Lizzo is no stranger to speaking up or showing off. This year at the 7th Annual Beautycon New York the “Coconut Oil” singer made it clear that she’ll be continuing to use her voice inside and outside of the studio to change the world’s perception of beauty.
“I’ve always been fat. I’ve always been Black. I’ve always been a woman. I’ve always had a lot to say and a lot on my mind and so when you share it on the internet people just kind of fuck with it or not,” said Lizzo during the ‘Niche is the Norm’ panel where she was joined by Youtube breakout star Nabela Noor, gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, and educator Alok V Menon, and the model Time once dubbed “the new face of the fashion world,” Irene Kim.
A body positive champion whose twerk videos have gotten as much attention as her empowerment anthems Lizzo is one of many plus-size women who have publicly embraced their bodies despite the trolls lurking in every corner of the internet. “Sometime last year I started posting nudes, well not nudes, my bare ass twerking in slow motion,” she said pausing for the audience’s zealous applause and encouraging them to “make some noise for my ass in slow motion.”
“I started posting slow-mo twerking videos and it just liberated me in a way that I can’t even quite describe. I thought people were gon’ be like ew put them things away like don’t nobody wanna see all of that! But people were like ‘I love this’, “I love you”, ‘thank you for being yourself’, “this is incredible.”
The panelists discussed the pressure that came with occupying such public spaces and Lizzo acknowledged that she is not immune to the expectations of respectability politics saying that “when you get to a certain platform though and you have a certain amount of followers there is this implied responsibility.” But while she concedes that the pressure is there she refuses to be controlled by it “I just said fuck it. I’m gonna continue to be me, the same Lizzo if I had five followers to five million followers. I think I just speak my mind and think that’s why people connect on Instagram because they see through the bullshit. They see through the commercial scripting and when they see real people they just wanna fuck with them.”
The artist hopes that others will be inspired to learn who they are from her music. “I don’t tell nobody else to do nothing. I’m not a preacher that’s not my job. But everyday as I’m discovering my self-love and discovering my self-worth and emoting that journey in a bop I can only hope that people who hear that can inspire themselves to do the same.”
Often asked to describe the specific moment where she decided to love herself she used the day’s appearance to dispel the myth that there’s an “aha” moment in everyone’s journey.
“I just want everyone to know that it’s not going to be one day you look up and you’re like oh my gosh suddenly I love myself! There is no moment. There’s moments and it’s gonna be ugly sometimes. It’s gonna be pretty sometimes. It’s gon’ be sexy. It’s gon’ be sexless. And then you’re going to look up and you’re going to see the journey that you’re on and you’re going to finally be able to celebrate it.”
As the panel came to a close the audience begged for an up close and personal view of a Lizzo twerk session and she obliged bouncing up and down on the Beautycon couch in her bright sundress without a hint of self-consciousness reminding the crowd chanting “twerk, twerk” of the undeniable fact they already knew “I’m fine as hell!”