Lizzo often makes it look like it’s easy to constantly break down barriers for plus-size women and people of color, but in a new interview, she’s reminding everyone just how hurtful some of the racist and fatphobic comments she receives on a daily basis can be.
Getting candid in a Vanity Fair cover story published Tuesday (Oct. 11), Lizzo specifically addressed a video she made in August of last year, shortly after the release of her “Rumors” collaboration with Cardi B. In the 13-minute, since-deleted video, she tearfully called out a specific comment she’d received shaming her based on her race and weight. She never disclosed exactly what was said by the commenter, though, and one year later, she says she never will.
“Then people will know what really hurt me,” she told the magazine. “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. And if one person says it, then another person says it, it multiplies like a f–king 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.”
As painful as it can be, the “About Damn Time” singer — who also spoke to the publication about her relationship with boyfriend Myke Wright — said the idea of making others in similar situations feel seen inspires her to rise above the prejudice.
“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,” she recalled. “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.”
“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,” she continued. “Hell yeah, it made me feel better. F–k them!”
Lizzo went on to address comments she receives specifically about her weight, inadvertently coinciding with renewed public fixation about her body initiated by comments recently made about her by Kanye West on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. “Is my music and my weight so intrinsically connected that if I were to lose weight, I’d lose fans or lose validity?” she said to the publication, which interviewed her a couple months before West spoke to Carlson. “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 continued. “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.”
“It sucks that we associate weight gain with the negative thing that causes it,” she added. “It’s mixing this beautiful thing that’s food — and nourishing ourselves with it, but it’s the stress that’s the bad thing, not the 20 pounds.
“I feel very lucky because I don’t feel that weight gain is bad anymore. Nor is weight loss — it’s neutral.”