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The rumors are true—this song is everything we needed and more. 

Last night, Lizzo released her highly anticipated comeback single, Rumors, featuring Cardi B. Before the single’s release, it was already trending across platforms, birthing dance trends on Tik Tok weeks before its arrival. Now it’s here and we couldn’t be more excited for what this predicts about the future of discourse on body positivity, the reclamation of rock n’ roll by the Black community, and women’s liberation. 

There’s a lot we could cover when discussing the nuances of this iTunes chart-topping jam; but in the summer, we’d be remiss if we didn’t touch on the topic on everyone’s mind: body image. 

At Planned Parenthood, we constantly see the effects of Body Image and self-perception on our ability to express ourselves physically, romantically, sexually and freely. It should be a right—not a privilege—to live in our bodies without fear of judgement. 

Unfortunately, our society and culture have a long way to go before we realize that right—and its effects are damaging. 

Despite the slander, inappropriate commentary and backlash Lizzo faces simply for expressing herself and her sexuality similarly to her smaller-bodied celebrity counterparts, she continues to create and produce thought-provoking music that lends commentary to the disenfranchisement of larger bodies. 

Rumors continues the conversation, poking fun at the commentary that her music makes plus-sized people act promiscuously. The reality is, that many plus sized people’s sexuality is met with discomfort, whether it be personally or externally, because society teaches us larger bodies should be apologized for—not flaunted.

We also know that statistically, the repression and vilification of plus-sized bodies creates harms like:

  • Personal struggles with body image and eating disorders
  • Unequal treatment in work places and other professional spaces
  • A decreased level of perceived worthiness
  • Disenfranchisement in sharing stories about sexual assault

But not anymore. Lizzo opens the music video for Rumors with a re-imagined Herculean world with plus-sized gods and goddesses. An image that affirms the beauty of plus-sized bodies and pushes marginalized body types to the front where they may have been hidden before. 

She affirms that whatever rumors the audience wants to run with are true, she celebrates her sexuality and encourages other women, specifically plus-sized Black women, to do the same. In 2021, the boxes are gone, a point made even more clear by Cardi B’s appearance in the music video. 

Cardi B, who is currently pregnant, celebrates her sexuality despite older ideas about how a person should be seen during their pregnancy. Showing the pregnant body as both powerful and with the ability to be sexual. 

All in all, this song is just one of many that signals the change to come for conversation, access to and the celebration of larger bodies. The positive impacts of this shift are innumerable with many left to be seen. 

What many may find to be simply a catchy song, represents so much more for those it was written about. Lizzo’s Rumors is a celebration and story of resilience. One that reminds us to breathe and see past harmful conversations that surround us in body image. 

YOU are body goals. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the relationship between body image and sexuality, check out our latest conversation on Choice Words, where we ask a Relationship and Sexuality Therapist about it.