Growing up as a Black woman in the U.S. has been an interesting journey.
I am bigger than most girls and realized that when I was in 5th grade. I participated in sports in middle school and high school, but I enjoyed late-night snacks as well. I was often teased and bullied during those days but I got through it by listening to music.
At the time, seeing strong Black women dominate the industry like Rihanna, Beyonce, and Ciara had me feeling astonished. I almost began feeling like I could do anything.
However, one day I realized something. These women have smaller figures or are categorized as “in-shape.”
Seeing those artists created negative self-conscious thoughts about my body and confidence. The decline in self-love began to show as well.
Clothes I saw girls wear and post online had me think I would not be able to pull it off. All these deliberations led me to listen to music yet again to erase those thoughts. Little did I know, that moment would change my life. I started listening to Lizzo’s music and it became a life-changing experience.
Born as Melissa Viviane Jefferson, Lizzo is one of the fiercest women in music. Around 2019, I remember listening to her single “Truth Hurts” from her third studio album “Cuz I Love You” and it was an instant hit and my personal mood booster.
Finally, seeing someone who is a Black and curvy woman just like me was bittersweet. Lizzo tells her story through music and is also a trained musician as a flutist. I have never seen anyone that can sing, rap, dance, play the flute and twerk simultaneously like her.
The lyrics in her songs are very straightforward, bold, yet delicate.
As I was listening to “Like a Girl” on the same album, it motivated me to ultimately keep going in everything I do and brought out my inner boss.
“Woke up feelin’ like I just might run for president, even if there ain’t no precedent, switchin’ up the messagin,’ I’m about to add a little estrogen.”
Those lyrics resonate with me because women have been limited and discriminated by various forms of opportunities over the years.
As a woman who has been constrained opportunities, I see progress in the world in terms of women acquiring more jobs that were once dominated by men. Lizzo’s lyrics mean that we can do anything and make a change and create an impact.
She has such a unique and creative way of thinking. Many of Lizzo’s songs are based on her daily life.
During a Rolling Stone interview in April 2019, Lizzo expressed her thought process and the way she lives her life and it really transformed my way of thinking as well.
“When I have to make decisions, I always choose honesty and I always stay true to myself, because I know at the end of the day that is what’s going to remain,” she said.
Lizzo is very empowering to all the bigger girls out there and she tries to give them platforms to advocate body positivity.
Aside from preparing her upcoming album, she is focusing on her upcoming reality TV series titled “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” which is a dancing competition show. The winners will become backup dancers for Lizzo which is set to premiere on March 25 on Amazon Prime.
I literally screamed when I watched the teaser trailer on her social media because giving plus-size women of color a platform on mainstream TV to showcase their talent and passions is not something we see often. And that is what Lizzo wants to showcase.
“The girls I have on stage with me are not getting representation,” she said in a recent interview with Variety. “They are not getting agents and I was like, ‘I know there is raw talent that’s untapped.’ This has been a passion of mine for a long time: discovering and mentoring big-girl dancers, especially Black girls.”
Lizzo is a woman full of ideas whether it is through music or TV. Even though she has been in the industry for nearly a decade, Lizzo is just getting started.
Her music and innovativeness have opened my mind to make an impact in anything I choose to do in life. She makes me feel confident and I think more positively now about my body all thanks to Lizzo, queen of the big grrrls.