“I’m Doing This Shit for the Big Black Women”: Lizzo’s Message to Racist Body-Shamers


Lizzo is a three-time Grammy Award-winning artist, multi-instrumentalist musical powerhouse who, quite frankly, is the very embodiment of #GOALS.

And yet, there are still people who insist on reducing the incredible singer down to what she weighs or the colour of her skin.

The ‘Good as Hell’ singer is typically fairly thick-skinned when it comes to her detractors, but took to her Instagram account to reveal that recently, the negativity has been taking its toll — especially as she has been working around the clock with her latest song, ‘Rumours’ with Cardi B.

“On the days when I should feel the happiest, it just — I feel so down,” she said in a now-deleted video on her social media account.

“Sometimes I feel like the world just don’t love me back. It’s like it doesn’t matter how much positive energy you put into the world, you’re still gonna have people who have something mean to say about you.”

The singer went on to say that she is fine with people not connecting with her music, but wishes people would quit it with the personal attacks directed at her appearance.

“People saying shit about me that just doesn’t even make sense. It’s fat-phobic; it’s racist, and it’s hurtful,” she said.

“I’m not making music for anybody. I’m a Black woman making music,” she continued.

“I make Black music, period. I’m not serving anyone but myself. Everyone is invited to a Lizzo show, to a Lizzo song. To this good energy. Everyone is invited…For the people that just are always going to have something negative to say about me, that has nothing to do with music, or the content of my character, or me as an artist, and just has everything to do with my body or whatever trope you think I fall into, suck my pussy from behind.

“‘Cause y’all motherf—kers gonna be the main ones catching up.”

Lizzo also took the opportunity to defend Black women everywhere, who are more often the targets of online hatred when they don’t fit into the boxes expected of them.

“What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to Black women over and over and over again, especially us big Black girls,” she said. “When we don’t fit into the box that you want to put us in, you just unleash hatred onto us. It’s not cool. I’m doing this shit for the big Black women in the future who just want to live their lives without being scrutinised or put into boxes.”

It’s no secret that Black women are often held to completely different beauty standards than white women — to the point where when white women appropriate Black beauty trends they are held up as examples of the “ideal” while Black women are criticised for the very same choices.

The ‘Truth Hurts’ singer referenced this fact in an additional Tweet which read, “Loving yourself in a world that don’t love u back takes an incredible amount of self awareness & a bullshit detector that can see through ass backwards societal standards… if u managed to love yourself today I’m proud of u. If u haven’t, I’m still proud of u. This shits hard.”

Jameela Jamil, Octavia Spencer, Stacey Abrams, Shonda Rhimes and ‘Rumours’ collaborator Cardi B all came to Lizzo’s defence, with Cardi B Tweeting: “When you stand up for yourself they claim your problematic & sensitive. When you don’t they tear you apart until you crying like this. Whether you skinny,big,plastic, they going to always try to put their insecurities on you. Remember these are nerds looking at the popular table.”

She continued, “‘Rumours’ is doing great. Stop trying to say the song is flopping to dismiss a woman emotions on bullying or acting like they need sympathy. The song is top 10 on all platforms. Body shaming and callin her mammy is mean & racist as fuck.”

Jamil, who is a vocal body-positivity advocate did not mince words in her message to the people who had stooped to body-shaming Lizzo in a multi-thread Tweet which read:

“Lizzo makes a song about people spending energy trying to bring women down. Twitter erupts in abuse about her talent and mostly her appearance, and then she cries on IG live while addressing how damaging this culture is, and she gets made fun of for crying. This is so f—ked up.”

She continued: “When you pile onto and Enjoy the pain of a Black woman who literally only tries to uplift other people, while NOT spending your time piling onto and going after actual abusers and predators… it doesn’t make you cool. It highlights what a useless, irrelevant, vicious pig you are.”

The entire situation serves as a stark reminder that there is still so much progress to make when it comes to the way women of colour are treated and how often people seek to reduce women in general to “hysterical”, “overly-sensitive” or “shrill” when they speak out on a topic that directly affects them.

It is, sadly, a theme we have witnessed all too often, especially when it comes to Black women.

In 2019  tennis legend Serena Williams spoke on this very topic, after being fined USD $17,000 by the US Open following the argument with umpire Carlos Ramos, in which she called Ramos a “thief”.

At the time, Williams spoke out against the fine, saying she’s seen male tennis players call umpires “several things” and went on to address the hypocrisy in an ad for Nike which highlighted how women are lambasted for acting “dramatic”, “hysterical” and overly “emotional”, while men in similar situations can be viewed as “passionate”.

More recently, we saw a slew of right-wing white men take extreme offence to Simone Biles’ and Naomi Osaka‘s decisions to put their mental health first by withdrawing from Tokyo 2020 and The French Open, respectively.

While these three examples didn’t also include the addition of body-shaming, they still shone a spotlight on the double standards faced by women and women of colour who are in the public eye.

Here’s hoping that Lizzo’s experience will encourage another step toward a world in which Black women can simply be celebrated for their achievements instead of condemned for not existing in a way that makes their white counterparts feel “comfortable.”

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