Lizzo: ‘I’m so much more’ than my body, ‘I have a whole career’


Lizzo covers the latest issue of Rolling Stone with a wide-ranging profile that’s worth a read. (Note: The article includes a number of photos of Lizzo naked and strategically covered or in shadow.) I didn’t realize that Lizzo had worked briefly with Prince, who became a fan after he heard her and a good friend perform in Minneapolis. The issue comes out on the heels of Lizzo’s eight Grammy nominations, which is more than any other artist received this year. Hers include “Best New Artist,” “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year” for “Truth Hurts,” and “Album of the Year” for Cuz I Love You.

People shared a snippet of the profile, if you don’t have time to read the whole piece. In it, Lizzo shares a wish that people start to pay more attention to her music than her body:

Lizzo would rather the world focus less on her body and more on her body of work.

Gracing the cover of Rolling Stone‘s latest issue, [Lizzo], 31, opens up to the magazine about dealing with those who only see her for her physique and not for her musical talents.

“I’m so much more than that,” she said. “Because I actually present that [and] I have a whole career; it’s not a trend.”

Born Melissa Jefferson, Lizzo — who leads this year’s crop of Grammy nominees with a total of eight nods — said she has dealt with her own body image struggles and come out stronger, despite societal constraints on perceived beauty.

“I’ve come to terms with body dysmorphia and evolved,” Lizzo said. “The body-positive movement is doing the same thing. We’re growing together, and it’s growing pains, but I’m just glad that I’m attached to something so organic and alive.”

[From Rolling Stone via People]

I actually prefer the longer quote from the Rolling Stone article:

Lizzo seems a touch exhausted talking about her body, which is fair. She wants to be celebrated for her music — and not seen as “brave” for doing so. “I’m so much more than that. Because I actually present that, I have a whole career,” she says. “It’s not a trend.”

YES. Lizzo is making music and doing her thing, and there are some people who only want to talk about her work and her achievements alongside a discussion of her body, which is tiring and incredibly condescending. People quoted Lizzo’s August Glamour interview: “When people look at my body and be like, ‘Oh my God, she’s so brave,’ it’s like, ‘No, I’m not. I’m just fine. I’m just me. I’m just sexy[.]‘” I love that Lizzo resists that narrative.

People also included trainer Jillian Michaels’ recent concern about “celebrating” Lizzo’s body: “Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music?” Jillian went on to say, “‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes. I love her music. My kid loves her music. But there’s never a moment where I’m like, ‘And I’m so glad that she’s overweight.’”

Ugh. Lizzo’s point is that she’s become more comfortable in her body, which is a great thing to be in a world in which larger people are shamed for their size. She’s not talking about her health, which is no one’s business but hers and her doctor’s. I agree with Jillian that, sure, we should focus on Lizzo’s music. Lizzo wants us to do that, too. But Lizzo hasn’t said that she doesn’t care about her health. She’s not encouraging anyone to disregard their own. Jillian is endorsing the myth that bigger bodies = unhealthy bodies. And, if Lizzo has health complications that are related to her weight, she’ll deal with them, and, again, that’s her business and her doctor’s. There’s no reason that she can’t and shouldn’t embrace herself.

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30 Responses to “Lizzo: ‘I’m so much more’ than my body, ‘I have a whole career’”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    Jillian Michaels should focus on her body, and that of those who pay her for her largely un-informed advice, and no one else’s.

    • Kate says:

      omfg right?? Is she also concern trolling every pale person she sees’ potential iron deficiency and every skinny person’s potential – whatever – vitamin deficiency if they starve themselves, heart weakness if they are anorexic, and every old person’s potential age-related diseases? No, she is only unsupportive of the existence of fat people because they, and only they, may be susceptible to certain health issues. In summary: it’s not your business and you know nothing about someone else’s health so just shut up!

      • Jojo says:

        IKR.
        Fake-concerned all around. And it’s such a contradiction, you don’t care about her body, just her “health”.
        These concerned trolls only seem to worry about overweight people, never the underweight..just admit you have a problem with her body and be on your way.
        And by the way, it never helps to reinforce the stereotype that overweight equals unhealthy. This is exactly like those statements made by people who claim to be so no racist they don’t see race at all, so why do you need to “flaunt it”? And yes, it reminds me of people who complain about LGBTQ+ “flaunting” their queerness because “who cares, we are all the same”.
        I swear these half ass judgmental a-holes do more damage than actual racists and bigots.

  2. Scollins says:

    Adore Lizzo!

  3. CoffeeCoffeeCoffee says:

    Jillian Michaels messed up so many peoples’ bodies on that tv show, she should shut her mouth.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html
    “What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight.”

    • GreenTurtle says:

      Hello, fellow Gilmore Girls fan! :D
      Yeah, Biggest Loser screwed a lot of people up. They were not “empowering” people by semi-starving them and making them exercise for hours a day. That’s unhealthy and unsustainable. It also is hard on your organs, particularly the heart. I never watched that show, as I thought it was highly exploitative. The comments on that NYTimes article were the absolute cesspool I knew they would be. I tapped out after about five.

  4. Tpoe says:

    I applaud the message “focus on my work not my body” but actions speak louder than words and I’m personally still not cool with that stunt she pulled flashing her ass to an arena full of people at a basketball game. That was all about getting attention by showing her body in a place and time where she knew it was inappropriate to do so and she did it just for the clicks. (This wasn’t a night club or a music video or even a beach. If a normal non celebrity person had showed up at the game dressed like that then pulled that twerking stunt they would have probably been asked to leave regardless of their body shape)

    Now she says “don’t talk about my body” which again, I support, but a little consistency would be nice.

    • Boodiba says:

      Agreed.

    • Nahema says:

      I love Lizzo’s music and what she represents but I agree that it’s totally inconsistent and that outfit was clearly a stunt. I also completely disagree that it’s a myth that a bigger body doesn’t mean an unhealthy body, if by bigger, we are talking about percentage of body fat. The risks and health implications are well documented. That’s like saying that a heavy smoker is healthy because they haven’t yet developed heart disease or lung cancer. They’re well within their rights to do what they want with their body, free from judgement but it’s disingenuous to imply that it’s healthy.

      • BANANIE says:

        Agree with everything y’all said. She can’t have it both ways- encouraging the commentary on her body through publicity stunts and then complaining people are reducing her to that.

        And I’m tired of everyone being told they’re “concern trolling” when they point out that there is in fact data that proves if you are a certain degree of overweight it will have terrible effects on your health. That’s not judgment or superiority, it’s the truth. People just don’t want to deal.

      • Kate says:

        Do you really fear that there is going to be such a mass acceptance and celebration of fat bodies that people are going to actively try to become overweight? Really? What is the threat to people that fat people exist and some do not hide themselves in their homes covered up by caftans. It’s like people think their fatness is contagious and they must be shamed into hiding.

        When some people point out concern trolling it means that people are hiding fat-phobia behind faux concern about that person’s health. When really, anyone can have health issues and you are not actively worrying about every other person out there. It’s just a way to shame someone who is fat because they must not care about their health. If you really care about a fat person’s wellbeing then show some empathy for the societal judgment and shaming and failed weight loss attempts they have likely dealt with their whole life and just show support for them.

      • sammiches says:

        @BANANIE do you REALLY think that people DON’T know that being overweight can be unhealthy? Do you REALLY think a fat person isn’t aware that fat causes health problems? REALLY? You and the entire health concern brigade are out here like no one is aware of the health problems that come with being overweight. Do you think you’re the first one to point this out to society? Because let me be the first one to tell you that
        W E. K N O W.
        WE KNOW BEING OVERWEIGHT IS UNHEALTHY

        Now that you’re aware that we’re aware, can you stop trying to mask your fatphobia as concern and let people fucking live?

  5. Momof2rats says:

    No one would talk about her body if she wasn’t mostly naked out in public! She always talks about her “sexy” body and loves to show it off. If you show your naked a&& off in a baseball game people will talk whether you are skinny or fat.

    And I don’t agree, it is not a myth that obese people are unhealthy. I am sick of this celebration of obese women. No one should be attacked for their weight, but we also shouldn’t say it is wonderful that they are incredibly overweight. Long term that excess weight will harm her body.

    • WTF says:

      @mom

      Your attitude is exactly the problem. You’re tired of people celebrating obese women?!? First of all, ‘Where they do that at?’ And secondly, why would you even care if that was happening?
      The issue is that you don’t see people bringing up the dangers of tanning in every article about the Kardashians. Or bringing up the dangers of Botox with (well that’s too long a list) but you get my point. Hell if we talked about the very real dangers of breast implants in every article about every celebrity that had them, we would run out of things to say.
      Fat People aren’t asking anyone to endorse their bodies. What we are asking for is for you to stop talking about it like I should be ashamed, and stop acting like you know something about my health when you don’t. And most importantly, stop acting like we don’t deserve to live our best life until we lose the weight. Maybe Lizzo is on a diet, maybe she isn’t. But that being true or making that truth public is not a prerequisite to existing in the world. Attitudes and comments like yours are what keep many women out of gyms. They’re worried that how they look in the work out clothes isn’t good enough, so they have all this anxiety about it. So Lizzo wears these skimpy outfits to show that all bodies are beautiful. Whether you’re gaining, losing, working on it, or content.
      Her point (and mine) is that shes f$cking fabulous at any weight.

    • sammiches says:

      Yeah, because no one EVER comments on women’s bodies unless they’re “mostly naked”, right?

      • Sparkly says:

        ^ Exactly!

        I DO love seeing fat women supported, normalized, and even glorified as much as thin ones. I ADORE seeing women secure in their chonk, rocking badassness all over the world no matter what people say. I’ll celebrate that all day every day.

        I’ve seen Lizzo’s physicality. Don’t pretend she’s unhealthy, and stop throwing that BS around every time someone doesn’t look the way you want them to.

    • GreenTurtle says:

      There are tons of pop stars and actresses that wear next to nothing, but are not constantly asked about their bodies. Overweight people who are confident end up building this narrative in response to the constant questions and attacks.
      Regarding “celebrating obesity,” this is a wild extrapolation. Overweight people are constantly ignored, denigrated, or both. Refusing to be ashamed of something is not the same as trying to glorify it. Please. People are still aghast that those with food addiction want the same compassion that people extend to other addicts. Sugar is more addictive than heroine, but people try to make it all about lack of willpower. If over half the United States is fat, is it just maybe POSSIBLE there’s something else going on than laziness??? Or is it easier to just blame people?

  6. Meg says:

    Its like jillian is saying plus size bodies should be ignored disregarded, and how dare lizzo not be ashamed and hide her body. but Thats part of lizzos message, i get to feel good about myself. How many thin women talk about not feeling good despite being thin like jillian insists? We all get to feel good. there is no ‘beach body’. you have a body? Then you can go to the beach if you’d like, you dont need to accomplish things first theres no prerequisite for feeling good about yourself

  7. plural of apocalypse says:

    Lizzo couldn’t get through a concert tour, dancing, singing , and playing the flute if she was not healthy. Instead of looking at a person’s body size and deciding they’re unhealthy, look at what their body is able to do.
    Aidy Bryant gets through intense all week rehearsals and then two live performances in a day (because they do a full dress rehearsal) on SNL. She’s doing just fine.
    Queen Latifah is known as someone who has a pretty strict workout routine and she’s still fat but I bet she’s healthy as a horse.
    Bodies come in all sizes and size does not equal health.

  8. Tangie says:

    “I’m so much more than my body, I have a whole career.”

    Then act like it.

  9. smee says:

    I follow her on IG. She’s funny, she’s a serious musician and she’s obviously having a great time touring the world with her dancers and becoming famous – what a crazy ride! Her hair, make-up and clothes team are also incredible – she consistently looks beautiful. I love that she’s dressing to please herself. She feels sexy & empowered and does not care if you agree. If she were thin no one would say one word about her “nakedness”. Lizzo is who we need right now ❤

  10. eto says:

    Leave her alone. She’s an adult and she doesn’t need you to celebrate or insult her body.

  11. Chickaletta says:

    I sort of disliked her, between the lawsuit over plagiarism, and then having her a** out at that basketball game (not because she’s big, but just because that’s so unhygienic and sorta gross/rude to the people around you). But I caught her performance on SNL and she was just like, so joyous and happy. Effervescent. It’s hard not to cheer for her.

    “Do you ever feel like you’re maybe only 90% that bitch?”

    “………no.”

  12. Other Renee says:

    I find it odd that there are so many people here criticizing people for criticizing Lizzo’s obesity, yet these same people rag on Duchess Kate over and over for being too thin. So body shaming is ok as long as it applies to someone you don’t like?

    Personally, I think flaunting her weight is part of her persona. And yes, being that overweight is NOT healthy no matter how much she jumps around on stage. And I say that as someone who is overweight.

    • Goldie says:

      Who says it’s the same people making those comments though?
      Just out of curiosity I actually revisited the thread about Kate visiting a women’s prison. And while there were some people who commented on her weight, they did not appear to be the same posters who are defending Lizzo.

      Whether, Lizzo is healthy or not almost seems beside the point. I’m sure she has access to the best medical care, and her doctors are advising her about her health. We don’t know what she is or isn’t doing about her health.
      It just seems unnecessary for strangers to go on and on about her weight constantly.

    • Kate says:

      Darnit I came back to the thread even though I knew it would piss me off. I pointed out fatphobic body shaming above and asked people to try to be empathetic and to question why they are so worried about a fat woman’s health and no one else’s. I do not and would never criticize Duchess Kate or anyone for their body size – big or small. It’s not ok to presume you know anything about anyone’s health or to shame anyone for their body, period. Flaunt away at any size, I say! I don’t know the other posters above who said similar things as me, but I highly doubt they are two-faced either and going around sh*talking thin people.

      • carmen says:

        The discussion about Kate’s weight is ongoing on this site and has been for quite a while. *It’s important to note that for the most part, people are not denegrating her for being thin, they are commenting on the fact that for her, that is not her natural size – she dieted down to that size around the time of the engagement and before that, was a healthy weight.

  13. Blairski says:

    Yaaasss Quimby!

  14. Nyro says:

    She’s so phony with this. Yes, Lizzo, you are more than your body. But it is you who has presented your body to the public, over and over, making it part of your act. This is as silly as if Madonna said she didn’t want to be seen as a sex symbol after doing the “Sex” book. Own it all, Lizzo and stop insulting the public’s intelligence.