Lizzo might not be the pro-fat heroine her fans have made her out to be.
A new lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses the “body-positive” singer of fat-shaming dancers, among a slew of other abuses that plaintiffs say fostered a hostile work environment.
NBC News reported on the lawsuit provided by the law firm representing three of Lizzo’s ex-sidekicks.
“The dancers accused Lizzo — a performer known for embracing body positivity and celebrating her physique — of calling attention to one dancer’s weight gain and later berating, then firing, that dancer after she recorded a meeting because of a health condition,” NBC reported.
According to the lawsuit, Lizzo apparently brought up the dancer’s weight after appearing at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival.
“The singer and her choreographer later told the dancer, Arianna Davis, that she seemed ‘less committed’ to her role — a comment the suit describes as a ‘thinly veiled’ concern about Davis’ weight,” NBC wrote.
How explicit Lizzo was about Davis’s weight remains an open question, one that will likely be answered in a Los Angeles courtroom if the suit goes to trial. The culture created by the “body positivity” movement for which Lizzo has become a mascot, however, has radically lowered the bar for what followers might consider body shaming. Any mention of Lizzo’s weight, for example, triggers routine condemnation as fat shaming of the singer who’s built her music career on the destigmatization of excess weight. Lizzo herself often claps back against the criticism that she glorifies obesity by doubling down on gluttony.
A genuine critique of a “Big Grrrls” dancer’s weight would not just be out of character for the plus-size pop star, it would be catastrophically ironic after raking in millions by shaming such behavior.
In June, the singer temporarily locked her Twitter account out of apparent frustration over the online commentary about her adopted role as the queen of body positivity.
“How is Lizzo still THIS fat when she’s constantly moving this much on stage?! I wonder what she must be eating,” wrote author Layah Heilpern in a since-deleted tweet.
The remark highlights how it’s impossible to outrun a bad diet. Lizzo responded with outrage.
“JUST logged on and the app and this is the type of sh*t I see about me on a daily basis It’s really starting to make me hate the world,” Lizzo wrote back. “Then someone in the comments said I eat ‘lots of fast food’ I LITERALLY STOPPED EATING FAST FOOD YEARS AGO… I’m tired of explaining myself all the time and I just wanna get on this app w/out seeing my name in some bullsh*t.”
The truth hurts, but these wounds heal when faithfully acknowledged.
Nearly 42 percent of the American adult population is categorically obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The government data comes from surveys between 2017 and 2020. A study published last year in the National Library of Medicine found nearly half of those examined in a nationwide survey gained weight during the coronavirus lockdowns.
But Americans don’t need survey data to understand the nation’s obesity epidemic is getting worse. A quick trip to an airport or local Walmart will do the trick, where far too many adults are nonambulatory long before they’re eligible to collect social security.
American elites from Wall Street to Hollywood have been eager to capitalize on the modern phenomenon of millions suffering from extreme weight. Lizzo was among the first to rise to stardom by branding her career on affirming obesity as a condition not to treat but one to embrace. Such radical acceptance, however, comes at a cost of years in life expectancy and decades of disease.