Why Lizzo is an icon of body positivity

If there was a category for singers promoting self-love, Lizzo would definitely be at the top. The 34-year-old flawlessly wears skin-tight glitter onesies, and celebrates her curvy figure on stage at her performances and in the media. Her message is simple: love yourself – you are great just the way you are. With her anthems of self-empowerment, Lizzo is one of the most interesting — and sought after — people in the music world today. On March 16 she will complete her European tour with a final gig in London.

Packaged with catchy beats and heartwarming lyrics, Lizzo has enthralled audiences across the globe in recent years. Her songs regularly go viral on TikTok and she wins awards left and right – she recently won her fourth Grammy. Lizzo is currently touring Europe with a mix of pop, rap and R&B tunes. She recently gave three concerts in Germany, including a techno-inspired performance of Rammstein’s song “Du Hast.” After a twerk dance routine, she told the audience “I love you!” She clarified the message of love by saying. in German.

With her appeal for greater self-love, Lizzo is an icon of an era where beauty standards are being questioned and people of color and other marginalized groups are increasingly represented in the film, TV and music worlds. Fans celebrate Lizzo for her confidence as a black woman. “I love you, don’t forget it, you beautiful black creature!” she said in her song “Skin”.

In an October 2022 interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Lizzo said: “I’m a black woman, I make music from my own black experience. If I can help other people with that, that’s great. Because we’re the most marginalized and neglected group in this country. Self-love and self-love anthems are needed.

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Becoming a body positivity icon

Lizzo was born Melissa Viviane Jefferson in April 1988 and grew up in Detroit, Michigan and Houston, Texas. She studied classical flute performance at the University of Texas before moving to Minneapolis, where she became involved in the rap and hip-hop scene around 2011. She released her debut album “Lizzobangers” in 2013.

As a child, Lizzo was bullied because of her figure, and found solace in music. Today, Lizzo campaigns against body shaming, and for many she is an icon of the body positivity movement. While Lizzo has become a messenger for loving her body, she wasn’t always comfortable, and her personal journey from body shaming to embracing it began not with a glamorous photo shoot but with a traumatic accident.

In an interview with US public radio broadcaster NPR, Lizzo said she was swinging on a rope in the river when suddenly the rope broke and she flew to the ground and fell seriously on top of herself. When she was recovering, she realized that her skin was her favorite thing.

“It was the moment where I realized I had damaged my skin where I saw its value. And it was the first time I discovered the love of my body,” she said. The revelation inspired her song “My Skin” about learning to love your body as it is.

Body Positivity ‘Professional’

She describes herself as fat and says she wants to normalize and demean larger bodies. Still, in a 2022 interview with People magazine, she said she was tired of people constantly talking about her body shape. “I know I’m fat. It doesn’t bother me. I like being fat, and I’m pretty and I’m healthy. So can we move on?”

Yet Lizzo has consistently been a spokesperson for body positivity, and her influence has not diminished with her growing fame. In an interview with Vogue, she said that in recent years the body positivity movement has become “commercialized” and “appropriated” and used mainly by slim, white women. As a result, those for whom the movement was originally intended no longer benefit from it, according to him.

Changing the story through different channels

Lizzo aims to change the narrative with projects like her reality TV show “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.” In the 2022 Emmy-winning series, she searches for backup dancers. Lizzo’s performances are notorious for putting black, trans or curvy dancers on stage with her.

The artist also has her own shapewear collection designed for all body types called “Yitty” which she released in 2022. It offers additional sizes up to 6XL. Contrary to what the term shapewear might suggest, customers should not be forced into questionable ideals of beauty. “I’m tired of seeing these sad, restrictive shapewear that literally no one wants to wear,” Lizzo wrote in a press release. “I decided to take on the challenge of enabling women to feel uncomfortably good again.”

Critical voices may see this as the commercialization of body positivity that Lizzo herself condemns. But for the singer, the collection is another important step in her quest to celebrate all body shapes.

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