Lizzo performs at Radio City Music Hall on September 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

This week the internet has been all abuzz, fixated on debating one of the biggest controversies to hit our country since Watergate: the pros and cons of Lizzo’s ass. More specifically, the way it peaked out the cutouts in her t-shirt dress as she twerked courtside in a visible black thong at Monday night’s game between the L.A. Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

To be fair, Lizzo did her dance as the Lakers girls were doing their routine to her hit song, “Juice,” so one could argue that it was a brilliant publicity stunt meant to reenergize conversations around her music and her newfound celebrity status.

And to that point, some applauded her actions as body positive and empowering while others pushed it back as tacky and tasteless.

READ MORE: ‘Truth Hurts’ so good; Lizzo hits No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

From the loyal fans to the fat-shamers, everyone seemed to have a passionate opinion on this incident. Everyone, I should say, except for me. Because honestly? The whole thing bored me to tears. Which seemed to shock most people who inquired about my thoughts regarding the controversy.

Here’s the thing fam, yes I am a plus-sized woman who makes a career out of waxing poetic about the world around me. But contrary to what many of you may think, not every big girl on your block sees Lizzo as their patron saint.

Singer Lizzo dances during a timeout of a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on December 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Lizzo’s voice, presence, and success are not only a valid, but a necessary part of our current cultural landscape. Her silhouette has been missing from the line up of successful female artists for far too long and her self-empowerment anthems are perfect for young girls figuring out how to define their womanhood. Her music is also a great pick-me-up for anyone in need after a grueling breakup.

However, for grown-ass women who already like themselves and are getting through life just fine, her message is a bit of a, “Well, duh. Yeah.” So this idea that we all see her as this unapproachable phenom who can never be called out for her tackiness is absolutely false.

READ MORE: Cardi B has a blast in Africa: performs two shows, makes it rain naira and gives back in a major way

In fact, not to be messy, but I hated her outfit and just about every woman I know and spoke to hated it too. We didn’t find it offensive OR sexy, it was just a lame t-shirt with the booty cut out. And that’s ok. Just last week I wrote a whole article about how being able to reasonably critique Black art and Black artists is an important part of these discussions.

HOWEVER, just because I’m not in love with sis’s style choices in no way makes it ok for folks to attack her body. So there seems to be two topics at hand here.

First, can we admit that not everyone who hated Lizzo’s ensemble is a fat shamer? While also calling out the actual fat shamers who are using this latest incident as an excuse to say what they’ve been itching to say about her big, beautiful body since day one?

Because per usual, there seems to be two extreme camps on this topic while the truth feels like it lives somewhere nestled towards the middle.

You doing a lot sis

On my side of the planet, the consensus seems to be, “I love Lizzo, but sometimes she does too much.”

And while I personally don’t ever like to tell a woman that she is “too much” even I have to concede that at times she does way more than I would personally deem necessary.

READ MORE: “Queen & Slim”: 4 Things we could all learn about critiquing Black art

Lizzo (to me) comes off like that pretty, plus-sized girl who was always slept on and dismissed despite having a ton of talent. Now, that she’s finally having a moment she’s going out of her way to flip the middle finger to anyone who ever denied her a seat at the table.

I get that sentiment. Who hasn’t sat at their cubicle at some point in life daydreaming of the day when they could do the same? 

Unlike her counterparts who have figured out how to stunt with a bit more finesse, Lizzo sports an ever-present intention to provoke that feels transparent to the more seasoned eye.

As someone who has had a similar journey around self-acceptance and come out on the other side, I dream of the day when Lizzo relaxes a bit more into her power and doesn’t have to be so loud and declarative to get her point across. I recognize that when and how she does to that point is HER process and her business. So even when I find her antics exhausting, a part of me still gets it.

READ MORE: Lizzo wants to be the next ‘Bachelorette’ and has a NSFW hot girl request for the men

But where is it safe to say that though? And why is it starting to feel like the only way to support a woman who represents “non-traditional” rules of beauty is to scream “YASSSS QUEEN YOU SLAY!” at her, even when we don’t actually mean it?

There is something glaringly disingenuous about being of the mindset that total agreement is the only right move in these instances. There are quite a few people I see posting support for her whose words ring hollow and reek of “copy and paste” activism.

But “fat” isn’t a four-letter word

While I am very decidedly not jumping on any bandwagons and value independent thought, I would still be a jerk if I didn’t acknowledge that in the midst of the valid critiques that the singer/rapper has received from reasonable people, there are also those who just hate her because she’s fat. Point. Blank. Period.

Please note that I chose to say fat this time and not just “plus-sized” or “thick.”

Fat isn’t a four-letter word, and fat women aren’t just caricatures that you get to read for filth as soon as they make a misstep. Yet, for the last 24 hours, it’s been stunning to see how many people used this one moment at a Lakers game as an excuse to spit out every fatphobic, body-shaming bit of vitriol they’ve been sitting on all year.

Ya’ll really mad huh?

 

And what’s crazy is, many of these people doing the shaming are other women, and/or really fat men who have some nerve talking as if those memes don’t look even more like them than they do like Lizzo.

READ MORE: Add Rihanna to the list of Lizzo fans

For years we’ve been taught to think we aren’t thin, pretty, rich or white enough as a means to not just keep us politically docile, but also as a ploy to keep marketing campaigns successful. Every time you see a commercial the intent is to tell you that your life isn’t as amazing as it could be and that whatever product or service they’re selling is the answer.

And we’ve all bought into that thinking so much, that subconsciously it boggles our minds when a woman who isn’t a certain size, shape or color has the nerve to like her body. It’s almost as if a part of us thinks, “Wait, did she not get the memo? She’s supposed to be tryna fix that.”

Lizzo isn’t actually trying to fix anything. She isn’t out here drinking flat tummy teas, making Slim Fast commercials or even trying to cover up what her mama gave her.

READ MORE: Lizzo: How mean-spirited shamers taught her body positivity

Instead, she is cutting holes in perfectly good shirts, shaking her tail feather at the drop of a hat, and strutting as if she doesn’t have a care in the world. Whether this is truly how she feels, or a bit of performance art almost doesn’t matter at this point. Because if we say we want women to be liberated, that has to include ALL women, even the big bodies ones who we believe are doing the most.

Even though I’m not on Lizzo’s side in this particular instance, a part of me knows that if Cardi B had done this, a lot of you would be singing a different tune. And THAT disparity in who is allowed to act a fool and who is not, completely illustrates exactly why we need her to keep disrupting the status quo.


Follow writer Blue Telusma on Instagram at @bluecentric