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Issue 17 Out Now


Trust online trolls and fatphobia to dampen a special occasion.

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On Sunday, Lizzo tearfully took to Instagram live to address the hate she’s received on social media since the release of her latest single “Rumors,” saying that “on the days I feel I should be the happiest….I feel so down.”

She added, “people saying sh*t about me that just doesn’t even make sense. It’s fatphobic and it’s racist and it’s hurtful. If you don’t like my music, cool. If you don’t like “Rumors” the song, cool. But a lot of people don’t like me because of the way I look.”

Despite being relatively unproblematic, Lizzo has been a huge target of hate online since her ascent into the mainstream a few years ago. Last year when she announced that she was going on a juice cleanse, she faced backlash. When she posts workout videos, she gets backlash. When she wears bikinis or twerks on Instagram, she gets backlash. It’s never what she’s doing that seems to be the problem, but the fact that she’s doing them while enjoying life as a big Black woman.

Of course with every criticism, the singer-songwriter also receives an outpouring of praise. These positive comments are likely some of the more sincere on the internet — she’s a beacon for millions who have never seen a woman like them succeed on such a large scale. Still, it’s understandable how one piercing comment can blind you to a hundred compliments.

Cardi B, amongst other celebrities, sprang to Lizzo’s defense, describing trolls as “nerds looking at the popular table.” As some Twitter users pointed out, it maybe wasn’t the best analogy considering that nerds are typically bullied by popular kids, but we get what she meant. Besides that, she was speaking facts.

Singer Chloe Bailey of the sister duo Chloe x Halle also defended Lizzo on Twitter, calling her “inspiring” and according to Lizzo’s Instagram story, the legendary rapper Missy Elliot sent her a heartfelt note and a bouquet of flowers. That’s a pretty badass group of women to have behind you, andthat’s not even half of them.

It’s hard to imagine how suffocating fame must feel, especially as a woman of multiple marginalized identities, but Lizzo is a force to be reckoned with. From my side, what stands out is the constant flurry of love she receives, especially from Black women, and I hope that she’s somehow able to filter her social media feeds so that a little more of that comes through.

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