In today’s age, it has become a taboo to talk about obesity. But we are forgetting there is a very thin line between self-love and death sentence.
Lizzo looked bright in yellow at the MTV Video and Music Awards (VMAs) 2019 as she became a role model who fought body shaming. Her high powered performance had everyone talking. Not only that, she bagged many nominations. These include best new artist, push artist of the year, best power anthem and song of the summer. Among all the talks about VMAs, the singer is unanimously at the top among all that is trending. All this points to this one thing: She is popular and has the count of her fans rising exponentially. And someone once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
While more righteously the focus should be on her music and her capability as an artist, somehow it always shifts to her physical appearance. Positive, negative or neutral, people talk about it globally. (Which category do you fall in?) Lizzo might be body shaming while fighting against it.
Out of the fear of being politically incorrect, most people just follow the herd and appreciate her songs (which are undoubtedly amazing). All these songs are mostly centered on self-love. But while listening through the lyrics, one finds that there is only one kind of self-love targeted in the songs. All these powerful words point to a single law that cannot be touched without calling for criticism: Fat is the ONLY fab.
But this raises a really critical question right on the sensitive boundary: Does body shaming not go both ways?
Power and Responsibility
Going back to where we started: power leads to responsibility. Lizzo’s rise to fame has been an ever-rising graph. And we all know how the words of the people we look up to, sometimes change the core of our lives. Somedays, they provide us with a much-needed hope; other days they motivate us to forget the past and move on.
Undoubtedly, all these songs have a huge role in shaping common (an uncommon too) lives. Words laced with a deeper meaning can really change the perspective of a whole generation. Especially when these words come from a powerful role model.
Lizzo has fought against body shaming and talked about at many platforms and in her songs
There was a time when “skinniness” was promoted so much through words and imagery that fans of stars started to worry too much about it. Whether it be young girls or grown women, all felt an unseen powerful pressure to achieve picture-perfect figures, curves or abs.
But does body shaming not go the other way round too?
Can self-love ever equate to promoting unhealthy means for the human body? (be it extreme diet or “extreme” diet)
A one-ended discussion
No one really talks about obesity out of the fear of being insensitive. Though the shame culture is a thing of the past, but somehow people are getting more comfortable day by day about shaming a thin body. Lyrics to the songs by Lizzo have many such instances. “Slow songs, they for skinny h*es.” In fact, some lyrics are even more graphic than others, “Come eat some of this cake, he look like he could gain a little weight… Lick the icing off, put the rest in your face.” These lines are from her famous song, Tempo.
While Lizzo’s songs do motivate self-love, they are strictly one-sided.
Celebrities and Body Shaming
While Lizzo has been a victim to body shaming, she is not the only one. There are names on this victims list which are unbelievable but true. Among the many celebrities who have been body-shamed and fought back. Gigi Hadid was put under the scanner for being too skinny. Demi Lovato, too, has a strong role model for being confident in her skin. Kelly Clarkson, Adele, and many other celebrities have shown great boldness and set major examples for women (and men too) all around the world.
While the article kicks off with Lizzo and body shaming, the actual problem is much more general. In fact, the actual problem lies in “image” and “tags”. Why must someone be tagged and taught what is the best way to be?
Hanna Gadsby, an Australian comedian, threads this idea so beautifully into words, “I don’t identify as transgender. But I’m clearly gender not-normal. I don’t think even lesbian is the right identity for me. I really don’t; I might as well come out now. I identify as tired. I’m just tired.”
A world without tags
We all need to learn to be confident without the stamp from re-touched Instagram images. There is an urgent need to idolise ideas, not body types. A few sets of misleading pictures are (mis)leading the society to massive eating disorders.
In fact, it would not be wrong to say that pop-culture is guilty of glorifying unhealthy bodies (through thick and thin). But we need to understand the true meaning of loving and accepting our bodies. We as a society still lack the understanding of body shaming. And this continues to convolute our thinking and even the narrative of an egalitarian society.
“Beauty is grace and confidence. I’ve learned to accept and appreciate what nature gave me.” Lindsay Lohan