Lizzo Addresses Fatphobia, Spaz Controversy & More In "Vanity Fair"

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Lizzo In Concert - New York, NY
Lizzo performs onstage at Madison Square Garden on October 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
"F*ck them!" the "About Damn Time" singer said of those who have hateful things to say about her body.

Lizzo made her presence felt with the arrival of her Special album back in July, and now, the "Truth Hurts" songstress is gracing the cover of Vanity Fair to speak about some of the controversies she faced surrounding her project, as well as the constant criticism of her body, her "political and feminist" stage looks, and of course, her man.

During her interview, the Detroit-born vocalist opened up about being bullied about her size for as long as she can remember. "People have been calling me fat my entire life, but that was the first time seeing an insult of how I looked, who I am, and my music wrapped into one, and it really hurt me," she recalled of an instance that left her feeling particularly down.

Lizzo, winner of the Outstanding Competition Program award for ‘Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,’ poses in the press room during the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

"And if one person says it, then another person says it, it multiplies like a f*cking virus," she continued, adding that she wouldn't repeat the insult used at the time to avoid a repetition of such trauma that had "really hurt" her.

"If enough people on the internet start echoing sentiments about you, it becomes part of your public persona and it’s out of your control," Lizzo vented about the woes that come along with celebrity life.

The 34-year-old said, "I know I’m not the only person who experiences extreme negativity thrown at them from the internet – there are people in high school right now who have a whole high school talking about them, and they don’t know how they’re going to get through it."

Luckily, Lizzo's ever-growing platform allows her to connect with people in those situations and inspire them. When asked if sticking it to her haters makes her feel better, she responded, "Hell yeah, it made me feel better. F*ck them!"

As the conversation turned to the Detroit native's costumes on stage – which, like many other female artists, are at times provocative – she continued to clap back at those hating on her body and self-expression.

"After [Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’] it seemed like it became the industry standard for everyone," she told Vanity Fair. "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."

And as for the controversy she faced over using the word "spaz" in her "GRRRLS" track, Lizzo revealed that she had "never heard it used as a slur against disabled people."

"The music I make is in the business of feeling good and being authentic to me. Using a slur is inauthentic to me, but I did not know it was a slur," she said. "It’s a word I’ve heard a lot, especially in rap songs, and with my Black friends and in my Black circles: It means to go off, turn up. I used [it as a] verb, not as a noun or adjective. I used it in the way that it’s used in the Black community."

The Yitty founder went on to reference Nina Simone, pointing out that as an artist, you can't not reflect on the times of the world around you.

Read Lizzo's full Vanity Fair cover story here, and tap back in with HNHH later for more pop culture news updates.


About The Author
Hayley Hynes is the former Weekend Managing Editor of HotNewHipHop, she stepped down after two years in 2024 to pursue other creative opportunities but remains on staff part-time to cover music, gossip, and pop culture news. Currently, she contributes similar content on Blavity and 21Ninety, as well as on her personal blog where she also offers tarot/astrology services. Hayley resides on the western side of Canada, previously spending a year in Vancouver to study Fashion Marketing at Blanche Macdonald Centre and Journalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary before that. She's passionate about helping others heal through storytelling, and shares much more about her life on Instagram @hayleyhynes.