Lizzo’s New Reality Series Could Be the Best Fat Representation TV Has Ever Seen
When the trailer for Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls dropped on February 17, I could’ve sworn I felt tears pricking up behind my eyes — and I never cry.
As it has just been revealed, the upcoming reality series from Prime Video will follow Lizzo as she hunts for new people to join The Big Grrrls, the crew of plus-size dancers who tour with her. While serving as the show’s host and executive producer, Lizzo will be joined on screen by “legendary choreographers Tanisha Scott and O.G. Big Grrrls Chawnta’ Marie Van, Shirlene Quigley, and Grace Holden, and several special guests including choreographer Charm La’Donna, body movement expert Rashida KhanBey Miller, and multi-platinum singer/songwriter SZA,” according to a press release from Prime Video.
If you’re a big girl yourself, you already know exactly why I got a little misty watching this trailer, which you can see below. Lizzo actually sums it up perfectly in the first few seconds: “Girls that look like me don’t get representation. Time to pull up my sleeves and find them myself.” It’s one thing for Lizzo to have any TV show, where she alone would be representing fat women everywhere — but it’s another altogether for her to have a TV show dedicated to the uplifting of a group of fat women, all of whom seem to have different body types and come from different backgrounds.
This certainly won’t be the first time a group of fat people has starred together on a reality TV show — but it might be the first time a group of fat people will star on a reality TV show that isn’t about competing to lose the most weight or about the “struggles” that come with being fat. (The Biggest Loser, Too Large, My 600-Lb Life, and Obese and Pregnant and just a few examples.) Not only could this show portray fat people as exactly what we are — human beings with complexity — but it could also show viewers that being fat has little to do with one’s physical abilities.
I’ve seen Lizzo and The Big Grrrls live in action, and let me tell you, there are few things more empowering to see than a talented crew of plus-size women crushing choreography most people, big or small, could never dream of doing. By bottling that energy up into a series that portrays fat women as talented, capable, and athletic — as opposed to lazy, unintelligent, and unhealthy, as we often are — Lizzo is once again giving fat people the opportunity to see themselves represented on screen in a positive light, something we but especially fat women of color have always deserved.
Watch Out for the Big Grrrls shouldn’t be the first or last series of this nature, but we’ll never be able to thank Lizzo enough for setting a new standard for our on-screen treatment. The show will be ready to stream on Prime Video starting March 25, and I’ll be waiting impatiently in front of my TV until then.
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