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Can Y'All Just Let Lizzo Live Her Damn Life?

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Ever since Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” was featured in Netflix’s film, “Someone Great,” and the 2017 song reached the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, Lizzo herself has been regularly centered in social media discourse across a variety of platforms.

As exemplified in her 2021 song “Rumours” (featuring Cardi B), Lizzo has had every aspect of her identity picked apart and criticized for clicks and clout under the guise of concerns surrounding health, morality, children’s internet safety, and the publics assigned title of “role model.”

Celebrities are no stranger to the public enforcing the role model title on them as a way to shove them into a box of respectability, but Black celebrities, especially multi-marginalized ones like Black, fat women, get it especially.

Regardless of what Lizzo does or wears, she is heavily scrutinized and shamed. One could say this comes with the territory of celebrity, but stardom alone doesn’t account for the cruel treatment she faces.

It’s fatphobia.

Fat Black women have a trope that they are expected to follow. From TV shows, to movies, to cartoons, to comics, fat Black women are characterized as the comedy relief, the emotional support, the Mammy. They are to be loud, but quiet when it comes to their confidence and appearance and serve as the backup to a skinnier character, rarely ever the main character that’s cast in a truly good light.

When Lizzo stepped onto the scene, she made it clear that she wasn’t about any of that.

She pushes self-love and being yourself even when everyone else doesn’t want you to. She doesn’t exist to serve as a gauge of your moral standing or as a role model for you or your children to follow every step of the way. She’s a human being who simply exists, and due to being a celebrity, her existence is spread across social media platforms making people think that they somehow know enough about her to hold her to their arbitrary standards.

Whether she gains or loses weight, has her ass out and who she’s possibly in a relationship with, is no one’s business. Every aspect of her life doesn’t require a veiled think piece or academic critique.

From TikTok to Instagram to Twitter, just her posting pictures of herself alone is enough to relight the fires of whatever discourse surrounded her the week before.

I imagine it has to be exhausting being picked apart like a seventh-grade science class anatomy project.

She’s constantly accused of “promoting an unhealthy lifestyle” (which is just a veiled attempt at hiding fatphobia behind faux health concerns) despite her talking about exercise and eating differently. Since she’s aiming to better herself while also pushing back against weight loss being the goal, that’s ignored since it doesn’t fit the ongoing narrative. Fatness and healthiness can’t coexist in the eyes of a public who can’t even acknowledge that skinniness doesn’t automatically equate to having good health.

Lizzo is frequently stripped of her humanity for doing the same exact things that skinnier celebrities do while getting three times the vitriol.

Can y’all just let her live?

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Originally published: June 1, 2022
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