Lizzo Makes Some Valid Points About “Fat-Phobic Behaviors” in the Body-Positivity Movement
"People [need to] understand the gravity of this movement and honor the reason why it was created."
Late April, Lizzo posted a naked selfie to her Instagram to announce her partnership with Dove for their Self-Esteem Project campaign. The pop singer uses her social media platforms and live performances to promote healthy, inclusive body positivity for all, so it’s not a surprise that she’s a perfect match for Dove’s campaign.
In an April 30th interview with The Cut, Lizzo opened up about her social media presence, body positivity compared to normativity, and more.
“I would look at people and be like, Wow, are their lives really that perfect? Do they really look like that? Is their skin really like that in the morning? Are their lashes really like that?” Lizzo recalled. “Of course, I’m here for the fantasy, I love giving y’all a little scootch and a boo on the internet, but I also need to share with you when I am not feeling good about myself and also when I’m in my natural state.”
“I was believing everything I was seeing. A child is going to look on the internet and believe everything that they see,” she said. “That’s why the selfie talk is so important, because if I didn’t know, I know that they don’t know.”
Lizzo’s been loud and clear a numerous amount of times about how Black and brown fat women have been left out from the body-positivity movement. She described it as not so much being left out, due to not being removed from something [they] created, but Black and brown fat women have been “left behind and grossly neglected” in mainstream media.
“Everyone can be body positive; everyone needs to participate in having self-love. That’s the beautiful part of how the commercialization of the body-positive movement has transpired. But we need to give credit and protection to the original creators, because they’re the people who need it the most.”
She added, “People [need to] understand the gravity of this movement and honor the reason why it was created. Don’t be like, ‘Cute. I’m gonna love myself today, and that’s body positivity.’ It’s more like, ‘No, I’m gonna love myself and thank goodness for the fat women who paved the way and were vocal about it.'”
She continued by calling out “fat-phobic” behavior she’s seen in this war over how to be body positive. “There’s even a lot of very triggering and fat-phobic behaviors that have come from the body-positive movement. There are things like body checking, and comparing sizes, or shaming sides. Like, ‘Oh, it’s midsize girls’ turn; big girls, you’ve had your moment.’ Huh? It’s not about a moment. It’s about this system that oppresses big bodies.”
Lizzo concluded her interview by mentioning Dove’s tool—the Confidence Kit—that suggests its users to log off and curate an internet experience that benefits their mental health. Although Lizzo is still not on Twitter, she says she is improving “greatly” and has curated a social media feed with Black girls and other women who look like her.