Lizzo talks being body-shamed and learning to love her insecurities: 'I am fat, I am beautiful'

She’s famed for her upbeat anthems, but, in a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Lizzo admits that body-shaming remarks have taken a toll. The “Juice” singer and self-professed “band geek” — whose real name is Melissa Jefferson — tells the morning show’s Tracy Smith that receiving negative feedback is like getting a “mosquito bite.” At first it’s a minor annoyance, but over time it’s eating you alive.

“Somebody’s like, ‘Well, you know, you’re a big girl so you can never have short hair, you always have to have big hair because you’re a big girl,’” she says. “And they say that lovingly, but I’m like, that’s a little mosquito bite. You don’t even know it’s there, but soon you look up and you’re covered in mosquito bites and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I have all of these things [scratching arms] but they were so normalized to me because they were so innocent.’

“[People] meant well but I had to peel back a lot of layers,” she adds.

While countless fans credit her and her music for making them feel empowered, the star says her own journey to self-confidence took real work.

2019 BET Awards - Show - Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 23, 2019 - Lizzo performs. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Lizzo (pictured at the BET Awards in June) says she's learned to face down her insecurities. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake)

“It’s not something you really change,” she says. “It’s something that you address and work on. I had to address every layer of insecurity. Because I can’t just be like, ‘Alright, my arm’s not jiggly and lumpy anymore’ — that’s delusional. You have to be like, ‘That’s not ugly to me anymore, and it’s not wrong to me, it’s beautiful to me.’

“And I think that is why I’m able to call myself fat, and people are like, ‘No!’ Even my friends. And I’m like, ‘B***h, you know I’m fat.’ I’m like, ‘Don’t say no. I am fat, I am beautiful.’ I think it’s because I learned to actually look all my insecurities in the face, call them by their name and fall in love with them.”

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