Jillian Michaels, one-half of The Biggest Loser‘s all-gay training team, has upset America’s mothers after telling Women’s Health that when it comes to kids, she’s going to adopt because “I can’t handle doing that to my body… Also, when you rescue something, it’s like rescuing a part of yourself.”
The outrage from moms — or all women, or all human beings — centers around the body image issues that Michaels raises with her statement. As in: You can’t be attractive if you’ve given birth? And it’s easy to conclude that’s what she means from her interview. But Michaels is also speaking as a regular gal who has considered having children the “traditional way”; it’s a thought process plenty of women also think about. Will having children ruin my body? (Some internet gossips say this is why Sarah Jessica Parker used a surrogate, but what do they know about Parker’s procreating abilities.)
Or, you know, maybe Michaels meant no such thing in the first place!
In a follow up interview with MomLogic, she says her comments” were taken out of context and misconstrued. First of all, the writer wrote that I have an ‘aversion’ to pregnancy — which was her word, not mine. I never said that. It was at the very end of a three-hour interview. The writer said, ‘Do you want to have kids?’ and I said, ‘I’m planning to adopt.’ She then asked, “Why wouldn’t you get pregnant?” I said there were many reasons … one being that ‘I can’t handle doing that to my body,’ but I didn’t tell her why. The truth is, I learned very early on that I have endometriosis and polycystic ovaries. I was always told that fertility would/could be a problem for me.”
There’s also Michaels own body image issues, which stem from being overweight as young person: The interviewer “asked if one of the reasons I wanted to adopt instead of get pregnant was because I was an overweight kid. I said, ‘That could be part of it …’ Then, in the piece, she said that was the reason for my ‘aversion’ (again, her word) to pregnancy. I was feeling kind of panicked about answering the question. For me, it was a very personal question — and I had a lot of shame about the answer. If I tell people I have issues in this area, will they judge me and say, ‘If she has problems in this area, how healthy can she be?’ I don’t think anyone with issues is less than, but this is just how I was feeling in the moment. It caught me off guard.”
And in case there’s any confusion, she states: “But NEVER in there did I say I WON’T get pregnant for sure or that it ruins your body. Never have I said that pregnancy ruins bodies. I don’t believe that. My best friend has an 8-year-old and she has one of the best bodies in town. Ali Sweeney’s body looks even better after having Megan … she looks amazing. I helped train her! Madonna has one of the best bodies in the world, and she’s had two kids. I don’t feel that pregnancy ruins a body at all, and I was really upset that an entire community of women felt hurt by what I allegedly said. So much has been misconstrued and taken out of context. I do expect that from the media, so I don’t really care about that. But what I DO care about is moms. So if moms or women out there feel betrayed at all, that matters to me. Moms are incredibly important to me.”