Lizzo could’ve addressed recent body-shaming criticism with a calculated statement, but she responded in an even better way: by celebrating her own success instead. (Which feels even more satisfying, doesn’t it?) While accepting an MTV Video Music Award tonight, the singer celebrated “big bitches winning” and quoted a line from Beyoncé’s song “Formation”—“Best revenge is your paper, bitch!”—with the audience cheering on her success.
After the comedian Aries Spears insulted Lizzo’s appearance, comparing her to a certain emoji and “a plate of mashed potatoes” during an interview for The Art of Dialogue in late August, the “About Damn Time” singer clearly struggled not to let the body-shaming comments bother her. On Aug. 25, she tweeted, “Crying myself to sleep was so fun last night I think I’ll do it again tonight 🙃.”
But after winning the Video For Good award tonight—and walking the red carpet as one of the best dressed of the evening—the singer had no qualms declaring any unwarranted, cruel comments irrelevant. “And now, to the bitches that got something to say about me in the press,” she started, “Aries, what’s good?” It was a clear reference to Nicki Minaj’s viral comment at the 2015 VMAs, in which Minaj told Miley Cyrus, “And now, back to this bitch who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press: Miley, what’s good?”
But the name-dropping ended there. Lizzo continued, “You know what, I ain’t gonna say nothing. They be like, ‘Lizzo, why don’t you clap back? Why don’t you clap back?’ ‘Cause bitch, I’m winning, ho.” And it’s true: With multiple viral hits, a successful shapewear brand, a joyful reality series bearing her name, and a legion of fans eager to defend their icon, Lizzo’s positivity and self-love overwhelms any deniers—no matter how loud their objections might be.