By Emily Guajardo |
Who would have thought three years ago that an unapologetic thick, black woman would be one of the most talked about musical sensations of the 21st century.
Known for her abrupt personality and bigger-than-life lyrics, Melissa Viviane Jefferson – or Lizzo – is considered one of Texas’ biggest names in music today.
While her lyrics and style choices vary from a pro-feminism standpoint like her songs “Truth Hurts”, to her body positivity anthems like “Good as Hell” and “Juice” and her pride in being a woman of color, the Houston-raised phenomenon is brewing up a new kind of artist in our current fourth wave of feminism; one who is positive about her body, commands to be loved and chooses herself before the stereotypes placed upon her.
At the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, Lizzo decided to bridge the gap between what the audience is used to seeing on TV and what it sees in real life. Coming out in a tan trench coat, Lizzo blurts out “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m one hundred percent that –” you get the point. And sliding behind her were six full women in high waisted tan tights with massive cut outs showing off their ass-ets with multiple tweaks, booty bumps and rumbling their thunder thighs with absolutely no shame.
To be honest, I was shocked. Not appalled, but shocked nonetheless.
The idea of having normal women on stage dancing effortlessly on national television was not the thing that had me glued to the screen. It was the fact that they weren’t skinny, light skinned or embarrassed by their belly rolls and bouncing boobs.
And that’s when it hit me. I wasn’t upset at the women on stage; I was upset that I was shocked in the first place.
As a self-proclaimed feminsit who not only believes in the equality of men and women, but also yearns for body positivity amongst women, I find myself contradicting my beliefs when I see any Lizzo appearance. Although one can fully embrace the notion of being proud of your worth, it’s different to hear the body positivity lyrics and it’s another thing to act upon them.
The fourth wave of feminism is doing more than just calling for the continuous equality between the sexes. The wave has morphed from female equality to female empowerment using the technological tools at our disposal and Lizzo is fully embracing and encouraging the move.
By using women, regardless of their outward appearance, not only breaks the glass ceiling for women but also pulls the lid off the shock factor and screams “Yes, real women can dance. And yes, we don’t care about our ‘not-so-perfect’ bodies, so step off.”
Since that performance, which knocked the socks off the arena with all types of women dancing, jumping and screaming “If he don’t love you anymore, just walk your fine [butt] out the door,” Lizzo has appeared in multiple publications and platforms proclaiming the power found within herself as a woman.
From videos depicting her fake wedding to throwing it back to an 80’s style-like video where curvy women were adored by voluptuous bodies, Lizzo is trying (and succeeding) in providing the audience with something to remember other than sexually charged themes.
Yes, she has made it clear that she loves her butt. Yes, she isn’t afraid to say that she enjoys the company of a good looking man. Yes, she is aware that she is black.
Even so, Lizzo just doesn’t stop.
Out ranking artists left and right, Lizzo – whether she knows it or not – is paving a new portion of feminism road. Lizzo is making normal women look desired once again.
Perhaps it’s just me, but thank goodness for strong women like her. Not brave. Not courageous. Just strong and ready to take the fight.