Lizzo Opens Up About Her Relationship With Shapewear: ‘I Spent The Entirety Of My Life Trying To Change How I Look'
If you need confirmation that some people in life are born to change the world for the better, we suggest taking a look at Lizzo. In just four years the four-time Grammy Award winner, who is famous for hit tunes like ‘Good as Hell’, ‘Truth Hurts’ and ‘Juice’, has released two chart-topping albums, become a champion for body positivity across the globe, spoken out countless times on racism in the music industry, and created a revolutionary shapewear brand, YITTY, that promises to eradicate body stereotypes and provide the comfort consumers deserve, no matter their size.
A year after launching YITTY, Lizzo has created a new SS23 shapewear range designed with new shaping compression technology for the brand’s Nearly Naked and Headliner collections, as well as launched a smoothing denim collection, Denim is Served. ‘Many brands are designing for “standard” sizes and then scaling up, or designing for “plus” sizes and scaling down,’ Lizzo tells ELLE UK. ‘This is leading to improper fit for many people. Yitty actually designs and fits for all sizes and body shapes simultaneously, so our collections will truly fit everybody.’
In addition to ‘hard-launching’ her boyfriend Myke Wright ahead of the 2023 Grammy Awards last month, Lizzo recently hit headlines for semi-breaking the Internet by posing with fellow singers Beyoncé and Adele at the recent event. ‘There was no time to relax and recuperate,’ the September 2022 ELLE UK cover star tells us of her lack of recuperation the day after she admittedly got drunk with Adele during the ceremony. ‘I had to go straight into fittings for The Brits and also my European tour, so at this point I think I’m still hungover from that night!’
Amid her ongoing European ‘Special Tour’ and the launch of YITTY SS23, we caught up with the multi-hyphenate singer, songwriter, flute-playing extraordinaire and shapewear entrepreneur to discuss body type misunderstandings, social media comparisons and how to feel confident and beautiful :
How would you describe your 'relationship' with shapewear?
I have spent the entirety of my life trying to change the way that I look or reshape my body. I felt this pressure of constantly being told through what I saw on television or what I saw other women do to their bodies, that my body wasn’t good enough and I had to inflict some sort of pain upon it to fit into an archetype or a standard of beauty. I’ve been wearing shapewear – tight pinching corsets and underwear bottoms - for a very long time; since I was in fifth or sixth grade. It was really painful and I really felt that it shouldn’t be this way; we shouldn't be ashamed of our bodies and we shouldn’t have to wear these contraptions to feel beautiful. Plus, I could never find anything in my size and the colours were limited to pink, white and black. I thought to myself, who looks like that? I was waiting for someone to change the conversation around this article of clothing that so many people wear. It’s not comfortable. It doesn’t look like us.
Eventually, I started to create my own shapewear pieces based on where I felt I needed to be shaped or hugged. But over time, because literally no one was addressing this, I realised that I needed to do it. I would drive the change. With YITTY, I have introduced shapewear that fits every body – from 6X to XS – and makes me feel good about myself. It is not about changing my body. YITTY compliments and emphasises the beauty of my body. The curves and the textures and the colour. It holds me. It's comfortable. It’s like wearing a piece of confidence. Now I love shapewear.
What is the biggest misconception when it comes to shapewear and body types?
For so long, people have looked at shapewear as this garment that’s meant to hide or fix bodies so that they fit into a particular archetype or a standard of beauty. At YITTY, we have broken the mould and created shapewear that celebrates every body. We encourage you to show your body off and feel good about yourself while doing it. YITTY is not about changing your body.
Who do you look to for design inspiration and why?
Outside of Kara Lacayo, who is Yitty's incredible Head of Design, I definitely just look for things that look comfortable and appealing to me. It really comes from my brain, like I’ll send the Yitty team inspiration all the time of me in the mirror looking at something and being like “I love this, but I wish it did this”, or “I love this, but don’t you wish It did this?” or “I wish this were lower or this were wide leg”. They’re really the Willa Wonka of loungewear and shapewear – they do it all!
How can we avoid comparing ourselves to other people and how they look on social media?
I think the first step is admitting that what we see on social media truly isn’t real, and not just because it’s people posting the happiest moments of their day, but really because of the digital altering of photos and editing. I think once you understand that nothing we see is really in its raw form, everything is curated, I think it kind of takes the pressure off of trying to live up to that.
On the flip side of that, I've found a lot of confidence from social media. In the early days of Instagram, I was finding leaders, or people of this wave of body positivity, on Instagram. I was finding bodes that look like mine and I was changing my algorithm so that I would see bodies like that versus a body that didn’t look like mine and it made me feel way more seen and way more inspired.
What is your ultimate goal with the Yitty SS23 collection when it comes to empowering women?
At YITTY, we want to make people feel sexy, confident and beautiful in their own bodies. That has been our goal from the start and we will always push this!
The YITTY SS23 collection is available to shop now here.
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