The rise of social media has warranted “perfection” to always be a staple. Users want to show off their best attributes when they present their life to their followers. The food on a dinner plate gets broadcasted to an Instagram story before the fork even enters a mouth. That brand new car gets introduced to Snapchat friends and filters before anyone even gets behind the wheel. People will do anything to trick others into craving a life that isn’t theirs. Another standard pushed by social media is that of the “perfect” body.
Being skinny has always been an ideal pushed by the entertainment industry, which snowballed over into social media, formulating a recipe for extreme agony and unobtainable beauty standards. These are exceedingly dangerous ideas to see circling online, especially as social media users become younger than ever before. However, the rise of the body positive movement stands strong and combats the dangerous ideology being spewed on social networking platforms. Celebrity Lizzo is proudly at the forefront of the movement.
At rapper Cardi B’s 29th birthday party, which was held on Oct. 11 at River Studios in Los Angeles, Lizzo was just one of the star-studded attendees at her “Rumors” collaboration partner’s birthday bash. Lizzo arrived and executed her interpretation of the dancehall theme in a completely sheer sequined dress, with only undergarments beneath it.
This sparked an immense amount of backlash on social media. Some of the cruel comments aimed at Lizzo regarding her choice of attire read, “That’s very gross.” Another distasteful tweet said, “It should be illegal to have unhealthy eating habits.” What these people failed to realize is that Lizzo is literally vegan. She exercises on a daily basis by doing cardio and strength training, and she has the stamina to perform hour-long concerts without a break. Lizzo is fit. However, the societal eye that’s so consumed by vanity and the idea of what is “perfect” shadows all of that. So, she is constantly berated.
Fortunately, the “Good As Hell” singer did not allow these comments to make her insecure or afraid. She recorded herself in an Instagram live video to address the backlash she faced from haters and critics about her outfit. Lizzo said, “Let me do whatever the f— I wanna do. Remember when people minded they own f—ing business?”
Lizzo continued, “It seems like every single day somebody is disrespecting someone on the internet. Let people live bro, let people wear whatever the f— they wanna wear. What the f—.”
She then questioned the people leaving the impolite comments: “Why does my body have anything to do with you?”
Lizzo slayed the haters by stating, “Where are we going as a society? Where are we going as human beings? Where are we going as people? If we can’t have the simple decency to allow someone to exist without commentary.”
She concluded the live video by saying, “I do this for the people who are constantly getting criticized.”
This is just one occasion in which people disrespected Lizzo online because of her body and choice of clothing. However, fans came to the star’s defense on social media. One fan wrote, “As long as she is comfortable no one should criticize.” Another took to Twitter to say, “So when Riri did it wasn’t a problem?” and shared a picture of Rihanna in a similar ensemble. In 2014, Rihanna wore a dazzling Swarovski crystal mesh gown with a matching headscarf to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards at Lincoln Center in New York. Yet, Rihanna did not face any backlash for her glitter mesh outfit. So why is Lizzo being torn to shreds online when someone else wore a similar outfit, almost seven years prior to Cardi B’s birthday bash?
It’s saddening that the world is caged in the mindset that surrounds diet culture and “perfection” — a mindset that can carve a path that leads children as young as eight to suffer from eating disorders. The toxicity of diet culture and harsh societal standards desperately need to be eradicated. Diet culture attempts to normalize thinness as ideal and connects self-worth to weight and portion control. This unrealistic cultural standard is incredibly harmful to mental health. The emphasis placed on appearance and body display on social media is exceptionally dangerous. For people young and old, having someone like Lizzo in the public eye is so important. It allows people to look up to someone who isn’t just Caucasian and a size 00, especially considering that Lizzo uses her music to address these societal problems.
In her song “Rumors,” Lizzo sings, “Spending all your time tryna break women down.” She goes on to say, “Haters do what they do” and “I am body goals.” Lizzo is undeniably a talented artist. The messages she conveys through words truly keep the world talking. More importantly, Lizzo is more than just her body. She’s a human being attempting to be as unapologetically herself as she can in this cruel world. Lizzo shouldn’t be bullied for not fitting into the box formulated by outdated societal standards. Lizzo thought she looked “good as hell” in her outfit at Cardi B’s birthday extravaganza, so no one else’s opinion matters. And the rumors are true — “the perfect body” standard must be demolished.