Lizzo is used to getting hate online for being a plus-sized, Black musician — and she’s opening up about how she deals with those comments. In a Vanity Fair cover story published Tuesday, the singer spoke about an Instagram Live last August where she addressed some of the fat-phobic and racist comments she receives on her social media.
“People have been calling me fat my entire life, but that was the first time seeing an insult of how I looked, who I am, and my music wrapped into one, and it really hurt me,” she told the magazine. “And if one person says it, then another person says it, it multiplies like a fucking virus. If enough people on the internet start echoing sentiments about you, it becomes part of your public persona and it’s out of your control.”
Lizzo told the outlet she was overthinking the comment she received while she was in glam, and had to step away to take a second.
“I went to the bathroom to cry about it, then I went online because once I learn how to express myself, I need to tell that person how I really feel,” Lizzo said about posting the video. “I know I’m not the only person who experiences extreme negativity thrown at them from the internet — there are people in high school right now who have a whole high school talking about them, and they don’t know how they’re going to get through it.”
She added: “So if they can see me get through it on the level and the scale I’m experiencing it, maybe they’ll think they can get through it too.”
When asked if posting the video made her feel better, she said: “Hell yeah, it made me feel better. Fuck them!”
Instead Lizzo says she chooses to “have fun.” Why? “If I’m not having fun right now, when am I going to be able to enjoy having a hot, rockin’ bod, being young, beautiful, and rich?” she told the outlet, with a laugh.
Lizzo also spoke about how much of a connection her weight and body positivity has been ingrained in her music and public image.
“Is my music and my weight so intrinsically connected that if I were to lose weight, I’d lose fans or lose validity? I don’t care! I lead a very healthy lifestyle — mentally, spiritually, I try to keep everything I put in my body super clean,” she said. “Health is something I prioritize, wherever that leads me physically. Like veganism, people were like, ‘You’re a vegan? What, are you deep frying the lettuce?’ I’m not a vegan to lose weight, I just feel better when I eat plants. But just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, it changes again.”
The singer explained that it “sucks that we associate weight gain with the negative thing that causes it,” and said she felt lucky that she doesn’t see weight gain as “bad anymore.”
In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, West said that it was “demonic” how the body positivity movement has used Lizzo and that “being overweight is the goal.”
“Let’s get aside from the fact whether it’s fashion and vogue — which it’s not — or if someone thinks it’s attractive, to each his own. It’s actually clinically unhealthy,” West said. “And for people to promote that, it’s demonic.”
“It’s a genocide of the Black race,” he later added. “They want to kill us in any way they can.”