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Lizzo Blasts Texas’ Anti-Trans Orders, Talks Black Representation, Self-Love at SXSW 2022

Since Lizzo released her debut album “Cuz I Love You” in 2019, she has had meteoric success. And she doesn’t plan on slowing down. On Sunday in Austin, Texas, the superstar gave a keynote at SXSW 2022 to talk about her next move: “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” a new unscripted series from Amazon Studios.

The show, premiering this month on Prime Video, follows Lizzo, who is on the hunt for dynamic, full-figured women to join the elite ranks of the Big Grrrls dancers and join her world tour.

“Ever since 2014, I’ve had open casting calls for dancers that look like me. And it’s been very difficult. I don’t see me reflected,” she said on stage to moderator Angela Yee.

Lizzo gives a keynote speech at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Music Festival on Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)
Lizzo gives a keynote speech at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest Festival on Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Austin, Texas.
CREDIT: Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP

For Lizzo, bringing awareness and representation for Black women has been a significant part of her rise to fame. With that has come highs and lows.

“The fat phobia, the racism that people just harbor towards people who look like me, and specifically me,” she said, “we’re going to eventually show the world that you cannot treat people like that. You cannot treat people who look like me like this. Shut the f—k up and just watch the show.”

Out of the gate, Lizzo has been outspoken about self-love and body positivity. So much so, she led the audience during the SXSW session in an affirmation exercise.

“I want you to close your eyes. I want you to say this to yourself: ‘I love you. You are beautiful. And you can do anything,'” she said and the crowd repeated in unison.

She’s also been vocal about social issues, from systemic racism to abortion. On Sunday, the singer didn’t hold back when asked about Texas’ recent anti-LGBTQ measures.

“Taking away the right for young children to have a chance to live authentically themselves — it’s a violation of human rights. Trans rights are human rights,” she said.

On using her platform to discuss politics, Lizzo replied, “How can I not?”— also noting a transgender cast member on her new show.

She added, “I change things on a cultural level because on I’m part of the culture, I’m a musician… That’s why I’m here. I’m saying I’ll show up because I’m a big Black girl representing for what the f—k I need. But there are people in charge who can change things on a systemic level and they’re letting us down.”

To see more celebrities at the SXSW festival, click through the gallery.

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