Rap artist Lizzo rejected the idea that when she wears skimpy outfits on stage it contributes to the sexualization of women, saying that she does it to be “political and feminist.”
The 34-year-old Grammy winner, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson, spoke to Vanity Fair about wearing those revealing outfits and said “black women are hypersexualized all the time,” in a piece published by the outlet Tuesday.
“When it’s sexual, it’s mine,” the rapper said. “When it’s sexualized, someone is doing it to me or taking it from me. Black women are hypersexualized all the time, and masculinized simultaneously.”
“Because of the structure of racism, if you’re thinner and lighter, or your features are narrow, you’re closer to being a woman,” she added.
Presenting our November cover star, @Lizzo.
Halfway to achieving EGOT status, the Emmy and Grammy winner sat down with Lisa Robinson for a frank conversation about internet criticism, the nuances of positivity, and the “love of [her] life.”
🔗: https://t.co/jt7AnpZLhN pic.twitter.com/WNpBOKtQ1J
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) October 11, 2022
“After [Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’] it seemed like it became the industry standard for everyone,” the rap artist continued. “I wanted to be like a dancer and also, it was kind of political and feminist in my eyes to have me, a full-figured dancer, wearing leotards, showing and celebrating curves and being Olympian in strength, endurance, and flexibility.”
The singer explained that over the last hundred years, “movements have to evolve generationally. The culture changes. You can’t have a movement in 1920 be the same thing as it is in the 2020s. We have to match the rebellion.”
Later, the “Good as Hell” hitmaker talked about twerking and said it’s a “black woman thing” that’s “printed in our DNA,” referencing comments she made in her TED Talk about the “Black History of Twerking.”
“I think it deserved being intellectualized, it deserved to have a classical etymology, it needed an origin story,” Lizzo shared. “It’s a Black woman thing, it was almost printed in our DNA. It disappeared and resurfaced in the 1920s, then disappeared and resurfaced in the 1980s. It’s an almost inexplicable phenomenon.”
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