Lizzo has quickly become a body positive icon among her fans, flaunting her curves and promoting self-love to a degree that makes her almost synonymous with the feeling of confidence to some. But the “Truth Hurts” singer wasn’t always proud of her body image. In her late teens and early 20s, Lizzo struggled with a toxic relationship that had a powerful impact on her mental state and feelings of self-worth, according to a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
“I’m not sad, because I use the pain so constructively. It’s inevitable. The pain is human experience.”
In 2007, at 19 years old, the superstar-to-be said her then-boyfriend made her feel “delusional” and pressured her to be thin to fit his ideal of the perfect partner. “Skinny guys like me,” she said. “But I remember he was like, ‘I’m a little guy. I need a little girl.'” In an effort to please him, Lizzo tried to imitate thin, white celebrities who fit the societal stereotype of the ideal woman. “[But] I can’t just wake up and be a white girl,” she added. “How can you be in love with someone when you’re not even you?” Lizzo asked herself once the harmful relationship came to an end, a message that she continues to carry throughout her work.
Lizzo has since suffered heartbreak again with her Gemini ex-boyfriend who inspired many of the songs on Cuz I Love You. “As f*cked up as it sounds, I needed that heartbreak experience,” she said. “I’m not sad, because I use the pain so constructively. It’s inevitable. The pain is human experience.” But she continues to channel that pain into a positive energy that she shares through her music, fueling her own journey to self-love and that of her fans.
“I’ve come to terms with body dysmorphia and evolved,” she said. “The body-positive movement is doing the same thing. We’re growing together, and it’s growing pains, but I’m just glad that I’m attached to something so organic and alive.” In 2015, she even released a song to convey her newfound confidence in herself and her body. “I wrote ‘My Skin’ when I was 26, so at that point I had already gotten to a place where I’m confronting myself and I’m happy with it.”
While Lizzo’s body continues to be the subject of public scrutiny and controversial discussions, she knows she’s more than her body or her size and doesn’t feel the need to be celebrated for being who she is physically. “I’m so much more than that. Because I actually present that — I have a whole career,” she said. “It’s not a trend.”