A drawing of Lizzo shows the performer beside two other women.
Illustration by Mi Young, School of Visual Arts
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A drawing of Lizzo shows the performer beside two other women.
Illustration by Mi Young, School of Visual Arts

The award-winning superstar is the light we need in this dark world.

Lizzo is a queen, plain and simple. This is not an opinion: It’s a fact. Okay, maybe it’s an opinion, but bear with me here, I have the receipts. There’s no one like her, and until she became famous, there wasn’t anyone like her. The majority of  Hollywood celebrities are white and or thin; the entertainment industry offers very little diversity when it comes to race and beauty standards. And while the industry has made a little headway in terms of racial diversity, body diversity still has a long way to go.

There is a huge double standard when it comes to thin people vs fat people. Truth be told, people don’t like the fact that fat people exist. They don’t treat us like we’re human. They don’t see us as human. Despite this double standard, or perhaps because of it, Lizzo is here to proclaim that it is okay to live in fat body. She even uses the word fat in casual conversation. Fat is not a bad word! It’s part of who she is, and she’s proud of that aspect of her identity. Lizzo is smart enough to know that she will get hate just because she is out in the open, existing and thriving. She has an “I don’t care what anybody thinks of me” attitude, does her own thing and stays authentic to herself. She owns who she is and shines.

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Her latest album, “Special,” had a song called “GRRRLS” which sparked a major uproar among her fans. It had the word “spaz” in it, an ableist slur used to degrade and dehumanize people with cerebral palsy and epilepsy for decades.

Lizzo responded to the uproar in an Instagram post: “It has been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song “GRRRLS.” Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally). I’m proud to say there’s a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change. This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”

Lizzo released this statement within days of her album coming out. Many people who look up to celebrities like Lizzo and put them on pedestals instantly reject them after a single mistake. Lizzo changed her lyrics as quickly as she did to help people understand that it’s okay to make a mistake. It’s what you do with the result of that mistake that shows your true character.

Lizzo’s bulletproof character is further evidenced in her Emmy award-winning tv series, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.”This competition series focuses on showcasing beautiful black women who have larger bodies. Let’s get one thing straight: Lizzo may be big, but she has the stamina and energy that most folks don’t. As often as she tours/performs, she dances, sings, moves on stage and even plays the flute for two hours straight. You need to have a healthy body in order to do that!

Lizzo, like many of us, didn’t have any sort of representation growing up, which inspired her to become that representation for young girls in generations to come. People like Lizzo can and should be represented. No matter what you look like, you have a place in this world and you matter. Take up the space because the world needs to hear your voice. Lizzo makes incredible music, has the best attitude and is authentically herself. It’s why we love her.

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