The star who defined body positivity

Teresa Zangari, Contributing Writer

Lizzo, a music superstar and body icon, has become the embodiment of what it means to embrace imperfections, normalize all shapes and sizes, and admire who you are.

From a young age, Lizzo faced countless body shaming attempts from people around her. She claimed that she needed to solely “unlearn a lot of bulls- to finally feel comfortable in her body.”

Had Lizzo experienced the proper representation from body-positive movements, perhaps she would have overcome the opinions of her much sooner. Throughout the years, body-positive movements have deviated from their original purpose. Many influencers lacked diversity and promoted dangerous practices such as taking diet pills or fast weight-loss programs. Because of this, it has become a toxic concept that uniquely fails women of color and the LGBTQ+ community.

Lizzo recognized the misconceptions behind the campaign’s and society’s perception of beauty, so she became an advocate for self-expression and fearlessness.

Her motto eliminates the notions of flawless body types and applauds newfound confidence. This attitude emphasizes the importance of having the utmost respect and appreciation for our bodies. A majority of Lizzo’s platforms within mainstream influence break down the barriers within the beauty industry such as what beauty truly means.

Beauty is an abstract and highly complicated concept. To make it simple, beauty is an array of qualities that are aesthetically pleasing to one’s senses. Today, the definition has changed immensely, and the media’s standards are incredibly high and desirable to the masses.

The media has scared women into thinking they are not good enough for the public eye and contributed to possible issues regarding their mental and physical well-being. Lizzo’s mission has become about prioritizing the women that have been left out.

“It’s hard to love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back,” said Lizzo in E! News.

Full-figured women still face discrimination. In an effort to prove that they are just as active, beautiful, and worthy as everyone else. Lizzo released an eight-episode series called “Watch Out for the Big Grrls” on Amazon Prime.

The show follows the life of 13 women who are of different sizes, backgrounds and cultures. Each competed to become Lizzo’s new “Big Grrl” backup dancers at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Along the way, contestants are placed in workshops and challenges that push them past the limits of comfortability.

“I really feel most like myself when I’m with my sisters from the show [and] in Lizzo’s environment. I think the energy we give off for each other, and for ourselves, is going to leak into society. I think everyone is going to learn how to emulate that off of us, ” said Ariana Davis, a former contestant.

Although viewers only get to see snippets of their journey, contestants claim that the process provided them with an unimaginable experience filled with self-love and empowerment.

It is especially exciting to see how these women evolve from the start of the show to their final moments on stage.

Lizzo’s efforts to establish confidence have delivered countless opportunities for people all around the world to finally feel good enough about their bodies. They used to question why beauty is so important to their lives but now they are acknowledging that their talents and assets are far more valuable than their appearance.

Unknowingly, we gave the collective too much power over our behaviors and lifestyle choices. Sooner or later, the expectations from them have turned into permanent and unhealthy obsessions.

Thankfully, with a new representative for body-positive movements, like Lizzo, it has become much easier for others to authentically be themselves.