Award shows are known for having one or two acceptance speeches that everyone is talking about the next morning. Last night, Lizzo made sure she was one of them. The “About Damn Time” singer took home an Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program for her Amazon series, Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, which documents her search for backup dancers. Her acceptance speech was not only emotional, but poignant — and a message for people everywhere who have never felt like their body was positively represented in media.
In her acceptance speech, she encouraged producers, directors, and writers to “tell more stories” of people who look like her.
“I’m very emotional,” Lizzo said tearfully. “The trophy is nice, but my emotion is for these people who are on this stage with me. The stories that they share, they’re not that unique, they just don’t get the platform telling stories. Let’s just tell more stories.”
She then went on to share that when she was young, she didn’t feel like there was anyone in media who looked like her and ultimately realized that she might have to be the one to make that change happen.
“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,” she explained. “If I could go back and tell little Lizzo something, I’d be like, ‘you’re going to see that person, but b***h it’s going to have to be you.’ This is for my big girls.”
True to her word, Lizzo brought along all the dancers from Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, who were cheering for the show’s star in the balcony after her win. During her speech, she begged them all to make their way to the stage to stand beside her while she accepted the honor.
Not only is Lizzo’s message one of great importance because of her call for more representation for people of color and fat people, but she also affectionately referred to herself as fat. Lizzo has criticized the concept of “body positivity” in the past, saying the term has been “co-opted by all bodies” and has become a trend of “celebrating medium and small girls and people who occasionally get rolls.”
“Please use the body positive movement to empower yourself. But we need to protect and uplift the bodies it was created for and by,” she captioned her TikTok.
There is no question that representation matters in the media. Young girls, especially young girls of color, deserve to see people who look like them on TV. There is no question that there is not enough Blackness and fatness represented in mainstream media — and it’s a joy watching Lizzo start to change that.