Why I cried when Lizzo won

Lizzo at Emmys 2022Why I cried when Lizzo won!

When Lizzo won the Emmy, I instantly burst into tears. My reaction was so unexpected, so spontaneous, it caught me a little off-guard. In fact, the whole thing was rather strange.

I rarely watch any awards show all the way through, so I videoed the Emmys and fast-forwarded to the programs and stars I cared about. I’d had no idea Lizzo was nominated, or even that she had her own reality competition show — Watch Out for the Big Grrrls —  to find backup dancers. I was in awe.

If you have ever been obese,
as I was for most of my young adult life,
you will understand

If you have ever been obese, as I was for most of my young adult life, you will understand what seeing Lizzo onstage means. Not only is she musically talented, but she moves and dances and wears fantastic sexy costumes that don’t cover her body up. She revels in her body (as well as her music) on stage.  That alone is enough to fascinate me.

In contrast, like many of us fatties back then, I hid my body, covered up as much as I could, wore clothing as loose as possible, including coats in the hot summers. Shame kept me from owning my body. Shame kept me from dancing or feeling the joy of movement. In addition, for many years I was encased in heavy elastic undergarments to hide all the bulges, so ordinary everyday movement itself was quite a challenge, let alone dancing!.

Fast forward to Emmy night 2022. And Lizzo, who looked absolutely beautiful and super-glamorous in red, gave her acceptance speech. She said, “When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media – someone fat like me ….Black like me, beautiful like me …” That was when the tears emerged, along with sobbing.

Old pain from the past, still. It was the ‘fat like me’ line (I’m not black) … I saw no one fat like me back then (in the 50’s through 70’s) in any of the media. Just Mama Cass of the Mamas and the Papas musical group, and she died in the 70’s.

Since the awards show, lots of people have commented on Lizzo’s win. She surely generates both love and hate from male and female alike. Hate from the many fatphobics, including those who trash the ‘Health at Every Size’ ideas. And those who morally panic at the notion of fat acceptance. Sad, really.

And also love, which I believe is what sustains her. The love from her millions of fans, and her love for the music and the movement and the fashion, plus.

So thank you to Lizzo, and may you win many more accolades and triumphs.