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Image / Living / Culture

‘It’s fatphobic, and it’s racist, and it’s hurtful’: Lizzo addresses hateful backlash following new single release


by Sarah Finnan
16th Aug 2021

Lizzo / Instagram

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Lizzo has responded to racist and hurtful backlash from the public following the release of her new single ‘Rumours’ with Cardi B last week.

Fans were treated to a new collab from Lizzo and Cardi B during the week but while most people rejoiced at the news that two of the world’s greatest female pop stars had teamed up, others were less impressed… and it was the latter group that overshadowed the song’s release with their negativity. 

In fact, their comments got personal very quickly and soon went beyond just not liking the song with lots of the nastiness aimed directly at Lizzo. Forced to bat off the haters once again, the singer took to Instagram live over the weekend to address the situation. 

Calling out all those who have mean things to say about her, the singer was unable to mask her emotions and broke down in tears as she said that the backlash has really gotten to her this time. 

“Sometimes I feel like the world don’t [sic]  love me back,” she admitted. “It’s like it doesn’t matter how much positive energy you put into the world, you’re still gonna have people who have something mean to say about you.”

“For the most part, it doesn’t hurt my feelings. I don’t care,” she continued. “I just think when I’m working this hard, my tolerance gets lower. My patience is lower, I’m more sensitive and it gets to me.” 

Later commenting that much of the bile people are directing at her is both fatphobic and racist, Lizzo confessed that their words are hurtful and it’s hard to have a thick skin in an industry that continually tries to beat you down. “If you don’t like my music, cool. If you don’t like Rumours the song, cool. But a lot of people don’t like me because of the way I look.” 

“What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to Black women over and over and over again, especially us big Black girls,” the singer added. “When we don’t fit into the box that you want to put us in, you just unleash hatred onto us. It’s not cool. I’m doing this sh*t for the big Black women in the future who just want to live their lives without being scrutinised or put into boxes.”

Earlier in the live, Lizzo denied claims that she was “making music for white people” telling followers, “I’m not making music for anybody. I’m a Black woman making music. I make Black music, period. I’m not serving anyone but myself. Everyone is invited to a Lizzo show, to a Lizzo song.” It comes after critics began referring to her by an offensive term formerly used in the US to refer to a black nursemaid or nanny in charge of white children. 

Also responding to the public’s comments, Cardi B was quick to defend both the song and Lizzo, tweeting to say, “Rumours is doing great. Stop trying to say the song is flopping to dismiss a woman [sic] emotions on bullying or acting like they need sympathy. The song is top 10 on all platforms. Body shaming and callin [sic] her mammy is mean & racist as f*ck.”

Several other celebrities have also stepped up in support of Lizzo following the negativity, including activist Jameela Jamil who perfectly expressed just how messed up the situation is with her tweet. “Lizzo makes a song about people spending energy trying to bring women down. Twitter erupts in abuse about her talent and mostly her appearance, and then she cries on IG live while addressing how damaging this culture is, and she gets made fun of for crying,” she wrote online before adding, “It’s not FUNNY that you’re hurting some innocent cheerful musician’s mental health.” 

Fellow singer Chlöe Bailey took to social media to say that she is “so proud” of Lizzo, also thanking the performer for inspiring her own musical journey, while Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer encouraged her to “stay strong baby”. 

“@lizzo you’re loved everyday,” the actress wrote online. “Never seek approval from the world because there will always be those waiting to tear you down. Self love is foundational and only you can build it.”

You can listen to Rumours, which is Lizzo’s first big release in two years, on all streaming platforms now, and I’ve included the music video below too for your viewing pleasure.

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