Lizzo’s decision to change the lyrics of her new song “Grrrls” has prompted a heated discussion online, with fans taking up positions on both sides of the debate. On one, there are those applauding Lizzo for listening to disability advocates and removing the term “spaz out” from the song’s lyrics, as it has ableist connotations that were perhaps not widely known outside of that community. On the other side are those who believe Lizzo should have defended her original artistic expression and think that people are being “too sensitive.”
Cardi B, who has been censured online for some of the language in her old videos and tweets for years, didn’t appreciate being dragged into the debate. When one Twitter user typed up a thread discussing some of the peripheral aspects of the discourse, she unwisely compared Lizzo to Cardi B, saying that Cardi “gets away” with more due to light-skinned privilege, while Lizzo is scrutinized more closely due to her size. Cardi caught wind and let the tweeter have a piece of her mind.
“Ya will do mental gymnastics to include me in anything that people are getting dragged for,” she noted. “People have called me out for plenty of shit .Yall do it every week SOMETHINGS I apologize for & some things I will tell y’all TO SUCK DICK & personally If I was Lizzo I would of said SMD.”
Cardi is slim and light-skinned
She will often “get away” with more than other women, especially those who look like Lizzo, will. That’s the world we live in. People may get mad but I don’t care lol Colorism and fatphobia shape SO MANY reactions and extensions of “grace” https://t.co/Q6HK7u2SHr
— patreon.com/FeministaJones (@FeministaJones) June 14, 2022
Ya will do mental gymnastics to include me in anything that people are getting dragged for …People have called me out for plenty of shit .Yall do it every week SOMETHINGS I apologize for & some things I will tell y’all TO SUCK DICK & personally If I was Lizzo I would of said SMD https://t.co/UrYnQaSYMf
— Cardi B (@iamcardib) June 15, 2022
There’s kind of a fair point in the original thread, but to get there, you kind of have to ignore a lot of other, fairer points (no pun intended). For instance, the fact that Lizzo is marketed more heavily to a pop audience than Cardi, and therefore her songs are exposed to a different audience than Cardi’s. Plus, while Cardi has been open to learning moments in the past, she’s also been known to lash out at critics — as is her right — and it’s possible the sort of advocates who’d ask her to change her own offensive lyrics just aren’t as familiar with her music. She’s also right about getting yelled at over a million different things a day, mostly by disingenuous bad actors trying to score ratings points.
I guess the point is that everybody’s human and perhaps using celebrities to make these points isn’t the best use of anyone’s energy. If anything, the time to address this stuff is in early childhood, before these biases, prejudices, and misconceptions are so ingrained in our personalities, we’re willing to insult strangers over them. If only there were some curriculum that directly addressed how biases are reinforced and offered pathways to confronting and undoing the most harmful ones… Oh wait, there is, and people have been going HAM over it for the last two years. Sigh.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.