Lizzo always speaks on the importance of self-confidence through mood-boosting music and candid social media posts. Now, she’s directing the message towards the next generation. On August 5, the vocalist spoke during a hybrid event hosted by personal care brand Dove to encourage young girls to unapologetically wear their natural hair. The Self-Esteem Workshop with the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem launched the Dove Self-Esteem Project tool, “My Hair, My CROWN,” with Dove Self-Esteem Project educator, Dre Brown.
The initiative brought together girls who attend the center and surprised them with kind words from the “Good As Hell” singer. To the delight of the young group, she appeared on the live stream wearing her natural afro decorated with butterflies as she shared her own hair journey.
“I mean there were plenty of times, where I was like almost embarrassed or ashamed to show my natural hair,” said the Grammy award-winning artist when asked if she ever felt put down by her kinky-curly hair texture. “People were like, ‘Oh, it’s not cute,’ ‘It’s not good enough,’ or ‘You know it’s not silky enough.’ My hair is good enough and I feel so beautiful and so included now. The natural hair care movement includes all different types. It’s not just 3A, 3B. It’s 4C, and I’ve got 4B, 4A, so we’re all included now. I feel like I’m a part of the movement.”
She continued, “One of the most wild stereotypes that I was taught when I was little…they were like, ‘You need to have big hair because you’re a big girl. So when you have big hair and you’re a big girl, it makes you look snatched,’ and I believed that for a long time. Now, I’m like, ‘What if I don’t want to look snatched? What if I want to show off my big body?’
“So I’ve been combating that stereotype by wearing short pixie cuts. I’ll cut my hair off. I cut my hair off once (laughs). I don’t know if I’ma do it again because I made some progress, but it was so empowering to do that because it’s like it doesn’t matter what you say, would look beautiful on me and my body. I’m going to rebel against that, and I still look beautiful. Lately, I’ve been doing short pink hair or short green hair and that’s to show you that my hair and my body look good, no matter what.”
Before hopping off the video meeting, Lizzo advised the young ladies to take on their own journeys while championing their natural hair and self-confidence:
“I’m so excited for y’all and I’m so proud of y’all because this is something that when I was your age, I was not doing. I actually just recently started getting into my hair love journey, maybe two or three years ago,” she admitted. “Before then, you know, that was my final frontier in loving myself, was loving my hair. My best advice to you is to put love into your hair. I didn’t love my hair at first, but the more love I started putting into it, the more I started to love and take care of it and care for my hair.”
According to a press release, Dove created the toolkit with the assistance of academic experts to boost confidence in kids with curls, coils, waves & protective styles and build allyship in others. Established to target ages 11-15, the toolkit is available for free download on the company website. The workshop and online materials are an extension of Dove’s Self-Esteem Project resources used to address appearance and race-based pressures and discrimination and its commitment to advocating for the CROWN Act.
“Witnessing the ongoing mistreatment, bullying, and discrimination against Black children because of the way their hair naturally grows from their heads, inspired us to champion The CROWN ACT Legislation and to expand our Dove Self-Esteem Project tools and resources to address this issue in [a] way that encourages young people to be confident in who they are and to freely express themselves without judgment — including their hair,” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever North America.
As Lizzo rebels against biased beauty standards in mentorship, she keeps that same carefree energy in her latest release. The 33-year-old singer released “Rumors” featuring Cardi B last week. On the upbeat pop song, the two artists confront the celebrity gossip head-on by accepting all tales as truths. “Bi**h, I don’t give two sh*ts/ All the rumors are true, yeah,” Lizzo sings in the first verse.
Shortly after the song’s release, she took to Instagram Live where she tearfully responded to haters who managed to penetrate her positive energy and spoke to the harsh statements she sometimes receives.
“It’s fatphobic, it’s racist, and it’s hurtful,” she said in the live broadcast. “What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to Black women over and over and over again, especially us big Black girls,” she continued. “When we don’t fit into the box that you want to put us in, you just unleash hatred onto us. It’s not cool. I’m doing this sh*t for the big Black women in the future who just want to live their lives without being scrutinized or put into boxes.”
She also tweeted a message met with the support of her recent collaborator Cardi B, actress Octavia Spencer, and fellow singer Chloe Bailey.
When you stand up for yourself they claim your problematic & sensitive.When you don’t they tear you apart until you crying like this. Whether you skinny,big,plastic, they going to always try to put their insecurities on you.Remember these are nerds looking at the popular table. https://t.co/jE5eJw8XP6
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) August 15, 2021
@lizzo you’re loved everyday. Never seek approval from the world because there will always be those waiting to tear you down. Self love is foundational and only you can build it. #StayStrongBaby https://t.co/361QYTpD2e
— octavia spencer (@octaviaspencer) August 15, 2021
i’m so proud of you @lizzo people are gonna talk, but you have power in your voice. thank you for inspiring me ❤️?
— Chlöe (@ChloeBailey) August 15, 2021
Watch the video for “Rumors” featuring Cardi B below: