Melissa “Lizzo” Jefferson has fallen under fire. In recent breaking news, Lizzo is being sued by 3 former dancers who alleged she and others created a hostile work environment due to sexual, religious, and racial harassment, even fat shaming in the workplace. These allegations vary in nature and target. Some are directed at all three defendants – Lizzo, Quigley, and Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc., while others are specific to individual defendants or plaintiffs.
This and many other examples are why celebrity worship is toxic. This doesn’t mean that Lizzo is guilty or not guilty, but it does mean that people outside looking in hold celebrities to this untouchable standard. Or it’s assumed they’re these perfect beings. When it should be simplified, Lizzo is at her job working just like most of the world. Yes, this work is entertaining the masses, but with a job comes many personalities and responsibilities. Including your boss and in this case, Lizzo. This why I don’t idolize celebrities because they’re just people out there making a living. They come with past trauma. New trauma. Minimal trauma. At the end of the day, they’re human. Everyone has tendencies that can arise on the pendulum of good and bad. No person is all good or all bad. Some people lean more toward their good side, and some lean more toward their bad side. Plus, good and bad is in the eye of the beholder. Right? What I deem bad, another person could say there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe it comes down to our morals.
Now, I want to go back to that word standard. Standard means for something to have a level of quality to it. Lizzo’s brand has always talked about body positivity and self-love. Therefore she has set a standard for how people view her. It, unfortunately, creates this invisible pedestal, and then people only want to hold her to that standard. Holding Lizzo to a standard means also holding her accountable. Should Lizzo be held accountable? Absolutely. This is a woman whose image is all about positivity, but here’s my issue. Holding her accountable and picking a side when all we have is allegations is an unlogical thing to do. I can’t wrap my mind around that way of thinking when there’s no proof revealed of these allegations. I err on the side of picking no side until more details exist. But by today’s standards, all you need is an assumption, and the line will be drawn in the sand.
There’s now a blemish on her image, and this happens almost immediately once an allegation comes out. Initially, Lizzo tried to ignore the drama until it kept growing, and finally, she released a statement on her Instagram. Not to mention once these former dancers ripped themselves out tha plastic, more stories emerged from other people who also didn’t have a positive encounter with Lizzo. At the very least, It’s not looking good for her character. Another major blow was Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival 2023 was canceled as Lizzo was set to headline. Though it’s not sure if the allegations against Lizzo are why the festival is nixed, the optics still don’t look good. The festival released a statement to let the fans know. Refunds will be issued, and they hope to bring it back to Philly in 2024. Oh, for all you Beyonce fans out there, if you’ve been paying attention, it is said that Beyonce removed Lizzo’s name from Break My Soul (Queen’s Remix) while she performs on tour.
Two things can be true Lizzo could be a caring person and a difficult person to be around. Though I’m not picking a side, I believe people have had positive experiences with her, and these former dancers and other people have had bad experiences with her or her team. I came across this statement on social media that says (I’m paraphrasing) you have to accept that in someone else’s story, you are the villain. I thought that was so fitting for this because Lizzo can genuinely believe she is a thoughtful, loving, and caring person that still won’t change how other people experience her. And as of today, it seems there are many negative experiences.
Celebrities are not the poster children for positivity. They’re not beacons of hope or anything like that. That’s not really what they sign up for. Putting them on that pedestal is your choice and has nothing to do with them. If they choose to do good in the world, whether they talk about it or not, that’s great. That’s their choice, but that doesn’t mean they’re all about puppy dogs and baby seals all the time. Lizzo faces serious allegations, which will be a lot of back and forth between both sides. I don’t really know what to hope for in this situation because how does one really prove either side is telling the truth?