Why Lizzo Says Her Bold Concert Outfits Send a “Feminist” Message

Explaining the thought process behind her skimpy stage costumes, Lizzo said she’s serving up a message of female empowerment.

By Ashley Joy Parker Oct 12, 2022 10:53 PMTags
Watch: Lizzo Kisses Tyson Beckford in 2 Be Loved Music Video

Turns out she's 100 percent that feminist.

Known for rockin' some seriously sexy costumes at her concerts, Lizzo said she proud to show some skin on stage as a powerful message of female empowerment.

"When it's sexual, it's mine," she explained in an interview with Vanity Fair published Oct. 11. "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."

Determined to change the standard, the "Truth Hurts" singer said she was inspired to be more daring with wardrobe after she saw Beyoncé rockin' that now famous black leotard from the 2008 music video "Single Ladies."

"After that, it seemed like it became the industry standard for everyone," she said. "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."

Lizzo's Most Empowering Quotes

She continued, "I can't even put into words what Beyoncé did for so many people. She was the beginning of Black women celebrating their curves—although she was on the smaller end of the spectrum—but she was our only representation."

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

During the interview, Lizzo, 28, also gave a nod to iconic singer Josephine Baker, who in the 1920s made jaws drop with her signature banana skirts, paving the the way for future feminists to shake up the system.

"Movements have to evolve generationally," Lizzo told the outlet. "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. The rebellion isn't even the same."

Lizzo has certainly sparked a movement of her own. At the 2022 Emmy Awards, her reality show Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls took home the award for Outstanding Competition Program.

"When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media," she said in her tearful acceptance speech. "Someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me. If I could go back and tell little Lizzo something, I would be like, 'You're going to see that person but bitch, it's going to have to be you.'"

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While not everyone is onboard with Lizzo's message—perhaps including Kanye West, who recently called the singer "unhealthy" and her body positively platform "demonic"—the Give It Up For The Big Girls creator remains confident in herself and her mission of empowerment.

Lizzo addressed her haters at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, when she accepted the Video for Good award for her song "About Damn Time," proving success is the best revenge.

"And now, to the bitches that got something to say about me in the press," she said while holding her moonpersonm in August. "You know what? I'm not going to say nothing. They be like, ‘Lizzo, why don't you clap back? Why don't you clap back?' Cause bitch I'm winning, ho! THIS BITCH IS WINNING, HO!"