Apparently the good vibes just couldn’t last after the triumphant success of the first female Versuz battle featuring Jill Scott and Erykah Badu.
The event, on Instagram Live on Saturday, had up to 700,000 watching and scored an eye-popping BILLION impressions on the social media platform. Viewers including Michelle Obama praised the women for their sisterhood, mutual admiration, and of course, their music.
Today’s a whole different story on an increasingly surly Twitter. The question was posed why people appreciate Scott, who is plus-sized, more than they do Lizzo, who is similarly thick. The viral responses seemed to indicate that for some people, women must always be at odds, instead of enjoying the kind of bonding viewers enjoyed on the Scott/Badu Verzuz.
Why come y’all don’t treat Jill Scott like y’all treat Lizzo? Y’all be gagging at everything lizzo do but someone said Jill Scott cum prolly taste like cinnabutter from Texas Roadhouse and she was on stage sucking imaginary dick pic.twitter.com/0FdLFhLPlg
— kie (@thatgoodstress) May 10, 2020
Naturally, Twitter took sides, with some defending Lizzo and rightly calling out the back and forth as online bullying and harassment, while some believed that Jill was simply (in their minds) the more attractive singer.
Lizzo is big, happy, and energetic. She’s half naked a lot of the time and that makes people uncomfortable because they would rather fat women be hidden away until we lose weight 🙃
— CANDACE SINCLAIRE (@delafro_) May 11, 2020
Ya’ll motherfuckers can’t just keep Lizzo name out ya’ll mouth, huh?? That woman ain’t been on this site in weeks and is mourning the death of her aunt but ya’ll wanna play comparison games. Leave her the hell alone
— Life in The Key of Fat (@FatandFlawless) May 11, 2020
I am still basking in the love and joy I experienced watching Jill and Erika… and now here come these toxic narcissist and their constant gaslighting…
— Lineage, Policy, Repair 🇺🇸 (@2020tangibles) May 11, 2020
While we realize there is a global pandemic going on that nobody saw coming (except for just about every infectious disease specialist on the planet, but that’s another story) and people are bored, stressed, and anxious, we can do better. Why put Scott in the midst of a debate she had nothing to do with after coming off a great moment with another powerful soul sister?
Why do we have to diminish one Black woman to praise another?
How is Lizzo a superstar, Grammy-winning artist, yet she’s always being reduced down to her BMI? Can’t a plus-size Black woman live? Or better still, can we focus on the accomplishments of women for once instead of their physical appearance?
Yes, there are people who prefer women who look a certain way and yes, they are vocal. Arguably, Lizzo could dial it down if she wanted to deflect some of the negative attention that comes her way. Being in the public eye means you sometimes have to pivot if you want a different public image.
Trust, all your faves have done it. And in any aspect of life, sometimes the response you get is based on what you put out there. Scott gets a different response because over time, she’s earned a different kind of respect. It is what it is.
But there’s also that whole ‘live and let live’ philosophy. There are artists you don’t have to like, support, follow, or acknowledge in any way shape or form that don’t conform to your personal tastes. So for the last time, get off Twitter and deal with your own issues instead of trolling for likes from equally dysfunctional people.
As Megan Thee Stallion said, a woman can be ‘classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah, sassy, moody, nasty,’ and sometimes all at the same time. And they can be big, small, skinny or tall. It’s 2020, must we keep reminding folks? Let Lizzo and Scott enjoy their careers, smell their flowers and have all the sex they want with the men who appreciate curves, and yes, they do exist.
Put some crown royal on ice, hair toss, check your nails and go on ahead and feel good as hell. Don’t Lizzo nor Jill Scott owe y’all anything but good music. Now go find something else to do. Let’s upgrade our vibes and energy and make sure we stay ahead of Ms. Rona, 2020’s ultimate bully.
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Tonya Pendleton is an editor and writer for theGrio.com. A veteran multimedia professional, she resides in Philadelphia. You can reach her at Tonya.Pendleton@thegrio.com