Lizzo Calls Out ‘Lazy’ Body Positivity Message: We Have To Make People Uncomfortable Again
Just after the 3-year anniversary of her breakout hit song Truth Hurts, Lizzo is gracing the cover of Vogue. The singer, who first released “Truth Hurts” on Sept. 19, 2017, candidly opened up to the magazine about her body image, turning her home into a studio during the pandemic, and what it feels like to potentially witness the first Black female Vice President.
Lizzo says that she’s been taking the pandemic very seriously and hasn’t left the house much.
“I’ve been in my house every single day. I can count on my hands how many times I’ve actually left. I’m fortunate that I am in that position. I really had guilt about that, early on.”
“A lot of times, staying home isn’t staying safe. There are so many levels to the butterfly effect of this pandemic—not just the sickness but the emotional and mental effects. That is what keeps me up at night. And that’s what stresses me out.”
Lizzo says that Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and Beyonce are her biggest musical inspirations.
“Beyoncé had a major impact on me, as an artist, period. She is the definition of work ethic.”
She added that they’re all:
“women who looked like me and who were successful in the ways I wanted to be successful. I was like, ‘Okay. I can be confident and look this way.’ You know?”
“I think it’s lazy for me to just say I’m body positive at this point. It’s easy. I would like to be body-normative. I want to normalize my body. And not just be like, ‘Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.’ No, being fat is normal. I think now, I owe it to the people who started this to not just stop here. We have to make people uncomfortable again, so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?”
She also explained why she feels like the term body positivity has been appropriated:
“It’s commercialized. Now, you look at the hashtag ‘body positive,’ and you see smaller-framed girls, curvier girls. Lotta white girls. And I feel no ways about that, because inclusivity is what my message is always about. I’m glad that this conversation is being included in the mainstream narrative. What I don’t like is how the people that this term was created for are not benefiting from it. Girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren’t separated, that overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club. They need to be benefiting from…the mainstream effect of body positivity now. But with everything that goes mainstream, it gets changed. It gets—you know, it gets made acceptable.”
“I think it’s important that I take full responsibility for the way the world perceives me because that is the way they’re gonna perceive someone who looks like me in the future. Maybe, hopefully, that would give some young girl someone to look up to and take away the opportunity for someone to weaponize her uniqueness against her. I had to travel the world and I had to meet people and read DMs and look into their eyes and really hear their stories to believe that I was making an impact in a positive way. And now that I believe in myself in that way, I’m gonna continue to just push that conversation by being a better me every single day.”
With the 2020 election close, Lizzo explains that while she’s all for having Kamala Harris become the first Black female Vice President, it is only a small part of fixing a deep-rooted systematic issue in the U.S.
“Having a Black woman as vice president would be great, because I’m just always rooting for Black people. But I want actual change to happen…in the laws. And not just on the outside, you know? Not a temporary fix to a deep-rooted, systemic issue. A lot of times I feel like we get distracted by the veneer of things. If things appear to be better, but they’re not actually better, we lose our sense of protest.” adding “We need to talk about the women.”
“I just want to encourage people to register to vote. That is the most important thing to me. Because there’s a lot of upset people, and there’s a lot of people who have power. There’s a lot of voter suppression in Black communities. But there’s a lot of angry white kids now. And I’m like, ‘Yo, register to vote. Go out. You won’t get suppressed if you try to go to your ballot box.’ You know? I think it’s important to remind people of what they can do. My job isn’t to tell you how to vote. But my job is hopefully to inspire you to vote…to activate you, so that you can take your protest to the ballot box.”
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