(Updated August 20, 2021) | Lizzo is feeling good as hell. The vegan singer has three Grammys and a BET Award under her belt. And she took home the 2020 Billboard Music Award for Top Song Sales Artist. She also landed a first-look production deal with Amazon Studios to develop exclusive content for the streaming service. She’s simply unstoppable.
But with her third and most recent studio album—”Cuz I Love You”—which was released in 2019, Lizzo took listeners on a visceral journey of her path to overcoming self-doubt and learning how to practice self-love.
In a moving op-ed she wrote last year for NBC News, Lizzo explained that learning to love herself didn’t come easy. But, she says, it was something that was wholly necessary for her survival. “Self-love is rooted in honesty. We have to start being more honest with what we need, and what we deserve, and start serving that to ourselves,” she wrote.
“I don’t think that loving yourself is a choice. I think that it’s a decision that has to be made for survival; it was in my case,” she continued. “Loving myself was the result of answering two things: Do you want to live? ‘Cause this is who you’re gonna be for the rest of your life. Or are you gonna just have a life of emptiness, self-hatred, and self-loathing? And I chose to live, so I had to accept myself.”
10 ways to practice self-love according to Lizzo
Define your own beauty standards
Lizzo exudes confidence. But she hasn’t always felt comfortable in her own skin. She’s previously opened up about her feelings of low self-esteem in her teens and 20s. “I’ve come to terms with body dysmorphia and evolved,” she told Stylist. “The body-positive movement is doing the same thing. We’re growing together, and it’s growing pains, but I’m just glad that I’m attached to something so organic and alive.”
The singer explained to Essence that she uses social media as an outlet for expression. “I love creating shapes with my body, and I love normalizing the dimples in my butt or the lumps in my thighs or my back fat or my stretch marks. I think it’s beautiful.”
After dropping her latest single, “Rumors,” and subsequent music video, which features rapper Cardi B, the singer received a slew of racist and fat-shaming comments in response. “I don’t have time for your negativity, your internalized self-hatred that you project onto me with your racism and your fat-phobia. I don’t have time for it,” Lizzo said. “What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to Black women over and over and over again, especially us big Black girls. 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 shut down haters in a recent TikTok video: “Shout out to all my fat vegans—we look as good as we feel … and to the haters, good luck chasing that narrow beauty standard,” she said.
“That’s the first step: Acceptance. And acceptance is hard. I’m still accepting myself every day; I’m still working on it,” Lizzo wrote in her op-ed. The singer explained that this is particularly difficult to do in a society that profits off of self-doubt and insecurities.
“The media quite literally tells us that we don’t have enough money to love ourselves. It tells you that you should get money to buy this so you can look like that and be perfect,” she wrote. So, accepting yourself for who you are—flaws and all—is a great first step to loving yourself.
Speak words of affirmation
One of Lizzo’s favorite self-love exercises is mirror work. Basically, mirror work is just speaking words of affirmation to yourself while looking in a mirror. This can help to ground yourself in your body and boost self-confidence.
“I practice self-love. I look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you. You’re beautiful. You can do anything.’” Lizzo said in an interview. “Tell yourself that on your happy days so that you have the strength to tell yourself that on your darker days.”
Count your blessings
Another way of showing yourself love, especially on days that you are feeling down and out, is by making an effort to appreciate the good things in your life.
“I want you to know that you woke up this morning, and that’s a blessing, I want you to know the sun is shining somewhere, that’s a blessing, and even if it’s raining, it’s cleansing you—it’s a blessing,” the singer wrote on Instagram. “I want you to know that whatever you’re going through if it doesn’t feel good, that you will feel good again, and you have whatever it takes to feel good again.”
Make a list of things that you are grateful for, or simply just list them out in your head. Studies show practicing gratitude actually has numerous psychological benefits and can make you happier.
Practice regular self-care
Show love to yourself by treating yourself. Self-care is any activity that can help to promote a person’s overall mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
“Self-care is in the little moments—bathing, sweating, washing your hair. It’s in laughing so hard you can barely catch a breath, your lungs expanding on a morning jog. Now more than ever we need to enjoy the quiet within ourselves,” Lizzo wrote on Instagram.
Eat in a way that suits you
Eating is an important part of your overall well-being. So consume foods and drinks that make you feel good. Lizzo recently chose to embrace a plant-based diet.
In June, after sharing countless tasty vegan recipes, Lizzo took to her TikTok to tell her nearly nine million followers that she is vegan. “As a new vegan, I’m enjoying exploring flavors from plants & plant-based proteins! Every journey is personal & deserves to be celebrated,” she wrote.
The singer just celebrated six months of not eating animal products. Right now, the lifestyle “brings her joy,” but she isn’t hard on herself for the times in her life when she wasn’t vegan. She recently posted a TikTok reflecting on a video of herself making, in her own words, “a stale donut, poundcake, milkshake type concoction” at the beginning of quarantine.
She said: “This is from a whirlwind tour and year, and after being seven years vegetarian, going back to eating all animal products.” The video then switches to the singer now. “This is me now, making my vegan protein shake,” she adds. “Honestly, I am both of these women and I cannot condemn one woman or the other. I’m happy both ways and right now, this is what’s bringing me joy.”
Surround yourself with positivity
Who you spend time with is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. Being around people who constantly speak negatively about you and things you do will only hinder your feeling of self-worth and lower your self-esteem. One way to show love to yourself is by ending these toxic relationships. Instead, surround yourself with positive people and those who treat you with kindness and respect.
“Who I am, and the essence of me, and the things that I choose to do as a grown-ass woman, can inspire you to do the same. They don’t have to be like me—you need to be like you, and never ever let somebody stop you or shame you from being yourself,” Lizzo said in a video posted to Instagram.
Speak kindly to yourself
It’s difficult not to compare yourself to others and their accomplishments. In order to truly love yourself, you have to accept your mistakes and not be too harsh. And, as Lizzo says, you also have to respect your journey.
During a CBS interview, Lizzo visited the University of Houston, a college she dropped out from. Speaking with students, she said: “You’re not supposed to be happy all the time. You’re not supposed to know what you’re doing all the time. But not knowing what you’re doing has nothing to do with where you’re going. I want you to know that: cherish your journey and respect your journey.”
Don’t be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments. And always treat yourself. Take a page out of Lizzo’s book. “I get flowers every Sunday. I’ma marry me one day,” she raps in her song “Soulmate.”
Treat others with love and respect
How you treat others is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. So follow the age-old adage: treat others the way you want to be treated. And if you slip up, learn from your mistakes and do better.
Lizzo once said in an interview: “I work on myself daily to be a better person. When I react in a negative way to somebody, I sit back and think about why I did it, so I’m always working on myself, and my music is the same.”