Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.
Recently, Lizzo appeared on Big Boy’s Neighborhood and discussed body confidence, how she handles social media trolls, her three-month vow of silence, and much more.
Here are eight things we learned about the multi-hyphenate artist.
Lizzo On Her Issues with Confidence Growing Up
"I’ve always been confident in my talent. I could always lean on my talent, my personality. Physically, [I] did not have the confidence that I have now. I had to work really hard for it because I was born with it and the world took it away from me and it was my job to get it back.
"Growing up watching television, growing up going to school, and being told through messaging and explicitly being told from people’s mouths that I was not beautiful. That I didn’t look good, my body wasn't good. My body was bad. I need to lose weight. I would be so much prettier if I was thin. That! And seeing movies not seeing myself, seeing magazines, not seeing myself. That kinda took my confidence away. Watching movies where fat people were made fun of where they’re the butt of the joke. They’re always out of breath. Never the love interest, never desirable. That is what took my confidence away from me because I believed it."
On Falling Victim to Society’s Views on Beauty
"I tried to change myself. I dieted most of my entire life, wore girdles and shapewear to school when I was in middle school. Uncomfortable girdles that was breaking [out my] skin [and] making me sweat profusely in class. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed of myself. I worked out in the gym all the time. I didn’t eat. I was obsessed with being thin ‘cause I thought that would make me pretty."
Lizzo On People Who Gave Her Confidence
"I never had a Lizzo, but there were people before me that gave me hope like Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott and it’s wild that now I’m in spaces where I can share spaces with Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah. I’ve done a song with Missy and a music video 'Tempo' and she gives me great advice. I saw Queen Latifah at the Songwriters Hall of Fame and she was like man, you are doing everything that you’re supposed to be doing. I wished I had seen this when I was coming up and I was like but you’re you. That’s what I saw. So to hear it from my inspiration from my influence is wild because it’s confirmation that I’m doing the right thing."
Lizzo On How She Handles Social Media
"I’m a part of a new generation of artists. I’m in a new class. It’s like me, Lil Nas X, and Doja Cat. We’re coming up in this age where this is normal. It’s almost like well, it’s a part of the game where you gotta get abused verbally on the internet by millions of strangers every day. You kind of make that a part of your identity as an artist and it’s actually sh–ty. We shouldn’t be putting up with this.
"I remember the first time I really talked to Adele on the phone was when I was getting a lot of backlash for just being a fat person and she called me and was like, ‘How the hell are you doing this?’ She was like it wasn’t like this when she was first coming out which goes to show how quickly the industry has changed. I think it’s fun to piss people off. I like pissing them off because it’s like what are you gonna do about it bitch and if you try to do something I’d beat yo' mothaf--kin' ass."
Lizzo On Being Genre-less
"I’m an artist and my art is this thing that evolves and it’s growing so whatever I feel like doing in that moment, I’ma do it. So right now, I’m a singer and I’m singing. My voice is the genre because I think also this new age of artists we have kind of taken the boundary line off of genres officially which is a beautiful thing because genre’s inherently racist. They used genre to keep white kids away from black music period, back in the day. Race music, whatever they wanted to call it, it was segregation, and the fact that we’ve played into it for so long just shows how much it works and we have turned that down and said, 'F–k that, nah.'
"It started with people saying, ‘I listen to everything.’ Remember when people used to be like no, I listen to rap or I listen to r&b or I listen to rock. People didn’t listen to other stuff and now it’s like nah, we listen to everything and I make everything."
Lizzo On Being a Fan of Her Own Music
"I love my stuff. I listen to my music all the time. It’s really the only music I listen to because I’m listening to my demos. Sometimes I be with my friends and they be like can you put on that song, I’m not gonna say the name of the song, but the unreleased ones, and I be like sure."
Lizzo On Her Gift of Discernment
"God doesn’t let people around me who not supposed to be around and this is a bigger conversation than who I’m touring with in general but my circle is tighter than my p–sy and it’s just as good."
Lizzo On Her Three-month Vow of Silence
"I didn’t talk to nobody and I lived in the house with my mom and my brother and we were in Denver, Colorado and I was just in a bad place in my life. A lot of horrible things happened back to back to back and I kind of shut down—I really just stopped talking. I just had nothing to say to nobody. I was angry with the world and I changed my life. I was gonna be this concert flutist.
I was gonna move to Paris, study at the Paris Conservatory, [and] try to be in a symphony. That was the dream and when that dream ended, I was like okay what are you gonna do now? I think in that three months I was like okay, you’re gonna be a singer, you’re gonna be a rapper, you’re gonna do music. And I was like this is delusional but in those three months, I completely convinced myself. It sounds nice like I took a monk’s vow but it hurt my mom’s feelings a lot. It hurt my brother’s feelings and it hurt me too to do that. I was out of my body. I was like what are you doing? Just talk to them and it was like no you have nothing to say.
Lizzo On Why She Didn't Speak For Months, SNL, Coachella, Dr. Dre, and Playing Flute | Interview
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Matt Winkelmeyer/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue