Piers Morgan sparked a backlash with “tone deaf” comments about the body positivity movement.
Discussing a Cosmopolitan cover which features a plus-size woman exercising with his Good Morning Britain co-host Susanna Reid, he said:
“I think it is irresponsible of Cosmo to be celebrating obesity in the middle of a pandemic where we know obesity can kill you.”
Government statistics suggest that Covid-19 patients are at a greater risk of serious illness or death if they are obese.
Cosmo’s intention, however, was not to “celebrate obesity” but to demonstrate that “wellness doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all”. Their ‘This is healthy’ series features women with a range of different body shapes and sizes explaining how their exercise regime helps them.
Jessamyn Stanley, who graced the cover Morgan and Reid discussed, is a yoga teacher whose mission is to encourage people like her who might otherwise be alienated by yoga to give it a go. She told the magazine:
“The reality is yoga has absolutely nothing to do with what you look like. When I started I was often the only fat person at classes and frequently the only Black person, so it was very alienating.”
Nevertheless she went on to become a teacher herself, and promotes the “mental and spiritual benefits” to her thousands of followers.
Morgan’s criticisms of her cover was met with a backlash online.