A Fat Woman Is On the Cover of ‘Vogue’ and I Couldn't Be Happier
Even if her music isn't your favorite, you just can't deny the otherworldly power of Lizzo. The 32-year-old singer landed the October cover of Vogue, and that's such a big fucking deal. And not just because the cover itself — showing Lizzo with classic red lipstick, matching nails, and a low-cut red gown — is gorgeous. If you don't understand why this cover hits so different, I'll let Lizzo tell you herself.
"I am the first big black woman on the cover of @voguemagazine. The first black anything feels overdue. But our time has come," she wrote alongside the cover on Instagram. "To all my black girls, if someone like you hasn’t done it yet— BE THE FIRST."
It's unfortunately very rare to see Black people on the cover of high-profile fashion magazines like this, but it's even more rare to see plus-size and fat women on the cover of any magazines. That one as influential as Vogue has at last welcomed a fat and Black woman onto its cover makes me want to take a heaping sigh of relief. Because Black girls and fat girls alike deserve to see themselves represented in their own worlds — and not just as comedic-relief movie characters or on weight loss reality programs. As she puts it in the Vogue interview: "Being fat is normal."
The fact that Vogue is a fashion magazine only adds to the importance of this cover, because we all know just how exclusionary the fashion industry can be toward fat women — especially fat women who are also Black. The fashion world has created a longstanding illusion that fat women simply do not belong in it, and Lizzo's appearance on this cover helps to peel back the curtain. Yes, fat and Black women thrive by themselves every day on other platforms, but for Lizzo to be recognized by a magazine like Vogue is legitimizing in a whole other way.
Big women can be and are fashion and beauty icons. They are artists and actors and chefs and musicians and political figures. They play a significant role in building our culture, and the content we devour every day should be reflective of that — and slowly, we might finally be getting there. Whether she's young and impressionable or older and a little jaded by the world, a fat and/or Black girl could walk past this cover on a newsstand and feel validated, if at least in passing. And that is what makes Lizzo so powerful.
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