We all understand that Tik Tok just wasn’t created for celebrities. They do so much better on Instagram with their polished looks and choreographed feeds. Tik Tok’s chaotic structure and fast-learning algorithm are harder to tame. It is especially sad to see some celebrity’s attempt to create a viral trend (looking at you, Ed Westwick).
However, pop singer Lizzo continues to consistently put out actually informative, funny, and non-cringe content. She has been especially outspoken about fatphobia and the privilege of small and mid-sized bodies in her latest videos.
In her latest viral Tik Tok, the singer posted several days ago, Lizzo explains the pervasiveness of fatphobia in our society in under a minute. The gist of her argument is that it is extremely unlikely that any person given a choice between living in a fat body or a mid-size and thin body would choose to be fat. Lizzo spells out that this would be true, not necessarily out of personal aesthetic choices but because of the stigmatization and marginalization experienced by the fat bodies on a daily basis.
Lizzo has always been outspoken about the importance of normalizing all body types and self-love and acceptance of her body. In another Tik Tok video, she brings attention to how the body positivity movement has been “coopted by all bodies,” with increased praise reserved for mid-sized and small bodies while fat people continue to be “memed and shamed.”
Lizzo’s videos come at a time of the new Tik Tok “bodies that look like this also look like this” trend, which may be well-intentioned but that continues putting bodies with a socially acceptable level of fatness on display. Bodies that have to unzip their jeans or zoom their camera to show “imperfections” are simply not equal to openly fat bodies in the societal privileges they enjoy. The pop star rightfully points out that, while she is happy that the body positivity movement has helped so many to feel good about their bodies, the message of the movement created originally by fat women, especially Black women and women of color, has been diluted to a more marketable version. Fat people should just be allowed to exist in their bodies without shame and intention to lose weight and become ‘normal’ argues Lizzo.
We do not need to look further for an example of cooptation of body positivity than the recent incident of a “bad” picture of Khloe Kardashian. Quick to remove an unedited and unfiltered photograph of herself from the internet, Kardashian posted a lengthy message drawing attention to the harsh criticism she has received for her appearance with her fame. Naturally, the influencer is in her right to protect her feelings and set her boundaries. However, it is interesting, to say the least, to see a member of the family that has practically molded (not without surgical help) the current ideal body type to complain about how exhausting it feels to not feel beautiful enough by just being herself.
There is hardly a conclusion here except for more evidence of the unsurprising tendency of radical social movements being seized by groups and individuals seeking profit rather than inclusion. The good news is that you can always find some authentic body positivity content by visiting Lizzo’s social media accounts.
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