We Must Talk About Lizzo On Letterman's Netflix Show

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
Originally Published: 

“I’m sick of being an activist just because I’m fat and Black” — Lizzo.

Melissa Viviane Jefferson, aka Lizzo is a national treasure. Actually, she’s a global treasure, if we’re being honest. Her brand of self love and being the baddest bitch in the room is infectious. That’s why people love her so much — she is to herself what many of us wish we were to ourselves. In the new season of David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, she proves why she’s worthy of our collective love and adoration.

In the middle of 2019, Lizzo seemingly came out of nowhere and blew everyone’s minds. A flute playing, rapping fat Black woman who owns every part of herself? Her mere existence in the music industry felt like a breath of fresh air. And she’s talented as fuck. When she sings “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch,” you feel that in your bones. That’s why so many of us were running around singing it at the top of our lungs. Those 13 words instantly turned her into the icon we all were desperate for. But there’s a lot more to her than the flute playing and twerking. (But also, she can twerk and play the flute at the same time and deserves a fucking medal.)

Even though she’s a multiple Grammy winner and has been named “Entertainer of the Year” by Time, it’s clear that she’s still just Melissa. It’s clear that she’s a woman who works incredibly hard for everything she has and is still humble. After losing her dad when she was in her early 20s, she knew that she had to “make it” as a singer. It’s all he ever wanted. And it’s clear she’s definitely made it.

As I’ve said, the reason so many people love Lizzo is because of her brand of self-love. It’s clear that she’s genuine when she preaches about the importance of loving yourself, and that’s what’s so attractive about her. But she reveals that her feelings as this poster girl for acceptance is a double edged sword.


“It bothered me for a long time that all people could talk about or think about was my size,” she tells Letterman. She doesn’t love how people take her down for loving herself, but she also doesn’t really love the people who praise her for it either. It’s easy to worship her for being so openly herself. But at the same time, people may not realize how they’re putting her up on this pedestal. Sometimes it’s exhausting for someone to have to shoulder the responsibility of being everyone’s inspiration.

“What do I have to apologize for?” is her response to people calling her “unapologetic.” When you’re anything other than the norm, people can’t seem to wrap their heads around you being okay with that. Lizzo often performs wearing nothing more than a leotard. Her backup dancers dress similarly, and are also plus size.

“I think people were like, ‘How dare she? How dare she love herself? How could she?’” So many people can’t fathom the idea that women who aren’t thin, white, and conventionally beautiful love themselves. It’s seen as a radical act to be 100 percent secure in who you are as a person. Especially when you’re a fat person. And even more so if you’re Black. But that’s the thing, she doesn’t give a fuck what society tells her to feel about herself.

Like many of us, Lizzo suffers from anxiety. She doesn’t have to take medication to manage it, but she says that meditation is really important for her. In the past, she’s shared videos of her doing her meditations and affirmations on Instagram. During her conversation with Letterman, she points out that a lot of meditation music uses the flute.

Anyone who’s into woo woo shit will appreciate that she has a large collection of crystals. After starting out with just a few, she said that people give them to her now since seeing them on her social media. Rose quartz and amethyst seem to be her favorites; one of her secret wishes is to find a geode full of amethyst. She also mentions that she occasionally microdoses mushrooms to manage her anxiety. She says it leaves her feeling “settled.”


Of course, Letterman asked her about where the song “Truth Hurts” came from. He cleverly pretends that he doesn’t know the song’s opening line to get her to say it. And then it calls it “beautiful.” If you’re a woman who’s ever been in a relationship with a man, the origin of the song will feel familiar.

Lizzo was with her all female crew and they had a bottle of wine. In talking about that moment, she said something profound: “Love relationships don’t have to be dramatic to be traumatic.” She doesn’t elaborate on that, but it’s something that rocks you. Even the most beautiful relationship can have a traumatic effect on you.

“We put men in positions of power all the time, especially with love, because we trust them,” she says. “We trust them to take care of us. And when it’s time, they often let us down.” Preach girl. Shockingly, Letterman agrees that men abuse our faith in them.

Lizzo will never be anything other than who she is. She’s built her empire on it. Watching this interview, you get a peek at the person behind it all, and it’s clear that none of it is an act. How lucky are we to live at the same time as Lizzo? Very fucking lucky.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is now streaming on Netflix.

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