The MTV VMAs were last week. I didn’t watch them but I had to hear about them through the magic of social media. I gave up on the VMAs around twenty years ago, but not all of my friends are as curmudgeonly as I am so they still watch the VMAs.
OH SNAP! I just searched Youtube and this came up.
Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, Wyclef Jean and Redman did a medley. They squeezed ’90s hip-hop into eight minutes. Was this show made for my generation? Who else performed? Pearl Jam?
Soundgarden? Nirvana? Alice In Chains? The Beastie Boys?
But I heard more about Lizzo than anyone else.
I knew about Lizzo before the VMA’s. The PR is strong, folks. If you look online there are naked pictures of her. She took them because she’s a body-positive person. I blocked her on Twitter because I’m sick of seeing them.
I have heard about Lizzo for years before ever hearing a note of her music, which is today. But I just watched that VMA performance clip and I have a few takeaways from it.
First off, I’m way more fat than Lizzo. I’ve lost over fifty pounds this year but it’s not enough. Not even close. And I think body positivity can only go so far.
As I watched that video, one of the things that crossed my mind was “how can I get this weight off my body as fast as possible?” because I don’t know if you know this but being fat FUCKING SUCKS. The quality of my life is diminished. My back hurts if I stand up too long, which is not long compared to most people. I walk slower than others because I have more weight to carry. Going up flights of stairs is difficult. Coming down the stairs is worse. My clothing options are limited. Clothes for people my size cost more.
There is nothing positive in any of that. I live in one of the fattest states in the country. I see strangers in the same boat I’m in and I know how miserable they are. I don’t accept it. I don’t love it. I’m ashamed of it and of myself and that’s why I’m trying to change it. How can I accept and love this thing that is so obviously unhealthy?
I don’t know what it’s like to be a black woman in America but I know what it’s like to be a performer. I know that breathing is a requirement for singing. Being really fat can make your breathing labored. Try doing a whole show like that. She has a 22-date tour starting next week. Good luck with that. Besides, people act like this self-love message is new but it isn’t. Ask Mama Cass. Ask Sophie Tucker.
No one is louder than the voice in our head. We are our own worst enemies, woman or man. Sad but true. We all want someone to validate us. Someone that we can look up to. But we’ve gotten burned so many times with so many celebrities. Why are we doing this again?
I don’t know how to end this so I’m just going to quote Mama Cass because a while back I was listening to “Make Your Own Kind Of Music” and it just hit me harder than anything has hit me recently. Because although it seems like a happy song, the second verse reveals a desolate nature.
You’re gonna be knowing the loneliest kind of lonely.
It may be rough going, just to do your thing, the hardest thing to do.
Mama Cass Elliot had the same idea of self-acceptance and defiance. But she fucking died way too young. Her heart stopped.
There’s no beauty in any of this and we have to struggle with it in our loneliest moments. And nobody saying you’re beautiful just the way you are is changing that.