Throughout her career, Lizzo has made a name for herself spreading the message of self-love and body positivity using her own methods. Because of this, the singer, rapper, and songwriter has been constantly criticized for what she wears and how she carries herself in the public eye; mainly due to her body type. A person who tries to spread the message of self-acceptance in society would normally be praised, so it poses the question – what makes Lizzo any different?
On Friday, Lizzo released “Rumors” featuring Cardi B, which was her first single since 2019. In what should have been a moment of celebration, it again turned into an opportunity for her critics to overlook her talents, as well as magnify the flaws they see in her physical appearance. In a recent Instagram Live, the singer revealed that although she isn’t sensitive, the comments she receives online can sometimes go too far.
During her recording, she stated that her increased workload has caused her to become more sensitive to the criticism towards her on social media. “Sometimes I’m like, the world just don’t love me back,” Lizzo said. “It’s like it doesn’t matter how much positive energy you put into the world you’re still going to have people who have something, something mean to say about you – and for the most part it doesn’t hurt my feelings, I don’t care. I just think when I’m working this hard my tolerance gets lower. My patience is lower, I’m more sensitive, and it gets to me.”
In comparison to the recent events surrounding Lil’ Nas X, there seems to be a demographic of people that refuses to allow someone to be in acceptance of who they are, and to fully live in their truth. Today’s societal norms place pressure on everyone, so to “be yourself” in a world where only triumphs are highlighted and losses are hidden, Lizzo’s transparency about herself, her body, and her experiences as a Black woman in the entertainment industry, is many times hard to come by.
“I feel like fat is the worst thing people can say about me at this point. This is the biggest insecurity. It’s like, ‘How dare a pop star be fat?’…I had to own that,” Lizzo said in a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s New Music Daily. “I feel like other people who were put on that pedestal, or who become pop stars, probably have other insecurities or have other flaws, but they can hide it behind a veneer of being sexy and being marketable,” she added.
Diversity is perhaps one of Lizzo’s most powerful messages. In the past, she has often spoken out about the double standard that exists in society in regard to physical appearance, specifically with women of color. While a woman of smaller stature is celebrated for flaunting her body, a person of Lizzo’s size is reprimanded, much like she was by Jillian Michaels in 2020.
While the GRAMMY award-winning musician has had her fair share of criticism, she also has a wealth of supporters. Upon releasing her heartfelt Instagram Live video, the reception on social media was mostly that of compassion and love. There were also many users on Twitter that came to her defense, most notably her friend and collaborator Missy Elliott, along with Cardi B.
Lizzo concluded her Instagram Live video on a positive note and vowed not to stray away from creating music that feeds her soul. “I read a lot of hurtful words that triggered a lot of deep feelings today. And I’m not even going to say them, to give them power. But what I will say is: ‘Thank you. I love you as much as you love yourself. And I hope that you love yourself a lot. I’m gonna keep on bringing this music out, and I’m gonna keep on doing what I want to do.’”
Focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative messages that come her way is the best thing that Lizzo can do for herself – especially for someone who has so much to be happy about.
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