Society has mapped out a standard for women: Look, talk, think, and feel a certain way, and maybe then people won’t be uncomfortable.
The outcome of this standard leaves us reeling, fearful that we might not be good enough in the eyes of our male counterparts. The music industry’s women suffer, too, especially with recent sexual abuse allegations coming to light over some of music’s most famous male artists. But, because of this, we’ve seen the rise of powerful women who stand up for what’s right and face misogyny head-on — without a trace of fear in their eyes.
One of those women is Lizzo.
Lizzo has been around for almost a decade, paving her way to becoming the breakout icon you see (and hear) now. Before the release of her debut album, ‘Lizzobangers’, in 2014, she was the co-founder and member of a handful of hip-hop groups, steadily gaining momentum for a prosperous future. 2019 is most definitely the year of female empowerment, proven by Lizzo’s rising prowess. She’s bold, loud, and proud of it. But most of all, she’s unapologetically herself.
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“I’m going to become iconic… I don’t mean in the way all the kids are using it now for everything like, ‘Oh, I took a nap, How iconic.’ Even though it’s valid; naps are iconic. I mean iconic like an icon. Like when you see the go sign or the stop sign, you know what it means.” – link in bio
Just like any musician trying to make it big, she struggled, and almost quit music altogether. Lizzo’s dedication answers the age-old question, “Is it really worth it to give so much of ourselves when everyone keeps tearing us down?” But she never gave up, and she made a decision to move to Minneapolis to pursue music further — and ended up working with none other than music legend Prince. It’s safe to say things worked out for her.
Now, the 30-year-old has just released her sophomore album, ‘Cuz I Love You.’ She also wrapped two stellar Coachella performances and embarked on a sold-out US tour. Her voice is magnetic, showing off a range that rivals some of today’s best vocalists, but mostly it’s the honesty of her lyrics that resonates with listeners. The joy that radiates off of Lizzo is contagious. She’s boasting about her body, loving every inch of herself, and she doesn’t show even a hint of shame. It’s not very often we witness a woman of any size brag about the curves of their form and not feel like they have to hide away.
Women are practically set up to fail when it comes to the ideas of what they should look like. If we’re not model thin then we’re too big, but if we’re too skinny then we need meat on our bones. Body shaming is a dangerous issue, inside and out of the music industry; there are too many demands and not enough ways to satisfy them. But then there’s Lizzo, twerking on stage, posting self-indulgent Instagram selfies, and singing about loving herself. Suddenly, it all makes perfect sense.
Lizzo has set the tone for a broader, more progressive era. People admire others who are unabashedly themselves. It brings warmth and comfort, especially in a world where women tend to guard their hearts, afraid to embrace something outside society’s accepted behavior. Female bodies are always up for debate, and if it’s not up to par then we’re deemed inadequate. We change ourselves in order to feel some semblance of beauty, because we can’t fathom the idea that maybe being ourselves would make us the most beautiful.
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“It’s just my existence. All these fucking hashtags to convince people that the way they look is fine. Isn’t that fucking crazy? I say I love myself, and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s so brave. She’s political.’ For what? All I said is ‘I love myself, bitch!’” – link in bio
But then Lizzo comes in. When we hear her hit ‘Juice‘, we’re reminded it doesn’t need to be that way. The song is bright and hopeful, overflowing with adoration for one’s self. We wonder if we maybe held even an ounce of that self-love, we could rule the world with it. Lizzo shines a light for those who can’t see their true selves through the constant bombardment of body-shaming. She makes us question why we ever doubted ourselves in the first place. Lizzo adores herself — so why can’t we?
Stream Lizzo’s new album ‘Cuz I Love You’ here.