Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Importance Of Lizzo And Body Positive Artists | Music Think Tank

Lizzo just took a DNA test. Turns out, she’s 100% Time Magazine’s Entertainer of the Year. It’s been hard to go anywhere in the last year and not hear Lizzo’s music, or hear news stories about her breaking the mold of the music industry with her body-positive attitude. Although her campaign to feel “good as hell” has sometimes come with criticism, the “Lizzo effect” is just the latest chapter in a new breed of artists turning the music industry on its head. 


Though most people would label Lizzo as overweight, she has made it very clear she’s living her best life now, without needing to drop a few pounds. In an entertainment industry that has always been known for thin, “perfect” women and muscular men, it’s a refreshing change of pace that people can relate to. That undoubtedly contributes to Lizzo’s overall popularity. 


So, why is Lizzo’s impact on the industry so important? What does it mean for the future of music, or the entertainment industry in general? 

What Is Body Positivity and Why Is It Important? 

Do you always like what you see when you look in the mirror? Chances are, the answer is no. The truth is, almost everyone experiences body image issues at some point. It can be especially hard if you were once in extremely good shape, like an athlete, and your body has changed over time after retirement or after you had to transition to a different lifestyle. Even people who have lost a lot of weight often have body image issues due to excess skin or not feeling like “themselves.” 


While it’s normal to not always be thrilled with your body, it can go to extremes for some people. That extreme can even lead to cases of body dysmorphia, where you see something that isn’t there when you look in the mirror. You might think you’re overweight when you’re not, or your nose is crooked when it isn’t, etc. Negative body image issues often arise when you don’t think your body measures up to societal standards. 


Body positivity is the complete opposite. It’s a movement that focuses on loving your body no matter what, even if it doesn’t fit into society’s definitions of “perfect.” People who promote the body positivity movement, including Lizzo, focus on showing that all bodies should be loved, no matter how much you weigh. 


Lizzo advocates doing whatever makes you feel beautiful. For her, that includes things like playing the flute and dressing provocatively. Doing whatever makes you feel good about yourself is obviously very personal — for some people, it might be dressing a certain way, exercising every day, trying a new makeup routine, or even getting natural-looking plastic surgery to change or adjust certain physical features. As long as you’re doing something for yourself and not for someone else or for society as a whole, you can embrace the body positivity movement. 

Why Has Lizzo Faced Criticism? 

Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with Lizzo taking charge of this movement. Again, she’s been known for wearing provocative clothing to show off her body, and recently, she caught some flak for wearing a thong and backless pants to a Los Angeles Lakers’ game. Some people suggest she’s taking things too far or trying too hard. 


Others criticize the body positive movement because they think it encourages people to live unhealthy lifestyles or promotes obesity. Being overweight can often come with a variety of different health issues, including Type II Diabetes, which either needs to be treated with diet and exercise or medication like Invokana


Another criticism about the body positivity movement and Lizzo’s connection to it is that it’s putting too much focus on body image. One aspect of the movement is that it’s supposed to encourage people to focus on other things rather than obsessing over body image, but some people have argued that Lizzo is taking things to extremes by putting too much focus on her body and how it looks. 

A New Era for Bodies in Music

Lizzo isn’t the first artist to face criticism for her promotion of body positivity. Grammy-winning artist Meghan Trainor faced similar issues in 2014 with the release of her song “All About That Bass,” a song that encourages women to love their bigger bodies, and even goes so far as to criticize “stick figure Barbie dolls,” which many took as a dig on thinner women. Whether you loved it or hated it, it was undeniable at the time that Trainor was paving the way for other artists (especially women) to come forward and share their talents no matter what they look like. 


Another hot name in the industry recently is Billie Eilish. At just 18 years old, Eilish burst onto the scene a few years ago and has continued to increase in popularity. While her unique and inventive music speaks for itself, her style is something that’s often a topic of conversation, too. She often performs in baggy t-shirts and sweatpants, specifically so attention isn’t drawn to her body and crowds can focus on her music. 


Whether you’re for or against the body positivity movement, it’s hard to deny the impact that Lizzo and other artists on the scene have had on how we see ourselves, and how future generations might change the course of societal norms when it comes to body image. 



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