Why You Should Care About Richard Simmons

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Although his fitness career spanned decades, Richard Simmons is not a name you hear much around Hollywood anymore. In fact, when you finally do, it's typically attached with a bizarre news story. For reasons unknown, Simmons has dodged the spotlight for years. Even so, we think it's important to remember his legacy and honor a guy who's inspired millions of people to get healthy and exercise. Here's why.

He could always make us laugh

Much has been written and debated about Simmons' disappearance from Hollywood—so much that a podcast is now dedicated to the subject. Based on certain reports, things don't particularly sound all that great for the wellness coach, who celebrated his 68th birthday in 2016. Whatever is actually going on, we hope to someday see him and his lovable personality again. Why?

Well, quite honestly, we really miss him. Sure, he could be a bit outrageous at times, but even in his wildest moments, Simmons was someone you could count on for a laugh or an inspirational aha moment. And, let's be honest, given all that's going on in the world today, we could totally use one right about now.

He made dieting fun

One of the things that made Simmons so likable was that, beneath his larger-than-life persona, was a person who totally understood how difficult it was to diet and exercise. Talking to People magazine in 1981, he quipped, "The first syllable [in the word "diet"] is die. Now, is that any way to inspire anyone?" (The short answer: heck no!) Simmons was also very open about his past struggles with his weight, always stressing the importance of learning to love yourself first. Plus, he did it all while sweatin' to some really awesome oldies. What's not to love?

He just wanted to help people

Simmons may have made millions through his exercise shows, books, and DVDs, but in his heart, Simmons said he did it less for the fame and more to help his millions of adoring fans. "I want to help as many people as I can in the world," he told The Big Idea in 2008, adding, "The Richard Simmons brand is anything I can create to help people enjoy themselves, have fun, do something healthy and that makes sense." Hey, we'll exercise to that!

His message was inspiring

In today's social media-obsessed world, it seems like many people are trying to look good not for themselves but for the approval of others. However, Simmons never strayed from his message of taking care of one's self-worth. "You gotta love more than what you see in the mirror. It's not all about our visualness; it's about what's inside," he told KristyTV. "I say in the morning, 'Seize the day. Seize it. Don't rust—lust." Preach, brother!

He never changed

Today's celebrities reinvent their appearance so often, it's almost impossible for the rest of us to keep up. Google "Miley Cyrus 2008" and "Miley Cyrus 2017" and, well, there's your proof. Another endearing characteristic about Simmons is that he took his colorful tank-top-and-short-shorts ensemble and ran with it. He rocked the same style all the way up until his final years in the spotlight, at a time when many others his age would shudder at the thought of flashing a little leg. Where did he find the strength? "From my soul, I guess," he told The Big Idea. "I'm very comfortable in these clothes," adding that he spent years hating clothes, due to his weight.

He still inspires people

If you thought Simmons' influence was a thing of the past, you'd be totally wrong. He still wields the power to inspire. For example, on a 2013 episode of Katie Couric's talk show, Simmons met a teenager who was able to lose weight thanks to his teachings. "This boy finally looked in the mirror, and he saw something that a lot of kids don't see, and a lot of adults don't see, which is hope," Simmons said. "Because with hope, you can cope." Excuse us while we go cry.