Everyone cheered Lizzo on as she took over the Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Monday night. How could you not, as she commanded the stage with an inflatable butt, a glitter shaped patron bottle , and back up dancers of all shapes and sizes wearing Afro wigs. Midway through the performance the wigs came off as did Lizzo's coat. The crowd got louder as she revealed a bright yellow bodysuit.
Why All the Hype?
Lizzo, born Melissa Jefferson, is climbing the charts not only because of her hit records or the fact that she is a trained classical flutist but because of the confidence that she portrays as a full figured woman or as she calls it an unapologetic fat b***h. She preaches body positivity and love of oneself in her music. Lizzo has become a movement and her following is growing.
This movement does not come without criticism. Lizzo's message of confidence in your curves and embracing your body is missing a key point- health. Being overweight or obese is a public health issue that our society is struggling to combat. We also over dramatize that ONLY a certain size can be considered healthy When I see athletes that would normally be considered overweight or obese doing phenomenal physical things, I'm left wondering, is there more to this? The truth is all sizes of people suffer through health issues. The main difference is their attitude. If you need to change your body size to increase your attitude and mental health PLEASE DO SO. If you need to exude confidence and dance across a stage performing your smash hit DO IT. The most important thing is you and how you feel about yourself. This is amplified in the movie “Brittany Runs a Marathon.”
During a tour stop in Philadelphia, Jillian Bell and I discussed the emotions brought on by her latest movie “Brittany Runs a Marathon”. It's a feel good film to make you laugh, cry and proclaim “I am Brittany”. She disclosed her fears in creating the movie as she wanted to make certain that viewers understood that the focus is not on women losing weight or running a marathon but on the importance of recovering from any personal struggle.
Brittany's journey is one that many of us can relate as it shows our vulnerability and the circle to stay on track no matter what the goal is. Throughout the movie, you see real life examples of why Lizzo feels it's important to shout that she loves her body. Society places culturally specific standards on what our bodies should look like and/or how we should feel and it's just not fair. We have to stop judging people by how they look and focus on their character, talent and individuality.
To all the Brittany's in the world keep diversifying what “perfection” looks like and create a new norm.