Lizzo responded on Monday to political and social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins, who said the musician’s popularity is due to “an obesity epidemic in America.”
“I’m popular because I write good songs and I’m talented and perform high energy hour and a half shows filled with love,” Lizzo said on Twitter in response to Watkins’ Dec. 20 tweet.
“The only person who needs to do better is you. Keep my name out ya mouth & look in the mirror before you come for me. Here’s the attention you ordered,” Lizzo’s tweet said.
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Watkins was criticized by some Twitter users after posting the tweet that said: “#Lizzo popular is because there is an obesity epidemic in America. Rather than encouraging people to do better, we are simply lying to them and telling them that they are just fine the way they are.”
He continued, “Many of these people are dying from diabetes and heart disease.”
His tweet was liked more than 3,000 times as of Monday afternoon. Some agreed with him, including one Twitter user who said: “we should not encourage the obese lifestyle.”
But many others suggested Watkins was “fat shaming” Lizzo and that his tweet highlighted a double standard between how men and women are viewed and treated.
“Fascinating how I never see tweets like these about DJ Khaled,” a Twitter user wrote in response to Watkins’ remarks, referencing the music producer who has publicly documented his weight loss journey.
Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, was recently named Time magazine’s entertainer of the year. Time said the breakthrough singer-rapper represents “something new.”
“Her sound is relentlessly positive and impossibly catchy: bangers that synthesize pop, rap and R&B, with hooks so sharp it feels like they’ve been in your brain forever,” the magazine said. “Her lyrics are funny, bawdy and vulnerable: reminders to dump whatever idiot is holding you back and become your own biggest fan.”
Earlier this month, Lizzo wore a thong, exposing her backside at a Los Angeles Lakers game while the team’s cheerleaders performed to one of her hits. She later responded in an Instagram live video to critics of her “thong dress.”
“Never ever let somebody stop you or shame you from being yourself,” she said. “This is who I’ve always been. Now everyone’s lookin’ at it, and your criticism can just remain your criticism. Your criticism has no effect on me.”