Opinions of Lizzo

City High students share their opinions on the music video "Water Me" by Lizzo.

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Opinions of Lizzo

A girl is surrounded by musical notes.

A girl is surrounded by musical notes.

Haileigh Steffen

A girl is surrounded by musical notes.

Haileigh Steffen

Haileigh Steffen

A girl is surrounded by musical notes.

Victoria Weckmann, Marketing Editor

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The opening scene of the video “Water Me” cues up. Lizzo sits in a stark white heart-neck dress, her long curls cascading over her shoulder. She keeps her eyes closed, as if she may fall asleep. Surrounding her are dark, opulently patterned curtains allowing very little light to reach her. 

“The video was kind of confusing at first, but I think it’s about breaking the stereotypes on the woman in the video,” said Sierra Josephson ‘21.

The video scenes using imagery of hair specifically grabbed Sierra’s attention. 

“I think the video was all about hair. In the video Lizzo washes her hair, and there’s a little boy being washed in a sink,” Sierra said. “This is important because it featured natural hair and people expressing themselves through their hair.”

She went on to explain the importance of this imagery to society today.

“It is important for people to show their natural hair because society tells women they need to straighten or curl their hair to fit certain societal standards. They are pressured to be anything but themselves,” Sierra said. “This video portrays hair as a form of expression, showing that women, and people in general, should be encouraged to be who they are.”

However, Sam Strathearn ‘21 had a different take on the music video.

“I noticed that in the video there are some interesting family dynamics. In the beginning Lizzo was in a kitchen making food and washing children, while a male was running and doing ‘male things,’” Sam said. “I thought that was weird because I think of Lizzo as being empowering. I wouldn’t have thought that she would take on such a stereotypical role.”

Despite his take on “Water Me,” Sam still had positive things to say about Lizzo as an artist.

“Lizzo gives me be-positive-about-your-body vibes. She spreads the idea that you should just be wild and free and not let things keep you down,” said Sam. “Just be yourself and have fun.”

Aidan Burdinie ‘22, another Lizzo enthusiast, agreed.

“I find Lizzo’s music very interesting. She’s unique and she has a very strong presence on her tracks,” said Burdinie. 

Not only did he feel her presence, but Burdinie also feels that Lizzo spreads a good message.

“Lizzo addresses that a lot of the time women are expected not [to] be powerful and self-positive,” Burdinie said. “I think the fact that she is all about that is good.”

Others have also attributed Lizzo to a change in social problems.

“The idea of body positivity has become more popular in 2019, but it’s just good to have a singer that has that message and is popular in our society,” said Savanna Josephson ‘21. “She’s a good role model.”

Sophia Strathearn ‘21 agrees with the idea that Lizzo embodies the idea of a good role model, even if it is not necessarily because of her music.

“I wish there was more diversity in artists, because I think that it is a really good thing to have somebody to look up to, somebody that is like you,” Sophia said.

However, some feel that her music doesn’t always come off as having positive messages.

“I don’t always understand her lyrics,” Sophia said. “Sometimes I wonder if some of her lyrics are just all about sex. But regardless, I do think the energy that she brings to people is definitely a positive thing.”

Even with the positive messages that people view Lizzo as spreading, not everyone wants more artists to take on Lizzo’s characteristics.

“I don’t really think more artists should be like Lizzo. Obviously she is a great role model and a great singer, but I think she holds that up on her own,” Sierra said. “She is her own person and she revolutionized the industry on her own. We shouldn’t have a ton of people copying her because she is good enough as she is.” 

Savanna had similar thoughts to Sierra.

“Her message would kind of be drowned out if there were a bunch of artists like her,” Savanna said.

However despite all of her work on social justice, Lizzo has been under fire recently for claims that she plagiarized the opening line in her song “Truth Hurts,” according to Rolling Stone. Still, this has not been shocking news to everyone.

“There is no such thing as a totally original piece of music. The whole thing about owning a chord progression is kind of stupid,” Sam said. “Every musician has cases like that against them.”

Sierra also found that these claims didn’t tarnish her view on Lizzo.

“It doesn’t change what I think about her. She still took the music and made it her own,” Sierra said.