“Why’re men great ‘til they gotta be great?” Any college student has heard these words shouted, sung and repeated with passion at a frat party or downtown at least five times this semester. The mood changes in a room when Lizzo comes on the speakers. The gospel is being spoken.
The singer, whose birth name is Melissa Jefferson, has taken over the Billboard Hot 100 and Spotify playlists with her hit song “Truth Hurts.” She can get a whole room of people screaming her songs when they come on in the club like Cardi B, Rihanna and Beyonce. She can capture an audience with not only her infectious words but her positivity and authenticity.
It’s worth paying attention to.
Lizzo’s isn’t new to the music industry; she’s been doing this for 10 years but 2019 has been her year.
As a plus-sized performer, Lizzo has had to endure rude comments that some may see as encouragement but that the singer has described as “mosquito bites.”
In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning’s Tracy Smith that aired on Oct. 8, Lizzo recalled comments made to her, “Somebody’s like, ‘Well, you know, you a big girl, so you can never have short hair. You always have to have a big hair, ‘cause you’re a big girl.’”
She said her career didn’t take off until “she started to believe that beauty doesn’t have a size.” It’s a message that she shares with her fans and admirers.
With the current age of social media dictating how individuals see themselves in contrast to those with a following and blue checkmarks, it’s hard to see body positivity. Those who have similar body shapes to Lizzo’s will be sure to find the message even more empowering and uplifting.
A scroll through her Instagram feed will find images of the singer confidently pulling off bright outfits, seductive pieces and eye-catching ensembles. If the average person had Lizzo’s undisputable confidence, the world would be a much brighter place.
If you still aren’t convinced that Lizzo deserves a round of applause, she’s got a couple of tricks up her sleeve.
She’s an experienced flutist having taken up the instrument during her early years in band when she was a teenager. With pressure from her band director to play the difficult instrument and her dad to stick with it as she got older, it’s become a part of her live show. She gave a heart-stopping performance during the 2019 BET Awards when she performed “Truth Hurts” and played the flute at various ranges while also twerking. That’s not a talent many can claim to have.
She’s a self-proclaimed nerd. That’s not an insult. She’s identified that way several times in interviews.
While the term nerd doesn’t have a negative connotation like it did in the year 2007, it’s still not the associated noun for anyone who has a chart-topping hit on the Billboard chart.
It’s doubtful if the three women mentioned at the top would offer that word as an explanation of themselves in an interview. The fact that Lizzo does makes her even more admirable.
Adding even more layers to the cake is the chant that she leads fans in at shows. “I love you…You are beautiful…And you can do anything.”
Lizzo describes it as the antidote to stupid statements. Next time you aren’t feeling like the world is on your side, say that to yourself in the mirror.
The world needs more pop stars like Lizzo. It needs singers who can get raw in their music and in real life. It needs entertainers that aren’t always glitz and glam and can post videos of themselves drinking straight out of the champagne bottle. It needs real people and Lizzo is as real as it gets.