Singer Lizzo’s words will help you appreciate yourself, no matter what.
When asked to describe herself as a little girl, Lizzo used the word “ambitious.”
“Teachers would call my mom and be like, ‘Melissa is trying to teach my class,’” Lizzo recalled to Sam Smith in a new interview with V Magazine. “So I was nerdy, but also chubby and sweaty. I liked anime and comics,” she added.
Throughout her career, Lizzo has channelled that ambition and that intelligence through her work and through her online presence. With her third and most successful album to date, Cuz I Love You, reaching number one on the charts and receiving almost universally rave reviews (including one from Stylist), Lizzo is on top of the world. But that doesn’t mean that her boundless ambition and success makes it any easier to love herself.
Speaking to Smith in a candid interview, Lizzo summed up how self-love has been a work in progress for her for many years. “This is the thesis of self-love,” she said. “It ebbs and flows and there are levels to it. I don’t think that the culture or the commercialisation of self-love has [grasped that] it’s a constantly evolving thing.”
For a long time, Lizzo explained, she only loved herself when she was successful. “Which makes it easy to slip,” she added. “So Cuz I Love You is a narrative of how to love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back.”
The singer added that she “has felt excluded my entire life”, whether because of her blackness, her size or her sexuality. “So my movement is for everyone. It’s about inclusion. And if I am going to fight what I have been marginalised for, I am going to fight for all maginalised people.”
Here is how she does it: unconditionally loving herself. No ifs, ands or buts about it. And giving voice to the three things that she loves the most about herself.
“I love my body,” she told Smith. “No matter what angle you shoot it at, no matter the lighting, my body is just so fucking beautiful all the time. I may talk shit about it sometimes, but fuck. She’s still a bad bitch.”
She also loves her blackness. “I really am just so honoured to be graced with this identity. No shade to any other shade on this planet – I just can’t relate. I just love being a black woman, even in a world where [we] are statistically the least desirable. I am still here, and I still rise.”
And she loves her smarts, all of her intelligence and wit and ambition. “I was teased like a dog for wanting to be intelligent, for reading, for talking the way I do,” Lizzo told Smith. “But I didn’t dumb myself down just to be accepted.”
This is self-love, Lizzo style. It’s as easy as one, two, three.