She’s famed for her upbeat anthems, but, in a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Lizzo admits that body-shaming remarks have taken a toll.
The ‘Juice’ singer and self-professed “band geek” — whose real name is Melissa Jefferson — tells the morning show’s Tracy Smith that receiving negative feedback is like getting a “mosquito bite.” At first it’s a minor annoyance, but over time it’s eating you alive.
“Somebody’s like, ‘Well, you know, you’re a big girl so you can never have short hair, you always have to have big hair because you’re a big girl,’” she says. “And they say that lovingly, but I’m like, that’s a little mosquito bite. You don’t even know it’s there, but soon you look up and you’re covered in mosquito bites and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I have all of these things [scratching arms] but they were so normalised to me because they were so innocent.’
“[People] meant well but I had to peel back a lot of layers,” she adds.
While countless fans credit her and her music for making them feel empowered, the star says her own journey to self-confidence took real work.
“It’s not something you really change,” she says. “It’s something that you address and work on. I had to address every layer of insecurity. Because I can’t just be like, ‘Alright, my arm’s not jiggly and lumpy anymore’ — that’s delusional. You have to be like, ‘That’s not ugly to me anymore, and it’s not wrong to me, it’s beautiful to me.’
“And I think that is why I’m able to call myself fat, and people are like, ‘No!’ Even my friends. And I’m like, ‘B***h, you know I’m fat.’ I’m like, ‘Don’t say no. I am fat, I am beautiful.’ I think it’s because I learned to actually look all my insecurities in the face, call them by their name and fall in love with them.”