Lizzo gets wrapped in tape for photo shoot, reveals she doesn't want to be 'token big girl'

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·5-min read

Watch: Lizzo opens up on her love for Beyonce in chat with Elle UK.

Lizzo has opened up about the insecurities she felt growing up and the lack of body inclusivity in the music and fashion industries.

The 34-year-old Grammy winner, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, appears on the cover of a UK publication tightly wrapped in Balenciaga tape.

She shared a video of herself struggling to walk in the unusual get-up on her Instagram account, encouraging her 12.8 million followers not to 'ask any questions'.

While she oozes body confidence now, the singer admitted in the photo shoot's accompanying interview that she used to feel "ashamed" and didn't think she had the "qualities" needed to be a pop star as she thought people wouldn't want to look like her.

“I know people want to look like me now. But I’m talking about what it was like in my formative years. I wasn’t really set up to believe that I was desirable," she told Elle UK.

"For me, being a pop star – part of it is people either want to be you or be with you. And I didn’t feel like I had any of those qualities.’

Read more: Lizzo shares unedited nude photo to launch Dove body confidence campaign

Lizzo appears as the cover star for Elle UK’s September edition (Elle UK/AB+DM/PA)
Lizzo appears as the cover star for Elle UK’s September edition (Elle UK/AB+DM/PA)

The Good As Hell singer went on to admit that her body insecurities took their toll on her confidence.

"I spent years being ashamed," she explains. "It took a lot of work for me to feel worthy of being in this place. To feel worthy of being a force to be reckoned with."

The star admits that she sought to have other people on stage with her so that the focus wasn't solely on her.

"I always felt like, even if the song is great, people wouldn’t want to hear it coming from me," she said.

"So I thought, if I have other people on stage, too, that will take the focus off me a little bit.”

Thankfully, however, Lizzo has managed to overcome her self-doubt, believing she is now worthy of her successful career, and is now the poster girl for body positivity.

She hopes to use her platform to push traditional beauty boundaries and bring greater visibility to people who don't fit the typical model mould.

Lizzo has opened up about finding body confidence. (Elle UK/AB+DM/PA)
Lizzo has opened up about finding body confidence. (Elle UK/AB+DM/PA)

While Lizzo says she appreciates that brands and labels have custom-made outfits especially for her for photoshoots, she is now wants to call on the fashion industry to create clothes for people of all shapes and sizes.

"I’ve had a lot of shoots with people making outfits from scratch for me," she explained. "And I’m not mad at it. Thank you. But what about the millions of people who are my size or bigger who can’t get access to chic and glamorous clothing?

"I don’t want to be the token big girl for the fashion world," she continued. "I want to open the door. I want this for everybody."

Read more: Emma Thompson says accepting her naked body was hard – here's how to love yours

The star also touched on her relationship with social media saying she thinks it is “very healthy”.

She explained: “I think I have a very healthy relationship with the way that I view the digital world.

“I was born before it was everywhere you go, before it was the official news source, and before it was an obligatory or a necessity in your career.

“I grew up right before it was able to harass you in schools and get you cyberbullied in class. I just missed that mark.”

Lizzo attends the 2022 BET Awards in June 2022. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
Lizzo is an advocate for body confidence, pictured in June 2022. (Getty Images for BET)

The singer, who has nearly 13 million followers on Instagram and nearly 27 million followers on TikTok, added: “I don’t need social media, social media needs me. Social media literally needs people to function.

“I don’t need to go on the internet and feel better about stuff anymore. I have a therapist. I have best friends. I have an amazing team around me who I can talk to. I got love.”

Lizzo released her highly-anticipated fourth studio album Special on July 15 and, told the publication she wanted to make a record that coming out of lockdown people could use as a “soundtrack to survive”.

She said of recording the album during the 2020 lockdown: “I had to remember, when we come out of lockdown, people are going to be coming out of a depression. And the end of lockdown does not signify the end of their mental-health struggles.

“So I wanted to make music that people can use as a soundtrack to survive. That was the driver for this album.”

Read more: Lizzo launches shapewear: 'I’m tired of discomfort being synonymous with sexy'

Previously, Lizzo admitted her nudity and profanity have caused quite a stir amongst her family members.

“I’ve pissed a few family members off,” she revealed on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.

“I don’t know if it’s just the cussing, it might be the nudity, too."

While she admits some of her relatives "get mad" about her shedding her clothes, the singer says it doesn't deter her.

“My cousin Pookie gets mad at me all the time. He’ll call my mum and be like, 'Hey, tell Melissa to put some clothes on',” she laughed.

“And then I double-down and post some more nudes the next day.”

The September issue of Elle UK is on sale from July 28. Additional reporting PA.

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