Lizzo and her army of sycophantic fans see fatness as either something neutral and passive — a reality that simply is — or something positive to be glorified, emulated, and certainly never criticized. In interviews, Lizzo consistently delivers a message on the importance of self-love, a characteristic which is inarguably a necessary component for confidence, but can often times also unfortunately and unecessarily inhibit self-growth — and I don’t mean the physical kind. In her lyrics, she is even more explicit: ‘slow songs, they for skinny hoes,’ ‘Look at my ass it’s fitty-fitty fat,’ and ‘Come eat some of this cake, he look like he could gain a little weight / lick the icing off, put the rest in your face,’ are just a few lines of glittering poetry that grace her song, ‘Tempo.’ In ‘Water Me,’ she sings ‘thank god, thank god, I’m gettin’ thicker.’ Maybe someone should tell her obesity makes it more likely that you develop heart disease, strokes, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
There’s obviously a kernel of wisdom in the Lizzo approach, and it’s especially apt for the Instagram generation. Little girls and grown women alike should learn to be confident even if they can’t attain Kim Kardashian’s voluptuous curves or Blake Lively’s golden locks. The age of retouching and filtering has been unreasonably demanding to women, and studies show that these misleading photos have led to an uptick in eating disorders. For this reason, Israel became one of the first countries in the world to pass the ‘photoshop law‘ in which magazines must clearly indicate if their photos that have been edited or retouched. In some ways, then, the Lizzo phenomenon is an over-correction. We’ve all been guilty of glorifying unhealthy bodies for a long time now. We shouldn’t continue to do so. It may not be politically correct to say it, but obesity isn’t woke. It’s a death sentence. Pop culture should stop swinging the sword.