If you’re a fan of Lizzo, you know the star is absolutely in love with her curvaceous assets.
In recent years, the 33-year-old Grammy award-winning artist has been a pillar of the body positivity movement, wearing her plus-size curves loud and proud for the world to see. However, during her recent Ted Talk, the “Truth Hurts” crooner explained that she wasn’t always confident about her body – especially her derriere.
“I used to hate my ass, believe it or not,” Lizzo said at the beginning of her lecture. “I have my father’s shape and my mother’s thighs, so it’s big, and long. I used to think that only asses like J.Lo’s or Beyoncé’s could be famous. I never thought that could happen to me.”
The “Rumors” hitmaker continued, “I always felt like my body type wasn’t the right one, or the desirable one growing up because I grew up in an era where having a big ass wasn’t mainstream. My ass has been the topic of conversations, my ass has been in magazines, Rihanna gave my ass a standing ovation. Yes, my booty! My least favorite part of my body,” she adds. “How did this happen? Twerking. Through the movement of twerking, I realized that my ass is my greatest asset. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my TED Twerk.”
The star then delved into the origins of twerking and its roots in Black culture. Lizzo said that she learned how to shake her tail feather growing up in Houston where she used to attend some of the city’s teen clubs.
“Modern-day twerking derived from Black people and Black culture. It has a direct parallel to West African dances like Mapouka,” she explained. “Black people carried the origins of this dance through our DNA, through our blood, through our bones. We made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it became today.”
Now there have been a few twerk offenders who have tried to culturally appropriate the dance over the years like Miley Cyrus, who was unfortunately praised at the 2013 VMAs for embarrassingly shaking her boney rump across the stage. Some even applauded the pop star for pushing the booty-bouncing dance move to the spotlight, but Lizzo explained that there’s a double standard. Often times when Black women are seen twerking, it’s demonized and slammed with the “hypersexual” trope.
Case in point, remember when Lizzo was pummeled by haters for twerking in a thong dress courtside at the Lakers game in 2019? She had to defend herself from dusty trolls who weren’t happy with her bold butt shaking.
“Everything that Black people create, from fashion to music to the way we talk, is co-opted and appropriated by pop culture,” Lizzo explained further in her lecture.
The Texas native concluded her Twerk Talk by reminding viewers that it’s important to “prevent the erasure of Blackness from twerking.”
“For me, twerking ain’t a trend. My body ain’t a trend… I twerk because of my ancestors, for sexual liberation, for my b*tches, hey girls. Because I can. Because I know I look good. I twerk because it’s unique to the Black experience, it’s unique to my culture, and it means something real to me. I twerk because I’m talented. Because I’m sexual, but not to be sexualized. I twerk to own my power, to reclaim my Blackness, my culture. I twerk for fat, Black women because being fat and Black is a beautiful thing,” she added.
You can watch Lizzo’s full Ted Talk down below. What did you think of her lecture?