Lizzo has always been an advocate for body acceptance. In an interview on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” she talked about how she’s always made songs about loving herself and her body. She said people would be shocked that a plus-size woman would sing so openly about this topic.
“What are you questioning about me and my body, and my love for myself? You’re not me. You want me to hate myself?” said Lizzo. “At this point, my mere existence is like a form of activism, especially in the body-positive community.”
The singer has never been ashamed to show some skin. The cover for her album “Cuz I Love You” features her posing nude and she has multiple Instagram posts where she’s just feeling herself in her underwear and curve-hugging leotards.
Recently, Lizzo did an interview with Brazil’s TV Folha (posted on Feb. 11) where she addressed the double standards against women who don’t follow the “conventions of physical beauty.”
“I think that women are always going to be criticized for existing in their bodies and I don’t think I’m any different than any of the other great women who’ve come before me that had to literally be politicized just to be sexual…you know what I mean? [Just to] exist,” Lizzo told the interviewer. “I’m able to do what I do because of those great women. And they all look completely different, they don’t all look the same, and they all had to deal with the same kind of marginalization and misogyny.”
She also brought up how it’s usually guys who criticize her body. “So, what does that tell you about the oppressor? What does that tell you about men? Get it together, we don’t talk about your dick sizes, do we? Like, ‘That’s not a conventional dick size, it’s too small.’ We still let y’all asses run all over the goddamn place.”
This isn’t the first time Lizzo has addressed body shaming. Last December, she drew flak for showing off her thong and twerking during an LA Lakers game. Several netizens shamed and ridiculed her for exposing her butt cheeks. She then called out these people on Instagram Live, saying, “I know that I’m shocking because you’ve never seen—in a long time—a body like mine doing whatever it wants to do and dressing the way that it dresses and moving the way that it moves. But I don’t ever want to censor myself because I’m suddenly famous. I don’t want to censor myself because everyone’s looking at me now. I’m not going to quiet myself. I’m not going to shrink myself because somebody thinks that I’m not sexy to them.”
Mainstream media dictates hat being thin is good and being fat is bad. When someone shows belly rolls or cellulite, people often say that they are unhealthy or unattractive. But the reality is that someone’s body type doesn’t necessarily translate to their overall health. We need to stop peddling the notion that being fat isn’t socially acceptable and shaming them isn’t going to motivate them to work out. Conversely, it’s not a compliment when someone points out that you lost weight.
What’s ironic is that curvy women were considered the “ideal” in the past. In Ancient Greece and during the Italian Renaissance, for example, being full-bodied with a rounded stomach and full hips were considered beautiful. When the 20th century began, the preferred body types went from curvy hourglass to supermodel skinny.
In the 2000s, the concept of the ideal postmodern body type is the so-called “healthy skinny,” where women have a flat stomach, a thigh gap and large breasts and butt. (Basically, Kim Kardashian.) Once the flabs start showing, people start judging how these women’s appearances. Do you hear the same criticism against guys? Last we checked, people love the dad bod.
We’re not saying that there’s a single body type that should be championed. What people need to learn is body neutrality, which is to respect others regardless of what their bodies look like and whether they’re celebrities or not. The key here is to not base someone’s worth on their appearance. Every person has flaws on their bodies and we should be more accepting of that fact.
Lizzo’s right: The only reason she’s being ridiculed is because it’s not the norm to see a plus-size woman confidently flaunt her body because she doesn’t give a f*ck about conventional beauty standards. But this isn’t a matter of bravery (although what Lizzo does could be considered brave) —women just simply want to live their lives without being judged for how their bodies look. (More of us would do the same if society would just stop being judgmental.)
That said, we thank Lizzo and other women who are breaking the stigma surrounding our bodies and showing that flaws are normal. Don’t let the ignorant naysayers stop you.
Photo courtesy of Lizzo’s Instagram account
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