Thoughts on Jillian Michaels

1 Oct

Dear Jillian Michaels,

The first time I did “the Shred”, I was sore for days. I loved and hated you for it. What happened to that Jillian? Where has she gone? Can you please find her for me? I miss her.


After reading this post by Ashlee, I completely and 100% believe that Jillian Michaels has sold out. When I used to see something about Jillian on the web, I would always click it. Now, when I see banner ads with her face endorsing her new website and what not, I roll my eyes. I am utterly disappointed, but I realize that it’s the nature of the beast. She saw the opportunity to make money, and she took it. How many of you would turn that down? Millions of dollars just for giving a smile and a quick endorsement? Sure, why not. That’s as quick and easy as money comes. It’s a game, and she’s in it to win it.

Although, I wonder how much of it hasn’t really been Jillian’s direct decision as opposed to personal licensing deals. Once she sells her face, she loses control over what is done to it. From my Advertising and PR standpoint, I believe her lack of discrimination in licensing has lead to a cheapening of herself as a brand. Her face is everywhere these days: banner ads splashed across the Internet, Self Magazine, TV, radio, etc. You can’t walk through Target or turn on the TV without seeing her. She’s promoted herself endlessly. You have to admit, her hard work has paid off. But, at what price? It seems as though she has completely betrayed herself. She preached the virtues of eating a clean diet and doing things the old fashioned way: hard work in the gym and in the kitchen. She never advocated quick fixes, until now.

Does anyone else remember the episode of House where the fitness trainer is the patient? If I recall correctly, it turns out she had gastric bypass to help her lose weight (despite building her reputation on having done it with diet and exercise) after growing up as an overweight kid. Now she’s a famous fitness trainer working on a TV show to help obese people lose weight through healthy diet and exercise. Sound familiar? Does Jillian have a skeleton like this in her closet? I’m sure I’m not the only person to speculate, as you never know what one person may be hiding. Her willingness to completely disregard everything she’s preached before definitely damages her credibility. But, is she a total fraud?

Regardless, as her popularity has grown, she has betrayed those who supported her from the beginning. I wonder, how long until the Jillian Michaels backlash begins? Will Oprah bring her on her show to call her out? Or will she continue to be a celebrated fitness trainer and peddler of gimmicks? Only time will tell.

4 Responses to “Thoughts on Jillian Michaels”

  1. Kelly October 1, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    I do remember that episode of House. I honestly think Jillian is going to regret what she has been up to lately as far as the weight loss products and all of that. She is going to lose her faithful supporters and her credibility.

  2. Meredith October 2, 2009 at 12:21 am #

    I do think that Jillian has definitely sold out, especially in the last few years.

  3. Angie Eats Peace October 2, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    She is a brand now. : /

  4. Stephanie October 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    I tend to agree with you…it's sad that she's sold out to supplements. Why not go to protein shakes and bars instead? or some other kind of healthy snack. I wonder what Bob (from Biggest Loser)has to say about it since he hasn't promoted himself in that way (that I've seen).

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