By Miriam Sossin
It’s a dim October afternoon of your first semester in CEGEP. You don’t know what’s happening in any way about anything around you. You’re drowning in work and wondering about the new people you’re meeting and if you’ll be friends. It’s a deep dark abyss and it feels hopeless until your playlist finishes and spotify smoothly transitions into ‘recommended for you’ radio. It’s the first time you hear “Good as Hell” by Lizzo. As Lizzo’s raspy voice and inspiring lyrics fill your ears you forget for a moment that you’re in the Dawson library and almost start dancing. There’s hope in the abyss. You do your hair toss, even though it’s in a bun, check your nails, they’re gross but you don’t care, and now baby how you feelin? You know what, I’m feeling Good as Hell.
I discovered Lizzo about a year ago. I jammed to her songs while writing essays, blasted them in the shower, listened to them when I was sad, mad, excited, afraid, you get the idea. One of the coolest things about Lizzo as an artist is her masterful flute playing. She identifies herself as being a ‘band nerd’, and when I hear her play the flute I believe it. Lizzo is a flute player, rapper, and singer who only learned to sing when she was 19. Lizzo is a strong independent woman who describes her music as “Church with a Twerk”. She is the star we’ve been waiting for.
Melissa Viviane Jefferson, commonly known as Lizzo, or the reason I can get up in the morning for an 8am class, has recently made it big in the music industry. Her platform is built on loving yourself, being a boss-ass bitch, and telling people what we all need to hear, good or bad. With relatable lyrics like “Never been in love before, what the fuck are fucking feelings yo?” and inspirational mantras like “Love me or hate me, who are you changing?”, Lizzo creates music that everybody can jam to.
She’s used her platform to support undervalued people in society such as women of colour and larger women; if you’ve watched any of her live performances (which are spiritual experiences) it’s no coincidence her backup dancers exemplify the people she’s empowering most.
Lizzo has spoken for body positivity on platforms such as Jameela Jamil’s “I Weigh”, and well, almost every interview she’s in. One of my favourite Lizzo interviews is with Trevor Noah on the Daily show, soon before her “Cuz I love you” album release in April 2019. He asks her how she feels about her role in the body-positivity community, stating that her being an emblem of body positivity was “thrust upon her”.
The answer Lizzo gives represents one of the reasons I love her so much. She starts, sassy and sincerely saying that “Before the term body positive, I was just making music about my body that was positive”, and that people were shocked when she did so. Lizzo is aware, and states in this interview, that “My mere existence is a form of activism”. She goes on to note that there isn’t really a term for body negativity, because it’s the norm. That being said, Lizzo is not here to, in her words, “be a celebrity totem, you can’t make an example out of me”. She finishes the interview with grace and charm as she says “I’m literally here making music so I can live a more positive, healthier, happier life, and if that changes the world one song at a time, then so be it.” She then promptly began to twerk as the segment ended, knowing she slayed it.
Lizzo is not the answer to all of your troubles. But when the truth hits you too hard, listening to her strong lyrics mixed with rap and a touch of classical flute can help you make it through; it can even make you feel good as hell. You can Stream “Cuz I Love You” on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube now. You’re welcome.