I logged onto Facebook this morning, feeling fantastic after a lovely bowl of Rice Krispies, only to be disgusted by a post on my feed. The post was shared by a guy I used to go to school with, who has been very vocal in his support of the Black Lives Matter movement (as any decent human should be). The post featured a picture of a hippo walking down a street and was captioned ‘even Lizzo pulled up to the protests I got so much more respect for her now’. This is obviously about the protests happening across the world in support of the BLM movement. I don’t hate jokes, usually, I’m the first to laugh at them, but this majorly upset me. And here are the reasons why.
First of all, Lizzo is an extremely successful artist, yet her entire career has been plagued with people putting the colour of her skin and her weight in front of her talent. She can sing, dance, write a good song, and play the flute and twerk at the same time, yet in this post, her entire worth is being put on her size. There is no link between your size and your talent, yet some people insist on putting Lizzo down based on her body shape.
The world is currently in tatters. There’s a pandemic going on and a worldwide equality movement, do we need to be fat-shaming people now? ESPECIALLY fat-shaming a black woman who is fighting for her equal rights? Really? The person who shared this post has been sharing endless anti-racism quotes, campaigns, and videos from protests, yet they share a ‘joke’ making fun of a black woman fighting for her equal rights? How can you promote equality and an end to the mistreatment and disrespect of black people, yet share a meme calling a black woman a hippo? THIS is part of the problem! Lizzo has been extremely active on her social media accounts in support of protests, yet people have to belittle her activism to her weight.
I know this is just a joke, but I think it has links to a larger social issue. This being that women are unable to do ANYTHING without their weight being brought up. In this case, Lizzo can’t even fight for equality without being belittled to a hippo. We need to be supporting protecting, and uplifting everyone right now, especially black people, and this post does exactly the opposite. How can you share posts about protecting black lives and promoting equality, yet belittle a black woman to a hippo? The contradiction and sheer stupidity is blowing my mind.