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Recently Lizzo and Cardi B released an epic new video: Rumors. It is a gorgeous, raunchy, nasty, glorious music video that is most definitely NSFW. And in many ways, it’s a tribute to being yourself, and not caring what anybody says or thinks about you. And it’s inspiring. But like so many inspiring things, it comes at a cost.
Despite the video’s amazing success, Lizzo came out on IG Live not long after the song dropped, and she was crying. (Note this is ALSO NSFW because LANGUAGE.) Again, the price of doing anything inspiring in this world is paying the troll toll. Somebody sitting at home, without taking any risks, without doing the hard work of putting creative into the world feels the need to tear somebody else down. And even if you are making tons of money–even if you are a Grammy-winning artist–even if your song drops at #1 on iTunes and #3 on Spotify that “ish” still hurts.
At least in a small way, I understand that too. A lot of people don’t realize the hate mail I’ve received–the death threats–the people who tell me I should just kill myself. All because I’ve decided not to spend the rest of my life on a diet. All because I’ve decided not to apologize for my size. All because I like to just take my big booty out and dance.
And I am a person of relative privilege.
Yes, I’m a plus-sized woman.
I’m also white, middle class, educated, cis, hetero and many other things that make my life easier.
When you are a plus-sized woman who is also gay or poor or uneducated or black, it’s a whole lot harder.
And in Lizzo’s case, aside from the usual trolling about her color and her style and her body and her music, she’s also facing a lot of hate from people who seem to think it is her role to use her talent to be some sort of poster child/role model for all the people of her gender or race. Which is frankly ridiculous.
At least Cardi B. came to her rescue with an IG video featuring a sex story, a chair and a really, REALLY big knife. (Which by now you should have guessed is ALSO very NSFW.) But her point is this. Even though Lizzo has fame and money, and you as her critic may not have fame and money, give the woman a freaking break. Lay off why don’t you?
But that is the cost of being inspiring–of showing the world that everyBODY is deserving of a little love. The price is paying the Troll Toll–where a whole bunch of people feel it necessary to refute the notion that YOU deserve any love.
So, the next time you see or hear somebody who inspires you, take it a little further. Help that person pay the troll toll. Send them some extra love. And while you don’t need to come for the haters with a giant knife like Cardi B., you CAN show the haters the door.