Lizzo stole the show at the BET Awards – here’s why she’s such a body-positivity icon

Lizzo stole the show at the BET Awards – here’s why she’s such a body-positivity icon

Perched like the coolest bride ever atop a huge wedding cake, Lizzo started her performance at last night’s BET Awards in a tiered bridal gown, veil, sunglasses and trainers.

Stripping off to reveal a lacy white body suit, she strutted and twerked her way through hit single Truth Hurts, which culminated in a flute solo by the multi-talented musician.

She may have been clad in white and surrounded by a boogieing bridal party, but this show wasn’t about the joining of two people in holy matrimony.

There wasn’t a groom to be seen, because Lizzo isn’t looking for a soul mate, she’s preaching the gospel of self-acceptance.

“Big girls— you are IT! YOU ARE ALWAYS the bride in a marriage of SELF-LOVE!” she wrote on Instagram after the show.

It’s a stark contrast to Madonna’s infamous bridal-themed awards show appearances (who can forget the 2003 VMAs, which featured her ‘marrying’ and making out with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera).

A gigantic ironic wedding cake stage is just the kind of hilarious, fabulous and, ultimately, empowering idea that fans of the hip-hop star have come to expect.

Not only can Lizzo sing, rap, dance and play the flute, the breakout star of 2019 has also quickly become a body-positivity icon.

As a plus-size woman of colour, the 31-year-old has been a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by skinny white women.

She appeared naked on the cover of her third album Cuz I Love You, released in April, and also posed for Playboy, saying: “Playboy did feature one type of woman for a long time. So it’s kind of cool to be a big brown girl in Playboy.”

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Cuz I Love You | 4/19/2019

A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on

Appearing on the cover of Essence, the singer said she wants women who don’t feel represented by mainstream media to see themselves in her, telling the magazine:

“I love creating shapes with my body, and I love normalizing the dimples in my butt or the lumps in my thighs or my back fat or my stretch marks.”

The Detroit-born musician’s album is full of self-acceptance anthems like Scuse Me (“I don’t need a crown to know that I’m a queen”) and she uses her Instragram page to celebrate self-love.

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HAPPY CUZ I LOVE LIZZO DAY 🥰🥳

A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on

Lizzo wasn’t always so confident, though.

“I definitely didn’t have, growing up, a lot of people to look up to who looked like me, who were called beautiful,” she said in interview with Jameela Jamil for the actor’s I Weigh community.

And she recognises the fact that people – especially strangers on the internet – will always find a reason to criticise women for their looks.

“I realised no matter how I look, someone’s always gonna have something to say about it. But all that matters is what I think.”

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I learned in the last 24hrs that being emotionally honest can save your life. Reaching out may be hard but as soon as I did it, I was immediately covered in love. I used to think of sadness as a constant with fleeting moments of joy in between... but it’s a wave 🌊joy🌊sadness🌊joy🌊sadness🌊 and my sadness can be as temporary as my joy. I went on live to have a discussion about triggers. My triggers are: rejection and inadequacy. But I love that I’m more emotionally honest lately. I love that I can use my sadness constructively in real time for gratitude. What triggers your sadness? What do you do when those buttons are pushed? What do you love about yourself in those moments of darkness?

A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on

Having gone through difficult times (she posted on Instagram just last week about her continuing struggle with depression), the singer also realises self-acceptance doesn’t happen overnight.

“It’s unfair for us to assume that people know how to love themselves… [corporations have] spent decades telling people they weren’t good enough and selling them an ideal of beauty,” she told the Guardian.

But with role models like this queen around, it feels more attainable.

So, next time you’re being hard on yourself or feeling like you don’t fit the mainstream ‘ideal’, take Lizzo’s advice and be the bride in your own marriage of self-love.

- Press Association

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