What Lizzo's Win at The Emmys Means For Plus-Size Visibility
Lizzo won her first Emmy for Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
How you get treated and perceived in this world depends on a host of factors, and one of the most influential ones is your appearance. Several social institutions are cemented on the idea that fat people - especially fat women - are lazy, undesirable and deserving of inferior treatment.
While these fatphobic structures cannot be destabilized instantly, musician Lizzo, a loud, proud, African-American fat woman, is doing her bit to pedestalize more plus-sized women.
"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".LIZZO
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Watch Out For The Big Grrrls follows a group of plus-size dancers as they compete to be a part of Lizzo's backup troupe. Standing at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the show was hailed for embracing body positivity and dismantling the stereotype that fat people can't be physically gifted.
From exhibiting the dancers' drive and talent to throwing light on their body trauma and deep-seated experiences of fatphobia, the show is a chaotic celebration of plus-sized bodies.
The show, in its own right, is on an uphill climb to bring more visibility to fat women: their joys, talents and struggles. But an Emmy win means big.
It not only means more awareness for Lizzo's reality contest but also gives fat people everywhere a chance to see themselves being celebrated in the mainstream - a space that they have seldom been able to occupy.
As a fat, trans-nonbinary person myself, I have always seen people like me exist on the margins. In media, I have seen myself being used as a punchline.
But Lizzo's Emmy win is a step towards a more inclusive future; one that fosters a safer place for all bodies - irrespective of size - to thrive in.
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