The Lizzo Effect

If you’ve listened to any Top 100 radio station or Spotify Playlist sometime within the last 6 months, there is a good chance you’ve heard the unmistakable voice of pop phenomenon Lizzo. Three of her singles, “Truth Hurts”, “Good As Hell”, and “Juice” have appeared on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 charts, with “Truth Hurts” landing at #1 in 2019. What sets her music apart from other similar music in the industry is not necessarily the type of songs she produces, but has more to do with the underlying message of each chart topping hit. The resounding factor in those three singles and the majority of her discography is a message of self love and unrestricted confidence that resonates with her audience in a way no other artist is doing right now. 

Lizzo’s message on the importance of self love doesn’t stop just in her music. In every appearance, performance, or award show, Lizzo is shamelessly rocking outfits that she clearly feels and looks great in. One of my all time favorite quotes by her (or by anyone, if we’re being honest) is from an article the artist wrote for Think Magazine:

"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. 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.”

This message in particular resonates with me for a number of reasons. It can get really easy to push emotional and mental health to the backburner when life gets busy, and it can get even easier to let an uneven relationship with self image dictate actions and decision-making, often without realizing it. Think about the following scenarios, and see if you’ve ever experienced something similar.

  1. Staying home from a function you were excited about either because you don’t look good in anything you might wear, or your makeup or hair isn’t cooperating so it’ll just be easier to sit this one out. (This situation goes double if the function is a pool party or something involving swimsuits).

  2. Thinking of yourself as the “before” part of a glo-up. Seeing a cute outfit you would absolutely love to wear, but telling yourself that some day when you’re skinner/curvier/more-muscular/etc, you’ll be able to wear it. Sometimes that goes even beyond clothes, but even hairstyles or makeup looks that one day after you accomplish X you’ll wear. 

  3. Not going for certain opportunities/promotions because you don’t deserve it, or it’ll obviously go to someone else, so why even waste the energy to try? (This goes double for relationships or friendships where you decide you’re not good enough for the other person, regardless of what they may say).

If you’re in a scenario where you’re feeling like one of the options above, think about Lizzo’s words. “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?” This doesn’t mean you have to be content in the exact situation you’re in or never be open to improvement, it’s simply a matter of not waiting for some hypothetical betterment of yourself. It’s acknowledging that while there may be room for improvement, who you are right this minute isn’t changing, and that who you are right now is just as worthy and deserving of all the good things that your future “improved” self will be deserving of. And, while you’re at it, go ahead and listen to literally any song Lizzo has ever made, and you’ll already be on track to feeling better (special recommendations include “Like a Girl," “Truth Hurts," “Soulmate," “Water Me," “Tempo," and the list goes on).