Lizzo has been the poster child for body positivity since making her mainstream breakthrough in 2018. The plus-sized super-star has been championed for being able to infiltrate pop culture despite not being the usual size that is championed on TV. She has made it no secret that she hopes to inspire other women to love themselves and be comfortable in their skin and is transparent about her ongoing journey to self-love and acceptance. In a recent interview, Lizzo opened up about some of the things she saw growing up that made it hard for her to love herself.
Lizzo is the latest cover star for Variety. In the feature, she opens up about a number of topics, from auditioning for Ursula in the Little Mermaid to her upcoming Amazon Reality Show Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. In one poignant moment, she opened up about how seeing Eddie Murphy donning fat suits in her childhood made her sad.
Eddie Murphy is one of the most celebrated comics of all time, and at several times in his career played plus-sized characters for laughs. First in The Nutty Professor, where he played lead character Sherman Klump and his entire family, including his mother, father, brother, and grandmother. He reprised all the roles for Nutty Professor 2 opposite Janet Jackson. He returned to the fat suit for Norbit, where he played the title character and his larger-than-life wife, Rasputia Latimore.
For Lizzo, growing up watching these films was particularly difficult. She was most upset about a scene in The Nutty Professor where Sherman Klump waited for a room of students to clear before he opened a desk full of snacks and began to eat alone. Lizzo said in these moments, she felt so unbelievably sad for Eddie’s character and could relate to him being a larger person binge eating in private. Lizzo says she remembered hiding food as well. “I feel him. I feel sympathy and empathy for him.” In the comments, people took different stances on what she said, but many seemed to be “over” her. “Chileeeeee, she is on my last one!” said one fan. Another responded, “I’ve been canceled her in my mind. Y’all should do the same 😂.”
Lizzo shared the screen with Eddie Murphy back he hosted SNL while she performed. The two stood side by side in the promo when she twerked for the legend and referenced his life “Hercules” from Nutty Professor. He also introduced her twice during the program. Lizzo maintains she is still the biggest Eddie Murphy fan and is not upset at him, she just felt terrible for the character.
Lizzo’s struggles have been very public. She has been open about trying to get in shape and the various diets she has attempted. The singer got some blowback for a liquid cleanse she did a few years back by people who said she did not lose any visible weight. Lizzo has always stated that her reasons for working out are more to do with stamina and feeling good as opposed to trying to lose weight.
Back around the release of her single “Rumors,” she took to IG live to let her fans know that she felt she was not getting the same amount of love back from the world that she was putting out. She expressed that she was on the receiving end of a lot of “fatphobia” and hate from people and did not understand why. She explained that at the time, she was working really hard to promote the song and was even more sensitive than usual.
Jillian Michaels famously called out the media for championing people like Lizzo and Ashley Graham for flaunting their larger bodies. She wondered why people did not just celebrate Lizzo’s music and if people would applaud her if she got diabetes. She said she did not understand why the focus was solely on Lizzo’s size and that she did not think it sent the best message. Lizzo never directly responded to Jillian but did make some posts around the time of Michael’s statement letting people know that they should not punish themselves for the ways other people feel about their bodies.