Nicki Minaj slammed the mindset of pro-obesity activists like Lizzo who glorify unhealthy lifestyles under the banner of “body positivity,” in a new interview with Vogue.
In the magazine’s cover story for the December issue, Minaj, 40, spoke about how she’s now at “peace” with her body after spending years being what the paper described as “an exponent of body positivity since the beginning of her career.”
“I just looked at a video [from] when I was 25, and I would f-cking pay to look like that right now,” the singer said. “But today I can say that I’m at peace with who I am and how I look.”
Minaj qualified her comments about acceptance at every size with a tacit criticism of contemporary models who promote a movement that now glorifies gluttony.
“I have to say this as a Black woman, though,” she said. “I’ve made certain choices for my son, to not give him sweets and candy and juices, because of illnesses like diabetes that run in our community.”
“I’m not in favor of body positivity if it means unhealthy bodies,” Minaj added. “That’s bull. It’s not believable, so let’s stop pretending.”
Minaj also spoke candidly about a recent breast reduction.
“I love it,” she said. “I used to want a bigger butt, and now I look back and realize how silly that was. So—love your curves, and love your non-curves. There’s nothing wrong with any of it.”
The message stands in stark contrast to the one promoted by Lizzo, another black female icon in the music industry who’s made “body positivity” a hallmark of her career. Throughout her rise to stardom, Lizzo’s celebrity has been defined by efforts to redefine cultural norms by glorifying obesity. Her Instagram has long featured the super-sized singer sipping on beer and capitalizing on gluttony with twerking videos that are borderline pornographic.
In April, Lizzo partnered with Dove soap for the brand’s self-esteem project. Dove also features a corporate campaign to “end body size discrimination” and is owned by Unilever, one of the nation’s largest food processors that’s behind brands like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Lizzo has routinely chastised critics of her activism. In October last year, the singer responded to rapper Kanye West’s remark that the outright promotion of obesity is “demonic.” Whether someone thinks it’s attractive, West said, “to each his own.” But, he added, “it’s actually clinically unhealthy, and for people to promote that, it’s demonic.”
Lizzo responded to the comments at a show in Canada.
“I feel like everybody in America got my motherf-cking name in they motherf-cking mouth for no motherf-cking reason, I’m minding my fat black beautiful business,” she said at the concert.
Lizzo’s activism, meanwhile, is doing no favors for people who struggle with unhealthy weight. Nor is it helping black Americans, who she claimed at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) are “oppressed.” According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), black adults suffer the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity. Nearly 50 percent, or half, of U.S. black adults are categorically obese. Black Americans also suffer the highest prevalence of diabetes.
By making healthy choices for her family, Minaj is doing far more to fight for black lives than Lizzo’s misguided “body positivity” schtick does.