Lizzo: ‘I deserve the attention. I’m talented, I’m young, I’m hot’

Lizzo is on the cover of this weeks People Magazine. She looks beautiful, she’s such an expressive model. However, the issue is dedicated to Women Changing the World and Lizzo’s story is about blazing the trail as a body icon, yet the magazine only gave her a face photo for the cover. I dislike the whole shoot. It’s supposed to be some kind of noir/Raymond Chandler vibe, but it ends up concealing the naturally vibrant Lizzo in shadows, which is the antithesis of what she says in the interview. She literally said, “I deserve the spotlight” and the photographer gave focus to a paper copier. The face shots are gorgeous but that has everything to do with Lizzo. Thank gawd she knows her worth, because she’s had to remind everyone of it to get as far as she has.

Nearly three years ago Lizzo worked her way to the front of the pop culture scene—singing, dancing, rapping and playing the flute on her first No. 1 song, “Truth Hurts”—and quickly became unstoppable.

“I deserve the spotlight,” says Lizzo, now 33, sitting down in the study of her home beneath a platinum record. “I deserve the attention. I’m talented, I’m young, I’m hot. You know? And I’ve worked hard.”

“I had to blaze a trail,” she says. “There was no Lizzo before Lizzo.”

Lizzo (first it was Lissa; then, inspired by JAY-Z, the S’s became Z’s) knew two things. One, what she wanted to do. Two, the kind of world she was about to enter. “I grew up in a family that was very proud of our Blackness,” she says.

Her parents told her the truth about the Black experience in America. “I don’t think my dad wanted to tell us about the gruesome murders that happen to Black people all the time,” she says. “But Black parents have this responsibility to let their children know what can happen. They taught me at a very young age how America treats Black people. How it treats Black women. And I saw very quickly how we treat fat people.”

Lizzo admits becoming aware of it all made her “cynical” at first, but as she found success, she decided to flip the script. “I was like, ‘OK, what can I do with this? How can I make the best of this? I wasn’t supposed to survive. I wasn’t supposed to make it this far. I wasn’t supposed to be a millionaire. I wasn’t supposed to be a sex symbol. I wasn’t supposed to be on the cover of PEOPLE, but I am. So how can I make this worthwhile? How can I make this not just a flash in the pan?’ ”

As Lizzo’s music took off—she’s earned three Grammys, two Soul Train Awards and millions of fans—her body became a topic of conversation. “Okay, we all know I’m fat,” she says with a sigh. “I know I’m fat. It doesn’t bother me. I like being fat, and I’m beautiful and I’m healthy. So can we move on?”

“I think I have a really hot body! I’m a body icon, and I’m embracing that more and more every day,” she says. “It may not be one person’s ideal body type just like, say, Kim Kardashian might not be someone’s ideal, but she’s a body icon and has created a modern-day beauty standard. And what I’m doing is stepping into my confidence and my power to create my own beauty standard. And one day that will just be the standard.”

[From People]

“What I’m doing is stepping into my confidence and my power to create my own beauty standard,” I like the distinction that Lizzo makes that just because the media continuously shoves one physique down our throats, it does not mean that’s everyone’s ideal. I love that her answer to concern trolls is “I’m good, thanks.” I remember my mom telling me, “Confidence is always your best accessory.” Lizzo’s living that. She doesn’t ask you if you’re impressed, she tells you that you are. But it’s not misplaced because as she said, she worked very hard. Lizzo knows she’s talented and delivers on that.

It’s even more inspiring that Lizzo approached her dreams knowing who was ready to stand in her way and she didn’t let it deter her. The story about her parents giving her the real story of how Black women are treated in America was a sobering reminder of how much easier I had it. I’m so glad Lizzo blazed the trails she did. Just reading about her lets me feel the warmth of her light.

Photo credit: Instagram and Backgrid

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13 Responses to “Lizzo: ‘I deserve the attention. I’m talented, I’m young, I’m hot’”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    She is talented, beautiful and sexy. I do think that she has to deal issues that are heaped onto black women in way that other artist don’t. I’m glad that she is the brilliant start that she is.

  2. Beenie says:

    I didn’t think the People pics were that bad. I thought she looks pretty good, tbh. She came across as really powerful and happy.

    The Instagram pics linked below…. the clothes just do not do her justice. I think she’s very pretty and I always have major hair and skin envy when I see her (her skin is luminous, for real). But those outfits! Not going to lie I really think they are tragic. She’s so much prettier when not wearing a purple plastic tablecloth unitard.

  3. Normades says:

    I was watching Work it on Netflix with my daughter and the college admissions officer says “do you do for the cello what Lizzo does for the flute?”. Such a great line! She is immensely talented.

  4. Oria says:

    She must feel like she has to prove her worth because I have never read an interview where there’s another focus. She constantly has to defend and convince. Must be exhausting, and I don’t really understand why someone like her would want to be famous, knowing that most people who fight to have what she has (career-wise, money, fame) are narcissistic and egoistic.

    Hoping we get back to focusing on her music and talent, because this is tiresome.

  5. Imara219 says:

    I don’t know if she unapologetically lives her truth because her main talking points are solely body positivity. I wish she would speak in-depth on different issues. Even her body positivity message is less ownership and more surface-level sound bites. I’m in a plus-size Shein group for Black people and I see women, everyday regular women killing it. Their looks are inspired and catalog worthy. I see Lizzo and I just don’t get why her style, posing, accessories, etc are always off. She should be popping from the pages.

  6. jferber says:

    Lizzo is always trolled for her weight and it really makes her cry (she’s said this). I feel so bad for her. Her talent, charisma and songs are great. She recently posed nude and I think this was not a great idea for her, since she will get such nasty feedback. This issue will, unfortunately, hold her back and has already hurt her self-esteem. I wish there was a way for her to live her life and be the inspirational artist she is.

  7. Goldie says:

    For those saying that they wish Lizzo would speak about something besides her body…I’m wondering if you’ve read her full interviews or just the snippets that you see on sites like this? I admit that I rarely read full celebrity interviews anymore, but I remembering listening to her Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross a couple of years ago and, I thought it was interesting. She spoke about a variety of subjects.
    My point is that we live in a society that’s obsessed with physical appearances and weight. The media knows that headlines about her body will sell. That doesn’t mean that it’s all she talks about.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      True. Body-shaming and body positivity aren’t the only things she talks about. It’s just that out of the issues that she cares and talks a lot about, that one will probably get the most focus and the most popular thing for trolls to troll her about for a while. She’s also still fairly new to this level of fame, there’s plenty of time for her to talk about more things.
      This isn’t directed at one person in particular, but I have noticed that men of all generations are given a little bit more leeway when it comes to talking about the same subjects multiple times in interviews and on social media. When they speak again about those issues, people are a little slower to pathologize them or stoop to Daily Fail insults and talking points. There seems to be more of an understanding that since those issues are ongoing, men are going to keep talking about them.

    • Imara219 says:

      The best I’ve seen Lizzo was in an interview she did for one of those news magazines a couple of years ago. It was refreshing and I learned so much about her. I was glued to the screen. Lizzie was so clever and humble. I appreciated seeing it because I walked away with an appreciation for her talent and musicality. However, the PR thrust from her has overwhelmingly been one topic and it’s not even a layered discussion, just surface.

  8. Luna17 says:

    I feel like I’ve read this exact same interview dozens of times. Lizzo is sexy, stylish, cool , etc even though she has a different body then what we usually see. At this point it’s feeling like it’s being pushed on us. Ok, I get it! I don’t know any songs of hers but I know she is a confident person who isn’t apologizing for being herself. She seems cool but we can the media focus on something other than her body?

  9. Valerie says:

    She is, but she’s also a Chris Brown supporter, so… lol.

  10. Stef says:

    Can’t stand her music or her voice, but I like her as a person and what she’s doing for body inclusivity and self worth.