Lizzo reflects on being Black in America: I've 'been brokenhearted by this country'

The singer spoke to Vogue magazine about her experience as a Black woman in America and the country's racial reckoning.
/ Source: TODAY

Lizzo is opening up about the Black Lives Matter movement, race in America and her rising career.

In a new cover interview with Vogue, the singer gets candid about her experience as a Black woman and says that she's been "brokenhearted by this country" since she was a child.

"My dad taught me very early on about what being Black in this country is," she said. "When I learned about Emmett Till, I was so young. And I have never forgotten his face."

When Black Lives Matter organized in 2013, Lizzo felt hopeful. But when 12-year-old Cleveland boy Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer the following year, she began to question whether progress was possible.

"They don’t actually care. And ‘they’ — I don’t know who ‘they’ are. But I know that they don’t care, because if s--- like this is still happening, there has to be a ‘they.’ They don’t care about somebody’s actual life," the 32-year-old said, recalling how she felt at the time.

Lizzo on the cover of the October 2020 issue of Vogue. Hype Williams / Vogue

In 2015, Lizzo went on to release "My Skin," an emotional song about her feelings on racial relations. After the death of George Floyd earlier this year, she filmed a powerful message for her Instagram fans and declared, "Protest is not the end of progress, it is the beginning."

Asked how she's feeling in this moment amid protests, boycotts and the fight against systemic racism reverberating around America, the "Truth Hurts" singer said she's hopeful, albeit cautiously so: "I've been let down so much, you know," she said.

Being a Black woman in the music industry has come with its own set of challenges, but Lizzo is thrilled that her audience is so diverse. Still, music executives once told the singer they weren't so sure that she would have mass appeal.

"How dare these people sit up and tell me who my music is going to appeal to or not?” she recalled thinking.

Lizzo told Vogue she's "been brokenhearted by this country" since she was a child.Hype Williams / Vogue

Lizzo is known for her sassy lyrics and has become a role model for many women struggling with body image, but the singer says she she prefers to say that she's "body normative" rather than "body positive."

"I think it’s lazy for me to just say I’m body positive at this point," she said. "It’s easy. I would like to be body normative. I want to normalize my body. And not just be like, 'Oh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.' No, being fat is normal."