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“My movement is for everybody. My movement celebrates diversity. It’s all about inclusion. It’s all about getting our flowers and giving each person their own space to be an individual and speak up for that individuality.” – Lizzo

You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Lizzo. She shot to fame in 2019 with the release of her third studio album, Cuz I Love You. While “Juice” from this album instantly became a hit, her previous songs “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” quickly followed suit and counted among her most popular songs.

That same year, Time Magazine named the singer, dancer, and classically trained flutist “Entertainer of the Year.” And in 2020, Lizzo received eight nominations at the 62nd Grammy Awards and officially added three-time Grammy winner to her list of titles.

Hard work paid off for Lizzo.

It may seem like Lizzo skyrocketed to fame. But before her 2019 breakthrough, she spent years working her way to the top. She began rapping and performing in shows while studying flute on a music performance scholarship at the University of Houston. In her junior year, she left university to focus on her music career.

It took her ten years. She went on tours as part of a rock band and performed with girl groups. She released her debut album Lizzobangers in 2013, though it didn’t gain traction. Eventually, she got noticed by rock icon Prince. The late legend encouraged Lizzo, featured her on his Plectrumelectrum album in 2014, and helped her get exposure by asking her to perform at his parties. The rest is history.

Lizzo has become a role model for hard work and not giving up on your dreams. Her long journey showed that there’s no recipe for instant success. In 2019, she shared, “I’ve done so many tours, but nobody knows who I am until this year. But would I have been able to maintain this type of mainstream success ten years ago? Hell to the nah! I needed these ten years. I feel like a master.”

A vocal champion and critic of body positivity

Beyond her music, Lizzo is a well-known champion for body positivity. As a plus-sized woman, she continues to endure criticism for how she looks. But it doesn’t stop her from pushing the message that the body is to be celebrated regardless of its size.

For example, after facing criticism for wearing a thong dress to a Lakers game in December 2019, she took to Instagram to spread this message of self-acceptance: “Who I am, and the essence of me, and the things that I choose to do as a grown-ass woman, and the things I choose to do as a grown-ass woman, can inspire you to do the same. They don’t have to be like me – you need to be like you, and never ever let somebody stop or shame you from being yourself.”

At the same time, Lizzo doesn’t hesitate to call out the body positivity movement when she feels the need. In 2020, she made headlines for saying that body positivity has become too mainstream and co-opted by smaller-sized influencers and businesses. She claimed that this development is leaving behind the fat, Black, and queer people who began the movement in the first place but are still facing ridicule. Lizzo called for people to return to the roots of body positivity, support the people who started it, and stop discriminating against them.

Lizzo is an excellent example of what hard work, dedication, and focus can achieve. She could have given up on music in the decade it took her to get to the top. But she took her time and didn’t stop. And thanks to her message of body positivity, more young women worldwide are encouraged to become more confident in their own bodies and showcase what makes them unique.

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