What a year Lizzo was having.
Eight Grammy nominations, millions of fans. Freely expressing herself as a proud BBW and inspiring women around the world to come out from behind the closet of self-doubt and societal restraint and feel sexy.
It’s a grand message that has catapulted her to recognition as the Black Adele, loved by all and elevating to iconic status through her brash exuberance and unapologetic honesty.
“She’s not the type of artist who sits in the green room and comes up a flight of stairs,” says her creative director, Quinn Wilson. “She arrives with her girls driving her, already in a mood. It’s who she is. She’s a bad bitch.”
I get all that, but this?
There are kids at the game for one, so that’s inappropriate and there aren’t too many sensible people that would disagree. What makes her think that any parent wants their young daughter to see Lizzo expose her ass for thousands of people and cameras at a Lakers game?
As a role model and growing celebrity, Lizzo’s team has to let her know the different venues that she is entering. She’s a superstar in the music world but she’s not bigger than the game. (no weight shaming or pun intended).
Lizzo’s come up is as respectable and authentic as it gets.
According to a September 2019 Billboard story on Lizzo — whose song “Truth Hurts” went from overlooked offering in 2017 to a viral, No. 1 hit in America in 2019 — she was destined for fame and her energy drives her success.
Maybe you heard “Truth Hurts” for the first time in April while watching Someone Great, the Netflix rom-com that features the song in a pivotal scene and in its trailer. Maybe you caught it on TikTok, where the song’s now-iconic line — “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” — inspired a viral meme called the #DNATest challenge, in which users sub in their own identities and nationalities to poke fun at stereotypes.
Or maybe you’re one of the longtime Lizzo fans who has been singing “Truth Hurts” since it first came out in late 2017 and watched how the track built momentum before erupting in the mainstream — not unlike Lizzo’s career itself.
“I’ve always had to turn haters into congratulations,” Lizzo, 31, tells me later. “That’s the thing with my songs and my live shows: I’ve never lost that mentality of ‘I have to win you over,’ and I’m never going to, because I didn’t learn that way. I have muscle memory in this.
Much respect to Lizzo’s rise and her standing in the industry, but having just a modicum of class is also necessary for a superstar that is an example for young girls.
Fans coming to her defense by trying to divert the real issue with claims of body shaming need to sit down and just stay quiet. Let Lizzo take her criticism like the bad bitch she is.
Her response to the mess, however, shows uncharacteristic insecurity and defensiveness, rather than understanding and confidence.
Taking to Instagram to defend herself, she said:
“Never ever let somebody stop you from being yourself. This is who I’ve always been, now everyone’s looking at it and your criticism can just remain your criticism.
“Your criticism has no effect on me. Negative criticism has no stake in my life, no control over my life, over my emotions. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, I’m surrounded by love.”
She continued: “I just wanna spread that love and also spread these cheeks. And you know what, if you really really don’t lie my a**, you can kiss it.”
This woman can move mountains but certain rules don’t change for Lizzo. Imagine if she was a man that exposed his ass in the vicinity of children in a public venue. There might have been an arrest. The act of twerking isn’t the problem. It’s the see-through barely-lace ass view that she provided for all to see. She wasn’t at a Guns-N-Roses reunion concert.
This is not a situation that I believe will affect her fanbase or popularity, but she could have tried to at least understand why people got upset. They weren’t “HATING.” It was concern.
In fact, the younger generation will certainly think it was badass.
The world accepts Lizzo for who she is and encourages her spontaneous, free and confident behavior. But celebrities from all over the world — more iconic and some just as uninhibited as her — have attended Lakers games and followed the rules of proper decorum.
Even if it was a “genius” promotional maneuver as some fans have framed it…again…wrong venue.
There’s a time and place for everything and she missed the mark there.
Chalk it up to a learning experience.