Washed-up comedian Aries Spears must be enjoying all the spotlight he received over the weekend after making disparaging comments about superstar Lizzo.
Last night, Lizzo, nominated for four VMAs including Artist of the Year, shook the red carpet of the VMAs in a dark blue Jean Paul Gaultier dress that featured a billowing skirt. Her hair and makeup matched the dress and certainly the occasion – the whole ensemble was stunning.
It’s tough to say whether the highlight of the night was her winning the 2022 Video For Good Award, or the speech that followed, in which she was able to deliver a three word message to Aries Spears:
“Bitch, I’m winning.”
Spears, who flies very under the radar, and likely not intentionally, since his Mad TV departure in 2005, was quoted in a video that surfaced over the weekend likening Lizzo to the poop emoji. During an appearance on The Art of Dialogue podcast, a comment was made about Lizzo’s music being “good”, to which he responded, “I can’t get past the fact that she looks like the sh-t emoji.”
The comment was met with laughter and Spears went onto make a few other distasteful comments and assumptions about the status of her health after giving her credit for her for being a “very beautiful girl” with a “very pretty face.”
“She keeps showing her body off, come on man, come on yo,” he said. “I ain’t the most in shape in the world….but…you know, when you funny and you got swagger and confidence, you get pussy,” he said. “But a woman that’s built like a plate of mashed potatoes…is in trouble.”
He went on to say that the women who praise Lizzo on social media are hypocritical and contradictory for choosing to cheer her on instead of warning her about things like heart disease and cholesterol.
“Sister, put the éclair down, this ain’t it, it’s treadmill time,” he said.
As a former fan of Aries Spears and his legendary celebrity impressions, it’s disappointing to see him grabbing onto the low hanging fruit of jokes this late in his career. You’d think the 47-year-old, who has been performing in comedy clubs since he dropped out of high school, would be trying to think of new, dynamic ways to deliver comedy. But instead, he opted for something that he knew would get him some spotlight, and is milking the opportunity to shamelessly plug his podcast.
What Spears said was beyond bodyshaming. It was fatphobic, harmfully stigmatizing, and misinforming. It’s incredibly misleading to connect heart disease and cholesterol to her weight because not all fat people are unhealthy. People who deemed themselves as thin flooded the comment sections of different posts saying despite their weight, they had high body mass indexes (BMI) and other health ailments typically associated only with overweight people.
We had this conversation in 2020 when Jillian Michaels decided to chime in on Lizzo’s body and health on BuzzFeed’s AM2DM show. When cohost Alex Berg praised the fact that we were seeing and celebrating bodies like Lizzo’s and Ashley Graham’s, Michaels interjected with: “Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter?”
Well, Jillian, you tell us. Why does it matter?
“It isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes,” she continued. “There’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad that she’s overweight!’”
Then she poses a final question, one that she and Aries Spears ought to continue to ask themselves when they feel the need to address someone else’s body and health. “Why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?”
The thing is, it’s not her job to care about Lizzo’s weight. She’s a personal trainer. That means when people are interested in losing weight, building muscle or getting toned, they call her. And from what I understand, Lizzo hasn’t picked up the phone.
So it’s no wonder Jillian is concerned. The body positivity movement that seems to have picked up steam, thanks to women like Lizzo and Ashley Graham, will have a direct impact on the industry that pays her bills. The messages of self-love and self-care that Lizzo has sent out to millions, encouraging people to accept their bodies and understand that they can be healthy without being skinny is resonating with people more than her workout plans.
It’s not Aries Spears’ job either. Neither of these two, or so many of the people who have made it their business to discuss Lizzo’s body and health, are trained medical professionals. None seem to have any idea what the actual status of Lizzo’s health is. So the idea that people with no medical credentials whatsoever are spreading misinformation about someone’s potential health issues is dangerous.
Michaels went on to release a statement after she quickly became the target of social media users who let her know she was being fatphobic, and she doubled down on her remarks.
“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving. I also feel strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity — heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few.”
I feel like we’ve moved past these jokes just being about Lizzo and her body. I think what these jokes, the comments, and the insults masked as genuine concern are really about is society’s way of expressing its discomfort with a woman who looks like Lizzo expressing the amount of confidence she exudes. And I think when these jokes come from men, it’s strictly from a place of whether or not she is, as one Twitter user suggested, “f-ckable”.
The hate towards lizzo is so unprovoked, itâ€™s weird. She is not here to be fuckable for yâ€™all, sheâ€™s here to make music. Sheâ€™s healthy & can do more on stage than he can do in this simple interview. The woman exudes sex appeal & sheâ€™s minding her own business. Cry about it Aries— Jay (is now drinking IntelWasabiâ€™s tears) (@Katyathagod) August 27, 2022
That’s why I found myself scratching my head when he touted his own confidence, feeling the need to affirm that he is sexually active. Lizzo has swagger. She’s got confidence. And she’s got SEX appeal. So what is this really about?
Her fans were quick to come to her defence, resharing a video that Spears posted around 2020. In the clip, he made a plea appealing to men who work out and take working out seriously. He said he was looking to “get shredded, ripped and right.”
Except heâ€™s also cried on the internet and begged for weight loss help because his feelings were hurt when others made fat jokes about him. But he has no problem doing that to others. pic.twitter.com/9vuaT8tXbo— vintage versaucey (@cherrilizabiff) August 28, 2022
Two years later though, social media users are speculating on his own weight gain, his unattractiveness, and suggesting the dark circles under his eyes may be linked to poorly treated diabetes. Some suggested that the shortness of breath displayed in his response video is reason enough to call a doctor, comparing his inability to maintain his breath control while laying down to Lizzo’s ability to dance and play the flute simultaneously. Ouch.
It’s ironic – and perhaps a bit poetic, depending on your level of petty – that Aries Spears has now become the subject of a bunch of social media users commenting on his own body and his own health, despite not having medical credentials. I hope that finding himself in a situation Lizzo somehow ends up in the middle of, nearly every other week, is eye-opening for him.
Per Ariesâ€™ request, not subjective:— vintage versaucey (@cherrilizabiff) August 28, 2022
-The hyperpigmentation by his eyes & neck indicates heâ€™s not getting proper diabetes treatment.
-Lizzo has exemplary breath control & can dance while playing a flute. Aries is winded laying down holding a phone.
-He should call a doctor. https://t.co/ODpiECBKgn
Towards the end of the video, before making a call out to women interested in giving him that “meow” for some of his “ruff ruff” (he barks like a dog at this part in the video, I kid you not), they should “holla at [him].”
So let me get this straight. We’ve got a man inviting women to have sex with him on social media, after likening arguably one of the best female artists and performers in the game to a poop emoji?
One thing that sticks out, both from his appearance on the podcast, the comments he made while lying in bed shirtless, and even in this video that he shared, is how he manages to always turn the conversation to the shortcomings of women. In one weekend, he’s referred to women as hypocritical, contradictory and physically imperfect for wearing makeup and push-up bras. Who hurt you, Aries?
It’s no wonder he, like so many other former celebrities and entertainers with very few other avenues to stay relevant, is trying to get people to listen to his podcast. It’s all he’s got left.
Attached: Lizzo at the MTV VMAs.