I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was another lonely Saturday night I was spending alone with my dog, and I decided to start a Netflix binge. Something Great (I rate it 4 out of 5 stars, btw!) popped up in my suggested to watch list and I decided to give it a try. Then, like the gods of our ancestors were reaching out to me, Lizzo’s Truth Hurts lyrics hit me like a lightning bolt of pure uncolonized black girl magic.
I was hooked.
Not long after, I was on my way back to my university from a long weekend back home, and I heard a radio interview with the Queen herself, Lizzo. I was so hyped about how she seemed so sincere and so unapologetically herself. As I see her doing her own thing in the media, I began to think about how much I wished I could’ve looked up to her when I was just a tiny doe-eyed little girl so shy about her extra pounds.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being skinny or being a buff dude. However, as a black girl that leans more on the thicker-snicker side, I struggled a lot with body positivity and accepting the curves that made me unique, which is why my whole world was shaken when I started listening to Lizzo’s music. She literally radiates vibes of self-love and self-acceptance through her music and her stage presence.
Lizzo is changing the game of female hip hop and rap music by creating music that promotes declaring yourself as the holder and keeper of your heart. “People don’t know how to love themselves,” Lizzo told The Guardian in an interview, “because they were trying to look like the motherf**r you were selling them!”
In April, Lizzo posed with her melanin skin and curves popping for V Magazine, a magazine and online platform for urban millennial trendsetters.
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“First off, I love my body, said the 31-year-old singer and rapper in an interview with Sam Smith for V magazine. “No matter what angle you shoot it at, no matter the lighting, my body is just so fucking beautiful all the time. I may talk shit about it sometimes, but fuck. She’s still a bad bitch.”
Lizzo also says in her interview with Smith that the thing she loves next after her body is her blackness. “I am really just so honored to be graced with this identity. No shade to any other shade on the planet—I just can’t relate. I just love being a black woman, even in a world where [we] are statistically the least desirable. I am still here, and I still rise.”
And, rise she does especially on the charts. During the first week of August, Lizzo’s song Truth Hurts peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, which was its 12th consecutive week on the list.
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You’re probably wondering how a body-positive queen using black girl magic could get any better. Well, she does! Lizzo also embraces her unique nerdy side. “I was teased like a dog for wanting to be intelligent, for reading, for talking the way I do. But I didn’t dumb myself down just to be accepted.” – V magazine.
Lizzo, as a girl who was told that I talked “white” all her life for being different, I stand.
Growing up black in predominately white media culture wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, I’m aware that there are many other strong women of color who feel the same way as I do, which is why I’m so incredibly obsessed with Queen Lizzo. She is exactly the artist we all needed when we were 10, and now she can be that for the next generation of beautiful and unapologetically black queens.