Self-proclaimed “Bop star” Lizzo is at the height of her music career, with her most recent studio album Special going #1, six Grammy nominations, and a successful international tour, she is shining like never before. Though, life hasn’t always been this glamorous which she openly reveals in her newest HBO Max Documentary, Love Lizzo.
Behind Lizzo’s (also known as Melissa Jefferson) confident and infectious persona is a young woman who deals with the same issues as her fans around the world: insecurity, rejection, and heartbreak. In this documentary, Lizzo details her ten-year music journey beginning in a Detroit, Michigan church that has led her to sell out arenas. Those early years were filled with a lot of rejection as she says nobody wanted to sign a “fat Black girl who played the flute.’’
She describes the moment when her world changed – the success of her hit single Truth Hurts which went #1 in 2019, two whole years after its initial release. She explains that the song was written from the raw emotion of her daily life when someone she was dating simply cut off all communication with her, sending her into a heartbroken frenzy. The song acts as her comeback anthem as she realizes her worth, crediting music as a healer.
Black female pop stars are a rarity in the music industry, but Lizzo has kicked down a door for plus-size women who dream of being where she is one day. Love Lizzo showcases Lizzo’s resilience and work ethic as she shows the authentic process of writing her music, rehearsing for live shows, singing, rapping, and dancing, all while keeping a smile on her face even when the media tears her down.
Lizzo shares an emotional moment midway through the film with her backup dancers, asking how they each can personally feel “good as hell” in their bodies before performing the hit song “Good As Hell” at the 2019 VMAs. The genuine happiness of that iconic VMA performance is palpable as Lizzo and her dancers embraced each other on stage. The documentary also gave a behind-the-scenes look at Lizzo’s 2020 Grammy performance, cementing her win for Best Pop Performance that year.
Lizzo explains that her very existence in the industry is controversial as a plus-size Black woman who is unapologetically confident. Love, Lizzo is a sneak peek into the musician’s chaotic, successful, yet relatable life. Her vulnerability is her strength as she continues to break barriers in the music industry.