At this point, commentary about Lizzo’s body from anyone who is not Lizzo is an exhausting and unnecessary — we can imagine this feeling is felt by no one as strongly as Lizzo herself. And while it should never be on the multi-award winning singer to have to defend her body’s existence, beauty or health to anyone, it’s never been disappointing to see her use her platform and POV to shut down and educate fat shamers.
In a TikTok shared on Tuesday, Lizzo showed off a bunch of powerful work-out moments — riding a stationary bike, working with free weights, jump roping — paired with some glamor shots in lingerie and bathing suits with some powerful narration: “So, I’ve been working out consistently for the last five years,” she began, over footage of her spinning. “It may come as a surprise to some of y’all that I’m not working out to have your ideal body type. I’m working out to have my ideal body type.”
if you’re not a fat shamer… keep scrolling… ok now that all the fat shamers are here 🧚🏾♀️✨
“You know what type that is? None of your f-cking business — because I am beautiful, I am strong, I do my job, and I stay on my job,” she adds.
For people who live in fat bodies, it feels like you’re constantly batting away long-held cultural beliefs (that are hardly backed by science) about what your body means for your health — and that the systems we currently have for measuring what it means to have a healthy body mean that health and weight are vastly misrepresented and misunderstood. And that cultural feedback loop that prioritizes thinness over all things can be incredibly harmful, as the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) writes: “Your body can be healthy across a wide range of weights. When searching for your ideal weight, charts, formulas, and tables may be misleading and should only be used under the guidance of a qualified expert.” Not to mention, a person who is not “healthy” for whatever reason, owes absolutely no explanations, excuses or acknowledgements to anyone — an individual’s body should never have to absorb the weight of other people’s feelings.
And even then, if you care a lot about bodies and health, you may want to make sure our experts aren’t serving up treatment recommendations with a side of anti-fat bias. As Joan Chrisler, PhD, a professor of psychology at Connecticut College, said during a symposium titled “Weapons of Mass Distraction — Confronting Sizeism“ the cultural disdain directed at overweight people does far more harm than good for their physical and mental health: “Recommending different treatments for patients with the same condition based on their weight is unethical and a form of malpractice,” Chrisler said. “Research has shown that doctors repeatedly advise weight loss for fat patients while recommending CAT scans, blood work or physical therapy for other, average weight patients.”
Besides, too often the people who are performing wellness and health (mostly on Instagram and in thin bodies) are promoting things that do a whole lot more damage — like urging folks to stop drinking water or to drink teas that will give them diarrhea.
That’s all very long-winded and less poetic than how Lizzo said it, but the basics are: Mind your own body (and business) and quit looking for ways for people to perform your specific (and probably reductive) idea of healthy.
“So next time you wanna come to somebody and judge them — whether they drink kale smoothies or eat McDonald’s, or work out or not work out — how about you look at your own fucking self and worry about your own goddamn body,” she says. “Health is not just determined on what you look like on the outside,” she continued. “Health is also what happens on the inside, and a lot of y’all need to do a f-cking cleanse for your insides.”
And finally, to remind the shamers of the world that their commentary, body negative talk and concern-trolling are their own damn problems and not Lizzo’s, she signs off with “Namaste, have a great day.”
“We can feed ourselves when we’re hungry and feel good when we’re full,” and other inspirational quotes about having a health, loving and nourishing relationship with your body and food: