When we think of American superstar Lizzo, we see her as an insanely talented musician, with numerous awards under her belt and hits like Good as Hell and Juice.
Not only is she accomplished, but she is an incredible body liberation and self-love advocate, who influences millions of people on a daily basis via her social media accounts and performances. In fact, she is the poster girl for the movement and we have a placed her on a pedestal.
Last night I came across Lizzo’s TikTok video during my late-night scrolling. I watched an entire minute of her describing her journey through JJ Smith’s 10 Day Smoothie Cleanse and my heart immediately sank.
As a person with a history of disordered eating and body dysmorphia, I was once a slave to diet culture. I thought back to the days when I would starve myself in the name of ‘resetting’ my body and how awful it was. Then I realised, Lizzo has 20 million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined — how many people are going to watch this and suddenly think that they need to ‘cleanse’ their bodies?
Since this dropped, Lizzo has been on the receiving end of enormous amounts of hate — people claiming that they’re disappointed or upset and are triggered by the behaviour. If you think about it, this is understandable given her usual no BS approach to body image, however, when you sit and think about it, we are projecting our anger in the wrong direction.
The diet industry is worth approximately USD$72 billion and it profits from people’s insecurities. Yes, having Lizzo fall victim to this is saddening, but it is not her fault.
In the last year, she has been bullied off Twitter, she has fallen victim to fatphobic comments, racism, concern trolling and has had to justify her eating and exercise habits to the world. Sometimes the world can get too much and we, as humans, can fall back into old habits, no matter if it’s good or bad for your health.
Once the dust settles on this uproar, the diets and cleanses are still going to be readily available to anyone and the cycle will continue.
Lizzo is one of the most influential women in the world — a place that we have given her and one she never asked for. The bottom line is we can all do whatever we want with our bodies at any time, and we should unlearn the idea that celebrities are any different from us.
At the end of the day, she is a woman who preaches that self-love is a journey, not a destination — a message we should hold on to each time things might get a bit rough.
Jade Seabrook is an ex-dancer, turned model, fitness instructor, presenter and social influencer. She is a body positivity advocate and an inspiring survivor of disordered eating. You can check out her Instagram here and her website here.
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, Lifeline on 13 11 14, which provides trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can call the Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673 for support for eating disorders and body image issues. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here.