Grammy award-winning singer Lizzo’s rise to fame hasn’t been an easy one. Losing her father at the young age of 21, she lived in her car while trying to launch a music career. And even since her hits have secured the top of international music charts, the 33-year-old artist continues to fall under public scrutiny for her body and her fashion choices. 

But Lizzo doesn’t let her sexist haters stop her from continuing to empower marginalized groups to love themselves and promote race, sexuality, and body diversity through her music. 

Following the release of the summer hit “Rumors,” with Cardi B in August, she is carving out time to support Global Citizen Live with a performance in New York City’s Central Park. Ahead of October’s G20 Summit and the major climate conference COP26 in November, the 24-hour worldwide broadcast event kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 25, with events and performances across the globe to defend the planet and defeat poverty as part of our Recovery Plan for the World campaign. 

Lizzo has spent her career advocating for people of color and LGBTQ+ people, whose health, safety, and rights are increasingly under threat. Now she’s championing Global Citizen’s campaign to demand equity, which aims to ensure that everyone, everywhere has an equal chance to live up to their full potential. 

“My movement is for everybody. My movement celebrates diversity,” Lizzo told Junkee in 2019. “It’s all about inclusion. It’s all about getting our flowers and giving each person their own space to be an individual and speak up for that individuality.”

Growing up in Houston, Texas, and later attending the University of Houston, Lizzo began to carve a path for herself merging her classical training in flute with her rap skills. As a young woman, Lizzo struggled with body issues, but when she started receiving commercial success, she became a feminist symbol for body positivity and prioritized promoting women’s empowerment.

“I didn’t have enough women to look up to and they weren’t given enough space in the industry to carve out a lane for big girls that are brown and Black and want to sing and dance without getting shit talked and body shamed,” Lizzo told Vogue. 

Girls are more likely to develop negative body image than boys due to society’s unrealistic beauty standards. Black and Latinx girls are even more at risk of developing poor body image due to Eurocentric ideals perpetuated in media and entertainment. When girls and women have poor body image, they are more likely to develop mental health conditions and poor-self esteem, which can make it more difficult to excel in school or work.

Lizzo has spoken openly about how magazines and television destroyed her confidence. 

​​“You want to look like those things and when you realize it’s a physical impossibility you start to think, ‘What the fuck is wrong with me?’” she told the Guardian. “I think that took a bigger toll on me, psychologically, growing up than what anyone could have said to me.”

The budding star didn’t let her self-doubt stop her from pursuing a music career. Lizzo has since broken gender barriers in rap and became the third female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 without a featured artist with her 2017 song “Truth Hurts.” She also became the first Black solo woman R&B singer to secure the top spot on the Billboard Top 100 since Rihanna in 2012 for the same song. 

In addition to encouraging her fans, Lizzo has used her platform to amplify numerous causes, recently rallying support for humanitarian crises including the earthquake in Haiti and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The star, who doesn’t ascribe to one sexual orientation, has a large LGBTQ+ following and has been a vocal supporter of the community. 

And in April 2020, Lizzo performed as part of Global Citizen’s One World: Together At Home special to support health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When she’s not using her voice to draw attention to humanitarian issues, the singer is sharing her experience as a new vegan navigating recipes that help reduce carbon emissions and defend the planet. 

No matter the direction Lizzo’s career goes in, she’s committed to keep fighting for marginalized groups and demanding that they are treated equally.

“I’ve always stood up for the underdog and the underrepresented because I can’t escape from that myself,” she told Billboard. “I can’t wake up one day and not be Black. I can’t wake up one day and not be a woman. I can’t wake up one day and not be fat. I always had those three things against me in this world, and because I fight for myself, I have to fight for everyone else.”

In the lead-up to Global Citizen Live on Sept. 25, join Lizzo in moving the world, one action at a time, here.

You can join the Global Citizen Live campaign to defend the planet and defeat poverty by taking action here, and become part of a movement powered by citizens around the world who are taking action together with governments, corporations, and philanthropists to make change.

Global Citizen Life

Demand Equity

Lizzo Is Demanding Equity by Championing the Underdog

By Leah Rodriguez