Lizzo “Quits”: Is The Era Of Fat Positivity Finally Over?

​Musician Lizzo emerged as a leading voice in the body positivity and fat acceptance movements, using her platform to preach about self-love and supposedly challenge societal norms around beauty and body size. Through her music, public appearances, and social media, she has openly (and quite often crassly) celebrated her own body and encouraged others to embrace their uniqueness, regardless of size or shape. But is her “fat positive” reign coming to an end?

By Gina Florio3 min read
Getty Images/Kevin Winter

In an unexpected and somewhat enigmatic statement made via Instagram on March 29, the renowned "About Damn Time" artist Lizzo hinted at a possible departure from her music career. The post, ending with the succinct declaration "I quit," stirred a flurry of concern and speculation among fans and followers. Lizzo, at 35, voiced her exhaustion from the relentless negativity and scrutiny she faces, both online and in her personal life, stating, "I’m getting tired of putting up with being dragged by everyone in my life and on the internet."

The Grammy award-winning singer lamented that her initial aspiration in the music industry – to create joyful, impactful music and contribute positively to the world – seems overshadowed by a barrage of criticism and personal attacks. She shared her sense of alienation and despair, feeling as though her presence and efforts were unwelcome, summarizing her ordeal with, "I’m starting to feel like the world doesn’t want me in it."

Addressing the direct cause of her distress, Lizzo described how false narratives and derogatory comments aimed at her appearance and character have taken a toll. She expressed a profound sense of betrayal by the very public she aimed to inspire and uplift, concluding with a peace sign emoji to symbolize her resignation from the turmoil.

However, following this alarming announcement, the conversation around Lizzo took a more supportive turn. Celebrities and fans alike rallied to her side, offering words of encouragement and solidarity. Notable figures such as Holly Robinson Peete, Kid Fury, and Aliah Sheffield reached out with advice and affirmations of Lizzo's invaluable contribution to the music scene and beyond. Peete advised finding mental and emotional solace away from public scrutiny, Fury emphasized Lizzo's importance and right to peace, and Sheffield reminded Lizzo of her own empowering lyrics, suggesting the need for self-support in turbulent times.

In the wake of her dramatic declaration, Lizzo has since shifted her social media focus towards her brand, YITTY, momentarily stepping back from direct discussions about her music career. Despite this, she had previously expressed excitement over new projects, hinting at a future return to the limelight with music she describes as some of her best work yet. She asked for patience from her fans as she navigates through a period of personal reflection and healing, indicating a hiatus rather than a definitive end to her musical endeavors.

Complicating matters, Lizzo's announcement came amidst legal battles, as she faces a sexual harassment lawsuit set for trial. Despite her request for dismissal, the case proceeds, marking a tumultuous phase in her career and personal life. The exact start date of the trial remains unspecified, adding another layer of stress and public scrutiny for Lizzo to contend with.

Not long after, she clarified she’s not actually quitting music. Lizzo took to Instagram to clarify her "I quit" declaration, confirming that she is not stepping away from music or her online presence. She explained her statement was a rejection of negativity rather than her career. "When I say 'I quit,' I mean I quit giving any negative energy attention," she clarified. Lizzo emphasized that abandoning the joy music brings her, and the connection it fosters with her audience, was never her intention. She acknowledged the challenge of overcoming pervasive negativity but positioned herself as a beacon of resilience, hoping to inspire others to resist allowing negative comments and attitudes to prevail. Lizzo apparently intends to continue her musical journey and embrace her authentic self, aiming to empower people to stand firm against negativity. 

Even though Lizzo’s declaration was heard loud and clear, many people can’t help but wonder if the “fat positive” era is coming to an end. 

Is Lizzo’s “Fat Positive” Era Coming to an End?

In her original post, Lizzo wrote that she was sick of being the “butt of a joke every single time” because of the way she looks, and due to that, she feels like the world doesn’t want her around. Although it could be interpreted as a dramatic statement, many of her critics took it to mean something bigger. Perhaps we are actually getting to the point in our culture where we’re sick and tired of looking at unattractive, obese images of celebrities, and we’re yearning for something pretty, refreshing, and youthful once again. Lizzo has been shoving her naked body in everyone’s faces (including children and families at basketball games) for years now; not only is it wildly inappropriate and gross, but there’s nothing about these images that is inspiring or beautiful. She degrades both herself and women in general. 

Maybe we’ve arrived at the point where far too many people are sick of seeing these images, and their frank feedback is coming in large amounts, directed exactly at Lizzo – and she isn’t able to handle it anymore. 

“You are a disgusting beast. Your fake career was a brief and violent assault on the eyes of Americans who understand Beauty. You rode the wave of wokeness but Sydney Sweeney’s cute smile, white skin and perfect tits have awoken America. Your time has come. Good riddance fatso,” popular X account @_medgold wrote. 

It may be worded harshly, but many people agree. Both men and women have been head over heels for Sydney Sweeney for months now for good reason: She’s beautiful, relatable, down-to-earth, and doesn’t push any kind of annoying ideology in your face 24/7. Lizzo is acting like a victim because she is receiving negative feedback from audiences, but what does she expect after being crass, half-naked, and arrogantly loud about her weight for the whole world to hear? 

X user @InezFeltzscher points out that Lizzo is actually talented and could have had a successful career “in a long line of unattractive but amazing singers,” but she instead decided to “strip down and showcase her body in a facsimile of hotness.” 

“Behaving like Ariana Grande etc is what made her so mockable. No one but real jerks mocked Susan Boyle for being ugly, they just admired her voice, because that’s what she showcased,” she continued. 

Lizzo brought this on herself. She exposed her body to the world repeatedly and then got upset when people commented on her body. This is the foundation of any “fat positive” activist; they force you to look at images of scantily clad obese individuals and then feign shock and horror when you declare that you’re not interested in seeing it.

Closing Thoughts

Fat positivity is losing its power because more people are speaking up about their disgust, and they’re no longer scared to point out that obesity is a serious metabolic disorder that plagues nearly half of the American population. Who knows what will replace the fat positivity trend, but it’s heartening to know that more and more women are expressing interest in a more natural lifestyle that aids hormonal balance and optimal metabolic function, which is much different (and healthier) than the heroin-chic trend of the ‘90s and the body positive trends of recent years. 

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