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Lizzo at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Lizzo at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Photo by Francis Specker / CBS
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Coastal Carolina chapter.

The self-love queen Lizzo has sent waves through the media. Her empowering messages of self-love and self-worth have helped thousands of women and men. Even though she is successful with millions of fans today, she definitely started from the bottom and worked her way up. 

Lizzo, or Melissa Jefferson, was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Houston,Texas when she was just 9 years old. She grew up on gospel music, flute lessons, and was a part of her school’s marching band. She began rapping at the age of 14 and became part of different girl groups like ‘Cornrow Clique’, ‘I.N.I.T.I.A.L.S.’, and ‘Lizzo & The Larva Ink’. After high school, she went to study classical flute performance at the University of Houston. Her father passed away when she was 20, and she was heartbroken. In search of a fresh start, Lizzo moved to Minneapolis in 2011 in hopes of becoming a part of the music scene there. 

Lizzo’s group, ‘Lizzo & The Larva Ink’, was well-liked in Minneapolis. She then formed the rap/R&B group, ‘The Chalice’, which released an album in 2012. The album was met with success and setbacks alike. After the release of the album, Lizzo & The Larva Ink came to halt and Lizzo was met with severe writer’s block. However, after listening to music like ‘LAVA Bangers’ for inspiration, Lizzo went back to her gospel roots and began writing music again. In 2013, her debut album, ‘Lizzobangers’ was a success, and her EP ‘Coconut Oil’ was released in 2016 with hit songs like ‘Good as Hell’ and ‘Worship’. 

Lizzo has since released two more albums, ‘Cuz I Love You’ in 2019, and ‘Special’ in 2022. She now has over 27 million monthly listeners on Spotify and accumulated well over 1 billion streams. As well as having music with a good beat, Lizzo encourages her fans to love themselves for who they are. Her song, ‘Special’ tells her fans, “You’re special, I’m so glad that you’re still with us, Broken, but damn, you’re still perfect.”

Just like many other artists who have helped millions of fans, Lizzo has caused controversy and made some people upset. Lizzo has been consistently trolled by haters for not fitting a certain stereotype, whether people are talking about her body, race, or sexuality. Addressing the hate, Lizzo took to Instagram live and said, “What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to Black women … especially us big Black girls.” Lizzo further addressed her hate on the song ‘Rumors’ featuring award-winning rapper, Cardi B. One prominent lyric on her song includes “Say I’m turning big girls into hoes…”. It is interesting how Lizzo is met with more criticism when she wears revealing outfits than other artists with different body types. It’s almost like people can’t stand to see someone with a different body type loving and appreciating their body. In response, ‘Rumors’ is a catchy anthem for self-love and self-acceptance among the negative criticism.

“I don’t think that loving yourself is a choice. I think that it’s a decision that has to be made for survival; it was in my case,” Lizzo said. “Loving myself was the result of answering two things: Do you want to live? ‘Cause this is who you’re gonna be for the rest of your life. Or are you gonna just have a life of emptiness, self-hatred, and self-loathing? And I chose to live, so I had to accept myself.”  People could continue to bash Lizzo all they want. But, at the end of the day, Lizzo has helped thousands of people gain the confidence they need to survive. In a world full of hate and criticism, Lizzo proves it is possible to love who you are and thrive in that.

On October 22nd, I went to Lizzo’s concert for my 20th birthday. She told the crowd during the show that “tonight is going to be a self-love fest”. She also asked us, “When was the last time you said something kind to yourself’’, and then told us to repeat after her positive affirmations about ourselves. I left the concert not only with memories of a fun time with friends, but with a positive outlook every time I looked in the mirror. Whenever you are feeling down or being hard on yourself, listen to Lizzo’s music; I promise it will make you feel like the queen you truly are.

Caroline Surface

Coastal Carolina '25

Caroline is a junior Interactive Journalism Communication major at Coastal Carolina University. She is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and has two cats and one dog. She was on the yearbook team all throughout high school, which is where she found her passion of telling stories through writing.