“Would you wake up and trade places with someone that’s on the heavier side?”
That’s the question a Tik Tok user posed that singer/rapper Lizzo eloquently addressed on her own page. The star, who has spoken out recently about feeling that the body positivity movement has been co-opted from “fat” people and no longer serves them, made it clear that their is bigger work to be done to address what she says is the oppression of that group. She certainly preached a word.
“I’m glad she asked because this is giving me very much when that sociologist, Dr. Jane [Elliott], asked that room full of white people, ‘raise your hand if you want to be treated like how Black people are treated in this country.’ Or ‘raise your hand if you would wake up and be Black tomorrow,’ and nobody raised their hand. And that’s because they know there’s some systemic bullsh-t that happens to Black people that does not happen to them and would never happen to white people.”
She compared that reality, the privilege of being white and not having to go through the ill treatment received by Black people, with the privilege she says there is in this society to be a smaller person not dealing with the maltreatment aimed at bigger people.
“Yes, if I asked you right now, have you been shamed, yes you’ve been through a lot, yes it sucks being a person in this society because we have to go through so much to love ourselves, but would you switch places with a fat person’s body tomorrow? You would not because you know there’s a whole system that oppresses fat people that you do not experience and that you will never experience,” she said.
She added, “So let’s remember, body positivity, yes. We want to end harassment and shame, but we are also working to dismantle a system that oppresses fat people.”
And that point was also made in her most recent Tik Tok comments about the body positivity movement, where Lizzo says it now benefits everyone but the “fat people” it was started by.
“Now that body positivity has been co-opted by all bodies, and people are finally celebrating medium and small girls and people who occasionally get rolls, fat people are still getting the short end of this movement,” she said. “We’re still getting sh-t on, we’re still getting talked about, memed, shamed, and no one cares anymore because it’s like ‘body positivity is for everybody.'”
“Yes, please be positive about your body,” she said. “Please use our movement to empower yourselves. That’s the point. But the people who created this movement — big women, big brown and Black women, queer women — are not benefiting from the mainstream success of it.”