I’m a fan of documentaries and reality TV series whenever transformations are involved – when you can see someone grow from who they were to who they are supposed to become. I recently found a reality show on Amazon Prime called “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.” While I wouldn’t necessarily gravitate toward Lizzo as an artist, because her music genre is a bit out of my element, the show intrigued me, and I took a chance.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I immediately got hooked and binge-watched the series. The show is a contest that encourages and trains a group of big-bodied beauties who are already dancers to help expand their skills and grow for a chance to perform live on stage with Lizzo on tour.
The women come from all backgrounds and experiences, but they share one thing in common – they’re fierce, plus-sized women who are hungry for a shot at showbiz. By the end of the show, their transformations are stunning. They go from being beautiful women with a thirst for dance to individual stars who shine brightly, personifying Lizzo’s message to be 100% That Bitch.
A Newfound Respect for Lizzo
As an artist, Lizzo is a force to be reckoned with. She has stage presence. She’s got pipes. She’s got moves. Plus, she represents her fellow marching band roots with that flute! (I’ve also been looking to incorporate my flute into my music, so that’s awesome.) But as a human being, Lizzo surprised me the most, and I respect her a lot more now as an artist and as a woman.
Lizzo’s body positivity is inspiring and magnetic. I feel akin to her and appreciate her message to the other women auditioning to be a part of her dance troupe. As a woman, as a performer, and especially as a curvy chick, it’s about sisterhood and self-love. When we show love to our own bodies and break through the stigma that having a big booty is too much, we quickly realize that on the contrary, our God-given curves are assets that mean we have so much MORE love to give.
And the sisterhood of being a big girl means having respect for all women and appreciating each of our own individual struggles and body journeys. If you have had a negative self-image, forgive yourself first. Give yourself time to heal. And realize that it’s a journey, not a race. Then love yourself!
My Own Struggles with Body Image
I’ve struggled with body image issues and negative self-talk my whole life. It stemmed from childhood bullying by girls making fun of me, saying I have “sausage fingers,” and by guys catcalling me by saying I have a “ghetto booty.” It took a long time for me to realize that being full-figured is not a setback. It’s a blessing.
Before I accepted myself as I am, though, I had that negativity swarming around in my head so much that I one day stopped eating and began starving myself and exercising so much that I became anorexic at age 13. My parents sent me to a therapist for help, and all she said was, “You need to eat.” So I did. And by the end of college, I was up to a size 16 and had more than doubled what they call the “Freshman 15.” I tried yo-yo diets and ended up cutting myself because I hated the way I looked, but most of all, I hated the way I felt inside.
Flash forward to two decades later. I decided to stop fighting myself and love who I am. I didn’t want THEM to win. So through years of counseling and love and support from friends and family, I finally stopped body shaming and turned inward to self-growth instead. I embraced the concept of the “sexy size 16.”
I still have good days and bad days. And I fluctuate between sizes (typically 14-16). I’m human, so I’m still sometimes sensitive about my big booty and thick thighs, my arms, and that extra tummy cushion that doesn’t always allow me to fit into some of the clothes I want to. But I’ve learned to love the skin I’m in and cheat the fashion industry. And I believe I’m perfectly imperfect.
The Body Journey
When I put nutritious food in my body, move my body and get my blood flowing as much as possible by taking walks or dancing, nourish my mind by reading and supporting other women through wellness workshops and social outings, write and sing my truth, and embrace my sensuality, I feel better overall.
I’m proud of the body journey I’ve been on. And I’m grateful for my body’s resilience and protective nature. I’m alive and healthy thanks to my body.
So please, all you big girls out there, listen to me and listen to Lizzo. No matter what size you are, we all must overcome our own self-image challenges and battle our own demons. But I promise you, once you overcome your own inner critic and replace that voice with a message of body positivity and acceptance, we all shine.
I love my curves and wouldn’t change a thing. They’re what make me a woman. And women are strong. We run this place. Xoxo
You are beautiful too. I love you.