Lizzo is best known for singing empowering anthems about self-love, like “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell.” But the superstar singer is getting tired of the focus placed on her body, and wants to be celebrated for more than her appearance.
The 31-year-old, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, opened up about her whirlwind year in an interview with Rolling Stone, in which she addressed the intersectionality of her music and her role in the body-positive movement. However, she made it clear that she doesn’t want to be recognized as “brave” for singing about her body or even for putting it on display.
“I’m so much more than that. Because I actually present that, I have a whole career,” she told the magazine. “It’s not a trend.”
In fact, the journey toward feeling empowered, embracing her body and opening herself to vulnerability about it through her music was never meant to just be a way into the limelight. Instead, it’s the result of work she’s done to improve her self-esteem following a toxic relationship in her teens when she was with somebody who wanted a “skinny” girlfriend.
“I remember he was like, ‘I’m a little guy. I need a little girl,’” Lizzo recalled to Rolling Stone, adding that she tried to emulate Zooey Deschanel — the ‘it’ girl at the moment, in 2007. “I can’t just wake up and be a white girl,” she concluded.
Lizzo then turned to music to find a way to celebrate all that she is, instead of looking to be somebody else. Since then, she’s written and released hit songs that encourage others to do the same. She has yet to escape from people aiming attention at her body — including discussion that erupted after she twerked at a Lakers game in a dress that exposed her underwear and recent comments made by Jillian Michaels about the singer’s health.
The Minnesota native maintains a good outlook on where the body-positive movement is headed, despite the recent setbacks.
“I’ve come to terms with body dysmorphia and evolved,” Lizzo said. “The body-positive movement is doing the same thing. We’re growing together, and it’s growing pains, but I’m just glad that I’m attached to something so organic and alive.”
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