine removed after I developed a particularly nasty ulcer. Since then, I’ve had to deal with bowel obstructions on several occasions, and I’ve learned that they’re more common than you’d think, even in people with otherwise healthy guts. Relatively minor and routine things like constipation, or an upset stomach that lasts more than a day or 2, can actually be signs of an obstruction. You. Will. Feel. Awful. Obviously I can’t know for sure, but that kinda sounds like what Lizzo was going through (the “I was never super hungry” tipped me off. Your stomach isn’t gnawing at itself because it’s not actually empty). If that were the case, you know how they would’ve treated her if she’d gone to the hospital? A fast. Just IV fluids (and ice chips, if you have a merciful doctor/nurse) for a couple of days, building up to a liquid diet. then to bland solids. Ideally, this would all be under some sort of medical supervision, but if an otherwise healthy person does it short-term on their own, it’s not very dangerous as long as you stay hydrated. I hope she’s seen a doctor since, just to make sure everything’s OK, but people should stop concern-trolling her.

  12. Ann says:

    All the backlash is ridiculous. It is the opposite of body positive. Lizzo is only allowed to love herself if she’s heavy? What if she does lose weight? She has to apologize for it?

    • Betsy says:

      I’ve wondered about that undercurrent in some of her followers, that if she did ever try to lose weight (not that this was that) a number of them would be aggressive. I agree it’s the opposite of body positive to attack someone else’s fairly pedestrian food choices.

  13. cassandra says:

    Juice cleanses are just a socially acceptable way to starve yourself and I will die on this hill no matter who is promoting them ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Sigmund says:

      Hmm. I agree, actually. I developed an eating disorder in college 10 years ago and everyone gushed how much weight I lost, how good I looked, how healthy I was being. I wasn’t actually being healthy, obviously, but people assumed skinny=better. This very much reminds me of that. I guess just doing it for a few days is better than doing it indefinitely, but it still reminds me of my eating disorder days.

  14. Lawcatb says:

    Every white woman celebrity out there (and quite a few men) talk about their intermittent fasting without controversy. Lizzo does a healthy detox for clearly stated reasons under the guidance of a professional, and the shaming starts in full force.

    • Honora says:

      That’s funny i don’t follow a single instagrammer who does that, and I follow many celebs just not reality stars. When an instagrammer does a paid cleanse ad, the ones jameela talks about, I unfollow, but those aren’t celebs. As far as I understand Lizzo was sharing a choice which she’s happy about. I know the feeling of eating very light for a period it can feel great. So can an envigorating smoothie, with stuff like mint or cilantro ginger lemon etc your insides just buzz. She was not advertising something dangerous to others for the benefits of her own pockets.
      Maybe it’s a choice that won’t “help” her much but in that case where is the outrage for all celebs speaking about astrology, crystals, Chinese medicine, etc.

  15. Stef says:

    I’m not a Lizzo fan but I like what she is saying here.

    Cleanses, when done properly, are not crash diets. They are a chance to reset your habits and manage cravings for sugar, carbs, etc. By removing these foods for a few days, your cravings diminish and you start to really realize the power of food choices. It can be a way to gain your own power of food and cravings back.

    People need to stop telling others how to treat their bodies and make decisions about their bodies. It’s none of anyone else’s business.

  16. emmy says:

    So when Goop does it, it’s harmful but when Lizzo does it, leave her alone? I’m too old to listen to celebrities about nutrition or anything resembling diets etc. That’s their life and not my business. But I can see why her fans might react, well, not in a positive way. She’s been consistently putting out a message and that message does honestly not align with THE staple of every goopy nutrition interview by a female celeb these past years. But it’s not the end of the world. It’s her life.

    I do have a question though. When my stomach acts up (mostly because of the behaviors she mentions or because I was a fool and took ibuprofen on an empty stomach), the last thing I can tolerate is smoothies? Or nuts? That sounds horrid.

    • Bex says:

      Do you really not see how a bunch of white women attacking Lizzo, on top of the usual shit she gets for just being a woman who is Black and fat is not the same as Gwyneth Paltrow’s vanity project???

      • emmy says:

        Do you really not see how what she is promoting is harmful even if she couched it in stomach issues? I’m not attacking her. But juicing or liquid diets in general are unnecessary at best. I have never seen a doc about my stomach issues who suggested this method. And her fans are supposed to think what now? Like it or not she’s a role model to young girls, many of them Black. Whatever she is doing is her decision but you absolutely can’t fault people for not loving this. I’m not on TikTok or even Twitter so I don’t know how exactly people reacted. But I can imagine because everybody loses their shit over absolutely everything. Double if it’s a woman, triple if it’s a Black woman. I would never support that.

        I will also never support these “cleanses”. Doesn’t mean I don’t love her music or dislike her as a person the way I dislike Goop.

      • Jaded says:

        @emmy – she didn’t do a juice/liquid diet….”Lizzo then showed a sample of what she ATE and drank on the detox, from green smoothies to supplements to alkaline water to vegan protein bars and nuts.”

        There, fixed it for you.

      • emmy says:

        @Jaded Love the condescension, thanks! And you said it. “Detox” It is not a thing. It’s diet speak for mostly (since all of you love nitpicking) liquid meals. You don’t “re-set” through detox, whatever the hell that means.

  17. Meeeee says:

    I still can’t get over the way she trashed that delivery person publicly. Only an awful person would do that. Yeah, I judge people based on how they treat service people. Also, skinny shaming IMO is just as bad as fat shaming.

  18. Jaded says:

    Why aren’t the same people trashing Lizzo for “re-setting” her digestive system in a healthy way going after Rebel Wilson for losing a ton of weight? Because Lizzo is black and Rebel is white. If Goop promotes some dumb fast that’s basically water and some weird herbs she’s praised for it but when Lizzo does a healthy cleanse and feels great afterwards she’s pilloried for it. GMAFB.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      Lizzo wasn’t doing a “re-set.” She’s trying to lose weight. If you clicked through to the website of her nutritionist/trainer, the 10 day program is promoted as a weight loss diet – its not a reset or detox. It boasts that it can produce 15 pounds of weight loss in 10 days. Compare that to the whole 30, which is a genuine “reset” program, its bogus. Now, I applaud her if she is trying to lose weight, because that’s her business. If she wants to be skinny, she has no obligation to explain that to us. But I do dislike that she’s trying to sell the whole “it’s not a diet” argument. It’s a diet – its creator promotes it as such. I find it hard to believe she was ignorant of that, especially since she tagged the creator in her videos.

      If she really wanted a “re-set” there are programs out there that do that but do not promise weight loss – so why would she pick that that proudly boasts of its weight loss abilities? I’m very skeptical of her explanation at this point.

    • Mi says:

      They are going after Rebel Wilson too for weight loss just like they went of at Adele earlier this year. Lizzo just the latest celebrity that they are going after that they preceive as having betrayed the Haes and body positivity movement.

    • Juju says:

      You cannot reset your digestive system. That’s pseudo science. There’s no detoxing with juice cleanses. Her nutritionist advertises herself with fast weight loss which isn’t healthy at all.

      I’ve never seen anyone praising Gwyneth Paltrwo for her bs tbh.

  19. Mimi says:

    I’m quite frankly sick of ppl getting into other ppls’ business. Jameela should stick to acting bc I absolutely loved her in the good place but she’s just straight up annoying irl. She’s not the body police. Leave Lizzo alone damn.

  20. Lunasf17 says:

    Ugh she can do whatever she wants with her body. People do cleanses and fasts for many reasons and she obviously wasn’t close to death or anything. I’m only side eyeing her for why she was in Mexico during a pandemic but not for eating smoothies for 10 days. People need to chill.

  21. Ange says:

    I think pretending Lizzo is the only one who gets this is a bit naive. The FA and HAES extremists (who are largely white) go at just about anyone who mentions health, diet and anything like Lizzo has done here. If anything they co-opt the anti-racism movement by also saying healthy diets are inherently racist. Lizzo isn’t unique here, she’s just another victim of their crabs in a bucket mentality. They haaaaate whenever anyone mentions their own diet or health but god forbid they not put their own two cents in.

  22. jferber says:

    I love Lizzo at any weight. She is breathtakingly gorgeous. Just look at that first photo. Perfect! I just wish she’d put out more music now because I sure need it. Love you, Lizzo.

  23. Valerie says:

    I don’t think people should go after her for triggering them. She didn’t do it on purpose; she was just trying to live her life. If I see something that could be a trigger for my BDD or ED, I don’t blame the person who posted it unless they’re actively promoting unhealthy behaviours. Even then, I’m still in charge of how I respond.

    If they’re just sharing something about themselves, as Lizzo is here, I take a step back and say, Ok, they’re not responsible for how I feel. I AM. What steps can I take to make sure that this doesn’t become an issue for me?

    The thing about this kind of approach is that it gives “diet culture” too much credit. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass and should go away, but eating disorders are not really about food or size zero models. They’re about ego, control, perfectionism, and creating a sense of self-worth, and so much more. Listening to someone talk about eating alkaline doesn’t trigger these thoughts and behaviours; feeling like I failed at x thing today might. It *may* be a trigger for someone else, but nobody can anticipate every single thing that could set a person off. We should be considerate and compassionate, but there is such a thing as being too careful and coddling. If someone were to act like they couldn’t talk about food around me, I’d be more bothered by that than anything they had to say about their green smoothies.

  24. Monica says:

    I’m at least as big as Lizzo, and while I don’t diet anymore (because it didn’t work) I do eat as healthily as possible. It’s part of loving oneself. Also, who cares if she *was* trying to lose weight. It’s her body.

    • Valerie says:

      This is how I feel, in general. Lizzo’s food choices have zero impact on me, just as mine have zero impact on her. If she wants to lose weight, she should. If she doesn’t, she shouldn’t be forced to. I’m not her or her doctor!

  25. Juju says:

    She linked to a supposed nutritionist that claimed she can help people lose weight fast. Any nutritionist that recommends juice cleanses and thinks detox exists are a huge red flag.