With this summer having been deemed “Hot Girl Summer,” few people are embodying the mantra better than musical artist Lizzo. Between multiple Billboard Hot 100 bangers, heavenly Instagram posts, and bringing new life to the flute, Lizzo has been a firecracker to her longtime devotees and newcomers alike. Above all, Lizzo brought forth a new wave of body positivity–self-love for you, on your own terms.
In a recent interview with NPR, Lizzo discussed her role as a “pioneer” in the body positivity sphere. She acknowledged that a variety of people look to speak on self-love, which everyone is entitled to do, but she wants to dig deeper than that and tap into the emotional side of how we think of ourselves.
“Everyone deserves to speak on it, everyone deserves to have ownership of their body positivity,” said Lizzo to NPR. “But I’m not just gonna settle for that anymore. I think that there is something to emotions and vulnerability and expressing those emotions in a more vulnerable way to yourself that we haven’t tapped into.”
Lizzo’s effort to bring about a refined way of viewing body positivity looks to include the mental health aspect of body image. When someone mentions something about how they look, often times it stems from a part of their mentality that has conditioned them to think a certain way about their looks, as well as how they should feel based on that look. Given that mental health is repeatedly overlooked in many situations, Lizzo’s movement to embrace one’s emotions and vulnerability regarding body positivity emphasizes the significance they have in formulating a healthier relationship with oneself.
If you listen to Lizzo’s music (which I’m sure you have), there’s no telling that she’s been tapping into expressing how she feels about her bad-ass self. With lyrics that read “Heard you say I’m not the baddest, bitch, you lied” and pretty much every line in “Good as Hell,” Lizzo’s positive attitude about herself is contagious, with each word she belts instilling in her listeners that they are to be celebrated no matter what they look like. While her lyrics speak to self-love, Lizzo also recognizes the role external factors play, no matter how well one fits into the “mold” our society has generated based on what we look like.
“For a long time, I didn’t want to be that big black girl with a soulful voice,” said Lizzo in an interview with EW. “That’s how we were tokenized–the big black girls were always the belters, and I’ve always been afraid of being put into that box. But you know what? I’m a big, fat black girl that can sing, and I can rap, and I can dance. I started to embrace how good I can finally sing, and now I’m celebrating that.”
This quote alone seems to sum up what Lizzo has learned from her time in the spotlight, as well as what she wants to express to everyone who listens to her music. Although people tried to confine her to one character, she realized she was more than what the descriptors said about her. She doesn’t only know that she’s a phenomenal singer, but she’s adopted that mindset into her beliefs about herself. While her emotions felt one way for a while, she was able to take those feelings and run in the direction she wanted to, thus creating her own brand on her own terms.
When it comes to Lizzo, there’s no denying that she is a champion of self-love. She’s made it her mission to ensure that others are able to share in her strength in defining her happiness about her body for herself. Lizzo knows that there will be good days and there will be bad days, and it’s in the bad days where you learn to really love yourself. It’s easy to feel good about yourself when things are looking up, but having the power to still practice–to the best of your ability–self-love on your bad days is what will break you through the “ideal” body image wall that society has put up for you.
In an era where a million different people are telling you to look a million different ways, it’s not hard to get caught up in framing how you think of yourself based on how others think you should look. Instagram models, VSCO girls–you name it. When every type of look is compacted into a category, it can be difficult to feel as if you fit into any one mold.
Lizzo has taught us, however, that you don’t need to fit into any mold. The only mold that matters is the one that makes you happiest, and the one that will bring you to love yourself to the fullest. Although it may take time, embracing your emotional journey towards self-love and self-care will make you feel “good as hell”–just ask Lizzo.