The first trailer for Lizzo’s Watch Out For the Big Grrrls was released week. Now she’s on the cover of Variety for a great interview with Ramin Setoodeh to promote her show and her growing empire. Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, premiering on Prime on March 25, is described as a “cross between America’s Next Top Model and RuPaul’s Drag Race – dancers live together while competing for a chance to join Lizzo on stage at Bonnaroo in June. And Lizzo says the reason she’s doing it is because she needs to. She needs backup dancers, and she wants dancers who look like her. But the “Big Grrrls”, as she calls them, often don’t have agents.
“Agents represent girls they feel like have value. I think bigger bodies have been devalued in the industry. We’re not getting agents because we’re not getting jobs. We’re not getting jobs because we don’t have agents. Y’all are just pingponging. A lot of girls who dance with me got agents after they started working with me because they were generating a viable stream of income. I’m grateful for that, but it’s still ridiculous. These girls should be getting representation ASAP. Hopefully this show helps that.”
And it’s not just that Lizzo wants more people to see the Big Grrrls, period, she wants us to see what they can do, what she can do:
“[People are] conditioned to believe that bigger bodies don’t have enough stamina to perform at the level that I do. For decades, we have been depicted on television and in movies as “lazy,” and huffing and puffing while the other thinner characters are jogging. It’s fine. It’s a stereotype. I ain’t new to stereotypes. But what I’m trying to do is dismantle every stereotype that I have the power to do. I’m destroying them by just living and being incredible all the time.”
The show is also giving Lizzo the opportunity to showcase more than just her physicality. She’s a producer, she’s been producing, but now she’s getting paid for it:
“I’ve been producing for a long time, and I didn’t even know that was what it was called. I’m finally getting paid and credited doing this. I’m a very hands-on person. Anything that I’ve put out, I’ve touched so many f-cking times. Thanks to Amazon and this show, I feel more like a boss.”
This is the revelation I think a lot of women can relate to – because so often we’re doing it…but we don’t “even know that was what it was called”, which can then result in not believing that we’re qualified. That’s what Lizzo is getting at: she’s reached the point where she now knows that she is, indeed, qualified.
But her own relationship with her abilities changes all the time, especially since fame can be such a mind-f-ck, and that’s another reason I like this interview so much. Lizzo will always bet on Lizzo, and the confidence is there, but she will also admit that there are times when the negative talk can break through and in those moments, she shows them. Because believing in yourself takes work too.
But you can still have fun during the process. Which is what she’s also doing here with her promotion. You can hear it in her answers, Lizzo is having a great time. And if anyone doesn’t want to rock with her, well, it’s their loss. I wonder if it’ll be Disney’s loss. Because Lizzo auditioned to be Ursula in The Little Mermaid:
“Everyone knows I auditioned for Ursula in [Disney’s upcoming live-action] “The Little Mermaid,” and I didn’t get it. But you know, I’m fine as hell. That has nothing to do with Ursula, but I was down to make Ursula a THOT, shaking ass.”
Um, I was down to watch Ursula be a THOT, shaking ass…
Even Melissa McCarthy, who was eventually cast as Ursula, doesn’t understand why not. At least that’s what she told Lizzo when they ran into each other at the Adele show. Lizzo isn’t dwelling but she does have acting ambitions and she’s going for it. But first…the new album. And here’s where Lizzo will always get the part, no doubt. The album will come out later this year.
“It’s one of the most musically badass, daring and sophisticated bodies of work I’ve done to date. I am not done. I’m still pushing out the hits, baby. And I hope that it is some of the most useful pieces of music to ever exist. All I want to do is help people through my music.”
Lizzo is basically promising that she’ll be delivering the hits. For everyone who knows every lyric backwards and forwards to “Juice”, “Truth Hurts”, “Soulmate”, and tossed their hair and checked their nails to “Good As Hell” and so many more of her hits, they would bet on that too. But note that her hope for her music is that it’s “useful”, the most unspectacular of descriptors from the most spectacular of performers in an industry that is all about presentation, which to me speaks to how thoughtful and considered she is. That her purposes and her promises aren’t empty.
So, again, I can’t wait for these new songs. As previously mentioned, she shared a snippet from one of them a few weeks ago and it’s already a banger.
Head to Variety to read Lizzo’s full cover story.
Yours in gossip,