In Lizzo’s new reality show, plus-size dancers move with joy, confidence and sex appeal

Watch out for the Big Grrrls, with R&B singer Lizzo, follows the binge-worthy reality formula youtelevision.

In the Amazon Prime Video series, 10 talented plus-size women compete for a dream gig: spots on the Grammy Award-winning dance team, the Big Grrrls, and a chance to perform with Lizzo at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Like the contestants of shows such as Sean Combs make the group, they are in competition to be part of a group. Photo shoot challenges remind America’s Next Top Model. And positive affirmation gives me RuPaul’s Drag Race vibe.

But Lizzo is looking for something more: tall women with the same zest for life. The contestants’ ability to master the choreography of the hits “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” drives the drama. Just watching these women perform perfect splits and land somersaults is inspiring.

“Big girls do it, honey,” Lizzo said in the pilot episode. “I need more great dancers to fill the space on stage with me. I asked the dance agency for great dancers and they gave me nothing… Girls who look like me don’t are simply not represented. It’s time to roll up my sleeves and find them myself.

In Living Color’s The Fly Girls defined over 30 years ago what the ideal hip hop and R&B dancers should look like. The dance crew, led by Rosie Perez, performed high kicks, splits and the Running Man dance between segments of the popular 1990s sketch show. Jennifer Lopez debuted as the Fly Girl and is most famous to date.

The dancers were small with a small waist and curvy bottoms. Lizzo’s show sheds those old-school notions like a used lace front wig. And it’s delicious to watch.

Finding dancers is only a small part of the show’s mission. Lizzo is writing a new narrative for plus size women by treating them right and showing how they deserve to be happy, confident and sexy. She moves the candidates into a sumptuous mansion in Los Angeles with a dance studio, a gym and an equipped kitchen. Women practice yoga, enjoy champagne and good food. Shame has no place. Lizzo’s concern is how these women see themselves, how others see them is their problem.

“I want you to feel special. I want you to feel worthy,” Lizzo told the women on their first day home. “It’s important that they’re in an environment where they can thrive. , which is chic and which flies,” she said. “I want to. treat these girls well. I want to treat them as well as myself.

Although it sounds familiar, Watch out for the big Grrrls does what no other reality TV show has done before: show plus-size women learning to live their best life — and there’s no dieting involved. This is the heart of the Lizzo brand.

READ MORE: 2019 was the year of body positivity. Thanks Lizzo. | Elizabeth Wellington

Lizzo, real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson, released her first album, The Lizzobangs, in 2013. It wasn’t until the 2016 hit, “Good as Hell,” that she gained crossover notoriety. In 2019, Lizzo released “Truth Hurts”. She weighed over 300 pounds and performed her hits in the same kind of lace jumpsuits as Beyoncé. She attended a Lakers game in leather pants exposing the booty. Lizzo kissed her body. But that inner joy and peace, opponents said, fostered an unhealthy lifestyle. I suspect the real truth was that some people didn’t want to see this plus size woman in a body suit.

But there were also those of us who thought Lizzo’s self-respect transcended bad energy and were thrilled to see her twerk and play the flute. I applauded her. Lizzos’ confidence is contagious.

She’s come pretty far. She has released four studio albums. She was the voice of Lydia in the animated film, UglyDolls, it’s a question of self-acceptance. She appeared in the 2019 film Hustlers like Liz, a stripper who plays the flute.

Next Tuesday, Lizzo will launch Yitty, a shapewear collection. The line is available in sizes extra small to 6X and includes 100 styles in bold, nude and basic black and white hues. Just because a tall girl wants her body smooth under a slip dress doesn’t mean she’s ashamed of it.

“Body positivity is this whole new thing because self-hatred and body-negativity was the norm,” Lizzo told contestants on episode 4 of Watch out for the big Grrrls.

Lizzo describes being teased and the boys who said she had a pretty face, but criticized her body. Lizzo wrote the words: Good face. evil body on a mirror.

“I used to think I wasn’t worthy to be an artist, to be on stage,” Lizzo said. “I’m sick of these words. I’m sick of these memories, let’s break through.

Lizzo threw a rock shattering glass, words and above all, feeling. “I’m the one who owns my truth. I’m the one breaking the negative words I used to say to myself to put myself down and now I want the same for all of you.

Women find that confidence in sharing their stories. Arianna Davis is a beautiful, classically trained dancer who doesn’t think she’s pretty because of her height. Asia Banks witnessed her father being murdered by police when she was just five years old. Jayla Sullivan is a trans woman who has been discriminated against all his life. Ashley Williams is a Christian who is attracted to women. At the end of the episode, all the women break a mirror.

Each week, the best dancers receive a prize for their efforts. There are surprises everywhere. Crystal Williams did so well in her auditions that Lizzo crowned her the official Big Grrrl at the end of the first episode. Jasmine Morrison is one of the best dancers but she is not nice. Lizzo is committed to creating camaraderie among contestants. Morrison is sent home.

It’s Lizzo’s show. She sets the rules.

J-Lo debuted as Fly Girl. Lizzo uses her power and platform to make sure her Big Grrrls get going too.

Watch out for the Big Grrrls by Lizzo is streaming on Amazon Prime.

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