Our world is so obsessed with appearances that the simple act of looking in a mirror can be an uncomfortable experience if you don’t live up to the (thin, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied) expectation historically set by movies, TV, social media, and even magazines like this one. For those of us with big bodies and rounder bellies — ones we’re taught to stuff into high-waisted pants or camouflage entirely with big, flowy garments — that’s a different story entirely. Outside of the internet’s fat-positive communities, there’s not a lot of genuine love out there for bellies (and I mean love that isn’t presented in the attempt to get us to buy stuff). Lizzo‘s solution? To look directly at her belly, massage it, and tell it all the loving messages it might not get otherwise on a day-to-day basis.
“I started talking to my belly this year. Blowing her kisses and showering her with praises,” the singer writes on a February 2 Instagram post. In the video, she’s wearing nothing but a Savage x Fenty lingerie set and a towel to wrap her hair. “I used to want to cut my stomach off I hated it so much. But it’s literally ME. I am learning to radically love every part of myself. Even if it means talking to myself every morning. This is your sign to love on yourself today!”
Lizzo is showcasing an action that a lot of people (myself included) simply don’t think to do most of the time: rub, squish, and jiggle her own belly — but in an appreciative way. The whole time, she coos words and phrases that we might otherwise reserve for our closest friends and family but rarely (or never) for ourselves. “I love you so much. Thank you so much for keeping me happy, for keeping me alive. I’m going to continue to listen to you. You deserve all the space in the world to breathe, expand and contract, and give me life.”
It’s easy to see our bellies as anything but a part of us; as an excess, something temporary that we might get rid of someday (at least, this is my experience when I’m not feeling top-notch). But Lizzo confronts the reality that her belly is a part of her body — and that body is the very thing that sustains her livelihood. It moves with her. It breathes with her. For the whole of her life, her body will be permanent. It’s just part of being human.
I won’t dare call Lizzo brave for simply existing in the body she has and choosing to love it unconditionally, though that seems to be the reflex for a lot of people. I think this therapeutic practice she shares, however, is extremely smart and will undoubtedly be very helpful to the people who adopt it as part of their routine. Showering your body with love should be seen as less a declaration of body-positivity and more as a basic act of self-care.
More on fat-positivity:
Now, see Barbie Ferreira’s everyday makeup routine: