Lizzo is one of the most powerful female entertainers in the world. Not only is her music well-known and celebrated but that she had become a heroine for many in the body positivity movement.
Her goal is to empower women of all sizes and has been one of the biggest spokespeople for the movement. But it seems that the “Truth Hurts” singer has a different take on the movement than previously thought.
Speaking recently with Vogue for their October cover story, Lizzo said that “body positivity” doesn’t go far enough to “normalize” all bodies, and she wants to keep working to make sure the world is as inclusive as possible, and that means prioritizing those left out. She explained:
“What I don’t like is how the people that this term was created for are not benefiting from it. Girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren’t separated, that overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club. They need to be benefiting from…the mainstream effect of body positivity now. But with everything that goes mainstream, it gets changed. It gets—you know, it gets made acceptable.”
The artist is also trying to move past that label and on to the true normalization of all bodies. “I think it’s lazy for me to just say I’m body positive at this point. It’s easy. I would like to be body normative. I want to normalize my body…being fat is normal. I think now, I owe it to the people who started this to not just stop here.…We have to make people uncomfortable again so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?”
Her statements above feel good but they are potentially dangerous to a generation of girls and ladies who take what they hear from their idols as gospel truth.
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“I think it’s lazy for me to just say I’m body positive at this point,” Lizzo says. “It’s easy. I would like to be body-normative. I want to normalize my body. And not just be like, ‘Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.’ No, being fat is normal. I think now, I owe it to the people who started this to not just stop here. We have to make people uncomfortable again, so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?” – @voguemagazine story by Claudia Rankine. Link in bio.
The simple truth is this, fat shouldn’t be normal. The science on this is very clear. According to //www.niddk.nih.gov/, health problems linked to being overweight and obese are:
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- heart disease and strokes
- certain types of cancer
- sleep apnea
- fatty liver disease
- kidney disease
- pregnancy problems, such as high blood sugar during pregnancy, high blood pressure, and increased risk for cesarean delivery (C-section)
These are just some of the medical issues that come with being overweight. Biological facts aren’t about ideology and feeling, they are about cold-hard science. And it has spoken.
What Lizzo is doing is a disservice to her fans and is fuelling an obesity crisis that kills more people than Covid-19 is. Obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1975 and have increased almost five times in children and adolescents, affecting people of all ages.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese.
These are realities I hope Lizzo would be cognisant of when she shares her all bodies are normal spiel but sadly she never will.