The dark side of Lizzo’s weight comments

American artist Lizzo responded on stage Friday in front of a Canadian crowd to a remark by Kanye West about his weight, deemed « unhealthy » by the rapper. In an interview for Fox News last week, the designer of the Yeezy brand held the spittoon to criticize the singer, citing her as an example to argue that “the media wants to spread the idea that being overweight is the new goal, when in fact it is unhealthy. »

“I feel like everyone in America has my fucking name in their fucking mouth for no fucking reason, I’m minding my nice big black business,” the musician retorted. , visiting Toronto for his Special Tour.

This shortcut between movement positive body and the promotion of obesity, all plus-size content creators or artists have to face it sooner or later, laments body neutrality activist Nadia Tranchemontagne. « There is literally no content creator who promotes obesity », slice the one whose Instagram platform has more than 14,000 subscribers.

« You’re never going to see a person on the street being redheaded and saying they’re promoting freckles, » argues the content creator. For her, it is only a way of “invalidating the words and the existence of a person. »

Social aversion

« All of this falls under the broad rubric of grossophobia », immediately mentions to the To have to the DD Stéphanie Léonard, psychologist specializing in body image and founder of the non-profit organization Bien avec son corps, which advocates a healthy discourse on the physical.

According to the DD Leonard, studies show that many prejudices surround overweight people, for example that they stuff themselves, are lazy or have no control over themselves. These a priori testify to an « aversion of society for people who are fat ». From there arise a panoply of false beliefs, including that of a link between thinness and health and, conversely, size and disease.

With vast means and capital to reach the population, the slimming, training and cosmetic surgery industries help to reinforce this idea, assures Stéphanie Léornard. “Questioning yourself is more difficult when you have industries that have so much power to hit you with the wrong message. »

« We have no difficulty believing that a thin person is not in shape, on the other hand we are not able to conceive that a fat person can be in shape », agrees Nadia Tranchemontagne.

More complex than weight

However, an overweight person who openly loves his body and refuses to change it, like Lizzo, comes « to confront the people who have the most prejudices […] and who adhere the most to our social pressure to conform to a single physical model,” believes Stéphanie Léonard. In the eyes of the psychologist, reactions like that of Kanye West reflect more personal issues and a desire to be comforted in his own judgments.

It must be said that Lizzo has become in recent years the standard bearer of body diversity. « When we talk about fat people, the right to body diversity, it’s always Lizzo who comes up in conversations, because we’re so unused to a fat, black person who doesn’t apologize for exist”, notes Nadia Tranchemontagne, imagining the “unbearable pressure” that the singer must experience.

The content creator regrets the lack of figures in the fight against fatphobia. “Health is so much more complex than a weight on a scale,” says Nadia Tranchemontagne. I don’t understand in what world, the fact that I am healthy or not, regardless of my weight, justifies being disrespected. »

For the DD Léonard, “the real benevolent and fair message of body diversity is to say that whatever your body envelope, your weight and your silhouette, it is your lifestyle that will determine your health”. And it is by talking about it and denouncing it that changes will take place, concludes the psychologist.

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