Three Life Lessons from Lizzo

I love Lizzo.

I have painted one human portrait in my entire life, and it was of Lizzo.

Lizzo helps me feel good about my body. Her music inspires me to sing and dance. I admire her deeply, more and more every time I find out something new about her.

Life Lesson One: All Bodies Are Different And That’s OK!

“What if I’m just fat? What if this is just my body? Bodies are not all designed to be slim with a six pack.”

@lizzo
From one fat girl to y’all. With love 😘♬ original sound – lizzo

Lizzo is an incredible example of body-positivity and highlights something that makes a lot of diet culture die-hards (petition to call them diet-hards? I call dibs on coining that) SUPER MAD. And that is that she’s undeniably athletic in her fat body. I would challenge any TikTok bro in her comments to sing, dance, and play the flute while shaking their ass and be able to keep up with her on stage.

Life Lesson Two: Know better, Do Better

When Lizzo released the song ‘Grrrlz‘ with an unintentional slur against disabled people, she changed the lyrics and re-released it immediately. That’s what you’re supposed to do. The phrase “Know better, do better” is the principle we all love to share online when we’re educating others, and yet we tend to bring violence upon them more often than not.

Despite re-recording and releasing the song, people were still mad, saying she should have known better in the first place.

How are you supposed to know all this “better” stuff without learning it first?

In 2022, we are more aware than ever of the multitude of intersectional identities at play when it comes to the human experience. It takes time to become aware of your biases and ignorance, and we’re all on that journey together. Lizzo sets an example of how to be called out, apologize, and reduce harm. That’s the ideal.

Life Lesson Three: pursuing your passion is a radical act

The white supremacist, able-bodied, heteronormative patriarchy reigns supreme: White, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied (and fit!), neurotypical men are the ideal, and the further you get from that norm, the more marginalized your experience. If you have the good sense to be ashamed of your differences, you’re more acceptable to those in power.

Lizzo is everything they hate. She’s a Black, fat, queer woman who doesn’t give two fucks what people think of her. And that’s the only thing they can complain about, because she’s not actually doing anything wrong or bad.

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YES. It’s time to talk about the flute.

Lizzo’s most recent “controversy” is that the Library of Congress loaned James Madison’s 200 year old crystal flute to her during a performance, and she played it and twerked onstage. Right-wing Twitter bros melted down immediately, calling into question her talent and somehow creating a narrative in which Lizzo personally broke down the doors of the LoC and coughed on every single flute before deciding one to personally victimize and use to destroy the fabric of America.

Lizzo is a trained flautist and absolutely knows her way around a flute. She is an expert, an actual trained expert. Her awe of the centuries-old instruments around her show that she knew exactly how special and historical they were. She was absolutely respectful of each instrument she handled.

“We just made history tonight,” she said, addressing the crowd of fans. Madison never played the flute in question, and it’s probable that Lizzo is the only one who has played it. A fat, Black, queer woman played a slave-owner’s flute.

And conservatives say that she “desecrated” it.

When faced with the facts, the only possible “desecration” of this flute is that it was played by a Black woman who doesn’t care what they think.

And THAT is where Lizzo’s power lies.

Every time Lizzo shows up and exists in her body, singing her music, and not being ashamed of herself one single iota, it’s radical. And it’s teaching her fans to love ourselves too, to pursue our passion, to own our expertise, and to not give a fuck about the haters. That’s why they hate her, and that’s why we have to keep doing it.

Get more like this!

If you loved this post, you’ll love my emails too. They’re weird little love notes I send out every week, bringing you lessons from the mundane (like conservatives melting down on the bird app).

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