Lizzo holds a plethora of titles. She’s a singer, a fat acceptance advocate and one of the only people who makes music that can motivate me while working out. Now, she’s the mastermind behind the new shapewear line “Yitty.”
The official launch of “Yitty” is on April 12, but it’s already sparking controversy. The various judgments of the creation of “Yitty” stem from the fact that Lizzo seems to be a champion of body neutrality and acceptance, but she has now created articles of clothing that are meant to hide the body.
The irony of the current judgment Lizzo is facing is that people have body shamed Lizzo since she rose to popularity. Although her creation of “Yitty” isn’t a response to criticism, people still aren’t happy that she’s doing something that would seemingly appease their fatphobic minds.
It seems that no matter what “fat” people do, someone’s going to have a problem. But in reality, anyone in a bigger body should be able to exist without judgment.
It’s imperative to understand that Lizzo didn’t create this line out of self-consciousness. Rather, she created it as a response to her typically negative experiences with “sad, restrictive” shapewear in her childhood, when her nickname was “Yitty.” That nickname comes from her aunt, who Lizzo describes as “full-figured” with “beautiful energy” – something she hopes her brand will embody.
In high school, I never wanted to go to school dances because of how uncomfortable the idea of communal dancing made me and how alienating being around hundreds of skinny girls was. I remember going to a few different stores before I was able to find shapewear that I could actually squeeze into.
I wore shapewear to help me feel more comfortable in a dress, something I felt entirely uncomfortable in. I didn’t wear it because I thought it would make the fact that I was bigger disappear.
Everyone knows that Lizzo isn’t a size two. But there’s absolutely no reason to shame an established and beautiful woman for trying to make her own mark in shapewear.
When Kim Kardashian launched SKIMS in 2019, a clothing line mostly focused on shapewear, no one batted an eye. There were comments made about prices and availability, but there weren’t any second guesses about Kardashian’s credibility in creating shapewear.
There’s no reason Lizzo shouldn’t be treated with the same respect. If Lizzo is a true champion of body activism, then “Yitty” is another wonderful extension of that.
“Yitty” is about loving you “in real time.” It’s not about covering up your fat or trying to hide under clothing. It’s about embracing every inch of your skin and making you feel comfortable, whatever that means to each individual who wears it.
I love Lizzo, her music and her ability to be unapologetically true to herself. Her creation and aspirations for “Yitty” are something to be adored, not criticized.
It takes so much mental and emotional strength for a plus size person to simply exist in a fatphobic society — and it takes much more energy to exist in it, be bold and take action. But that’s exactly what Lizzo’s doing.
We should all use this “Yitty” controversy as a lesson. A lesson to not pass judgments on groups of people we don’t share experiences with. A lesson to not ostracize those who are already judged by society daily. And mostly, this should all be taken as a lesson to leave big girls alone. We are just as deserving of respect as everyone else.
Elizabeth Valadez (she/her) is a freshman studying English and political science. She is a member of Chi Alpha.