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So here’s the thing: We all know that fad diets are ineffective in the long term and often come with a number of health risks, and frankly any celebrity out there promoting them for the purpose of weight loss should be held accountable. However, Lizzo is not one of those celebrities.

Lizzo at the NAACP Image Awards 2020 / Photo Credit: SIPA USA/PA Images

The 32-year-old popstar came under fire this week when she shared on social media that she was undergoing the JJ Smith 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, followed by videos of her showing off the results on her body. Unsurprisingly, a number of critics came out of the woodwork to share their opinion on her lifestyle choice.

Many criticised her for promoting an unhealthy diet, branding her irresponsible and pointing out how harmful a smoothie diet can be in the long-term. They’re not wrong on that front; if you drink only smoothies for a month or more you are going to lose weight, but you are also going to be deficient in a number of nutrients that cannot be provided by green smoothies alone. 

But Lizzo isn’t doing a 30-day smoothie diet. She did a 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse which is completely different in its effects on the body. This is a detox rather than a long-term (or even short-term) diet suggestion, and while there’s no scientific evidence that it is any better for you than, say, eating fruit and vegetables and upping your water intake, there’s also no evidence to suggest that drinking smoothies for a little over a week is going to harm you in any way if you are have no serious health concerns. 

If you’re on a long-term weight loss mission, it’s probably not a good idea to start with a smoothie detox. But only to save your disappointment; as soon as you switch to a sustainable diet, weight loss will slow down considerably, and you may even put a few of those lost pounds back on. 

Saying that, nowhere did Lizzo mention that she was intending to lose weight using this method. As far as we can gather, it was simply a route she chose to reset her body after an unhealthy trip to Mexico, and the fat loss benefits were the least of the appeal.

“I feel like as a big girl people just expect if you are doing something for health you’re doing it for a dramatic weight loss and that is not the case”, she said in a video, needlessly justifying her choices. “In reality, November stressed me the f**k out. I drank a lot, I ate a lot of spicy things and things that f**ked my stomach up and I wanted to reverse it and get back to where I was. 

“I’m so proud of myself, I’m proud of my results”, she continued. “My sleep has improved, my hydration, my inner peace, my mental stability, my f**king body, my f**king skin, the whites of my eyes. I feel and look like a bad b***h. And that’s it. I’m a big girl who did a smoothie detox. And I wanted to share that with you guys. I got exactly what I wanted out of it, and every big girl should do whatever the f**k they want with their body.” 

When it comes to this idea that she was “promoting” an unhealthy diet to her fans, really all we can see her doing was sharing her experiences with a detox that worked for her. However, that is far from the only criticism she received. Others took offence that she would suggest a “diet” at all, when she has been such an icon for the body positivity movement and a heroine for her curvier fans.

The response to those comments have been to mention that Lizzo has never officially claimed to be a central figure of the body positivity movement; she’s simply a larger woman who loves her body and wants others to love theirs too, no matter what size or shape they are. Frankly, even if she had changed her mind about her feelings regarding her body, seeing such a thing as a betrayal is just another way people try to claim ownership over her public image for their own satisfaction, without considering the fact that Lizzo is just another human being, changing and growing like anyone else.

Race has also come into the conversation, with people comparing Lizzo’s situation with that of Adele’s. People congratulated Adele on her weight loss, some are saying, but are attacking Lizzo’s for hers. This isn’t entirely true, of course; Adele had her critics too and we’ve lost count at the number of “she looked better before” comments we’ve seen. Plus, Adele has been largely private about her health journey, while Lizzo has directly promoted a product and displayed the results specifically for people to see, which kind of invites some kind of commentary.

But even if we take this argument out of the equation, that doesn’t mean there aren’t racial implications to this attack on Lizzo. Many have pointed out that black women are often unfairly held to standards which they never wanted or asked for themselves. As one Twitter user suggested: “So Lizzo wants to do some diet or whatever, and folks are mad. And it’s obvious why. They love the image of a FBW [fat black woman].” 

There is a degree of truth to this idea that black woman are expected to represent themselves as role models for their young fans more often than white women in the same professions. Rihanna, for example, has been forced to remind people multiple times that she is not trying to be a role model, whenever she has been criticised for posting photos of herself smoking, drinking and sometimes semi-naked on her social media accounts.

We cannot force the expectation of infallibility on other humans, regardless of their position in society. And while we know that celebrities’ actions will undoubtedly have an influence on their fans, we cannot always hold them responsible for other people’s choices. 

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Gerry Marsden | Gerry Marsden has been laid to rest

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Gerry Marsden has been laid to rest.

The Gerry And The Pacemakers frontman – who passed away on January 3, aged 78, after suffering a heart infection – was remembered in a service at a church near the River Mersey in his home city of Liverpool on Saturday (16.01.21).

The private ceremony could only be attended by 30 friends and family, with his widow, Pauline, and Scottish football legend, Sir Kenny Dalglish, among those to pay their respects.

In a touching tribute, the late singer’s wife of 55 years said on behalf of their family: “We, his family, are totally devastated and have been so moved and amazed at the extent of the respect, love and affection received from all over the world.

“When the time is right and we have come out of this terrible pandemic we hope a fitting memorial can be held for him in the city he loved so much.”

Gerry is also survived by their daughters, Yvette and Vicky, and grandchildren, Tom and Maggie.

Sir Paul McCartney was among those to pay tribute to Gerry upon the news of his passing.

The Beatles legend promised to always think of the ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ singer “with a smile”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music.

“My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I’ll always remember you with a smile.”

The 78-year-old musician also shared a photo of The Beatles with Gerry and the Pacemakers and the late Roy Orbison from 1963.

While Frankie Goes to Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson, who, like Gerry and Paul, hails from Liverpool, North West England, also remembered the singer.

Holly – who previously covered ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ – tweeted: “So sorry to hear about the passing of Gerry Marsden what a Liverpool Legend. So glad I met him. ferryacrossthemersey youllneverwalkalone.”

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was adopted as an anthem by Liverpool FC.

And there will be a tribute before the team take on Manchester United on Sunday (17.01.21).

Gerry had undergone a triple bypass heart surgery in 2003, before having a second heart operation in 2016, and ultimately had a pacemaker of his own fitted, which he once joked wasn’t “funny” given his band’s name.

When asked last year if he finds it funny to have a band called the Pacemakers in his older age, he quipped: “No. I’m wearing one, for Christ’s sake.”

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Julia Stiles | Julia Stiles wants Save The Last Dance sequel

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Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas want a ‘Save The Last Dance’ sequel.

The pair co-starred in the teen romance 20 years ago and revealed that they would love to find out what their characters are doing today.

Julia, 39, told E! News: “It would be so special. I would be a lot less nervous. I’m envisioning, like, me doing the Debbie Allen character in Fame, where now she’s a dance teacher and she’s smacking her cane against the ballet bar. And then, I don’t know.”

Sean Patrick, 50, said: “I can never think of something that sounds plausible. Unless, they ended up getting married somehow. But that seems too easy. So it’s tough for me to kind of wrap my brain around how that would come to pass. But, you know, if somebody had a good idea, I’d definitely take a look.

“I would love to work with Julia again, now. It would be an incredible pleasure because we’re grown-ups now.”

And he believes the movie was ahead of its time.

Speaking about the interracial romance at the heart of the film, Sean Patrick said: “Even now in 2021, you don’t see a whole lot of major studio films with an interracial couple as the two leads. It was remarkable for that time. It wasn’t really about, you know, Black and white and it’s so fraught. It was simple, it was sweet, it was pure. It had innocence to it. And I think that’s what resonates.”

Julia added: “Sean’s character believes in Sara. Their connection is something to me that’s deeper and just really beautiful.”

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Anne-Marie | Anne-Marie’s embarrassing music taste

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‘Mr Blobby’ was Anne-Marie’s first record.

The 29-year-old singer/songwriter admitted the novelty song by the character Mr Blobby was the first record she ever bought for herself, along with Brian Hyland’s ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’.

She told British GQ: “‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ on tape and also ‘Mr Blobby’. That was when I was really young. Then, later, my dad got me ‘Jagged Little Pill’ on CD from a charity shop. That was it. I was in love with Alanis Morissette, in love with music. My dad played music every day. He’d work such long hours, so his freedom would be coming home and banging in the music really loud. Seeing his joy in it made me interested in why it made him so happy. I really concentrated on what Morissette was saying in the lyrics.”

Anne-Marie also admitted she has always suffered with self-doubt.

She explained: “Rudimental discovering me and telling me, while I was in college, that they wanted me to come on tour with them was a really big thing. I’ve always been really anxious about it. I have huge self-doubt. Even when people told me I was good, I wouldn’t believe it. People might think that’s just me being humble, but honestly, it’s been a massive problem. I think if I actually believed in myself I could be one of the biggest pop stars in the world. I really struggle with imposter syndrome and what I’m able to do.

“As I was saying, though, after last year, when I had loads of therapy and tried to figure out that part of me, things are better. I’ve got a show coming up in Dubai and it’s the first time when anxiousness isn’t taking over. Right now I’m just thinking, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky to be able to get on stage and perform in front of all these people.’ It’s the first time my brain has switched into the excitement of doing it. It sounds cliche but 2020 has definitely changed my life.”

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