During the Emmy awards on Monday night, Lizzo won for Outstanding Competition Program for her Amazon series, "Lisso's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls," which documented her search for backup dancers. And her acceptance speech for her brilliant win is everything.
Lizzo's show features 13 women competing to become dancers for the “About Damn Time” singer’s 2022 tour. It premiered in March of this year, and the show clearly means a lot to a lot of people—especially Lizzo herself, and every single young girl out there watching.
"When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media—someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me," Lizzo said, growing emotional as she accepted the award. "If I could go back and tell little Lizzo something, I'd be like, 'You're going to see that person, but b***h, it's going to have to be you.'"
As we know, to say representation matters is an understatement. Young girls deserve to be able to see themselves in the media they consume, and the unfortunate reality is that fatness and Blackness are still underrepresented even now.
Lizzo also thanked the competitors in her series, adding, "This is for the big girls!"
Another fun fact about Lizzo's win: this award means she's getting closer to becoming an esteemed member of the "EGOT" club—those who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony—and now she's halfway there.
"I want to say thank you to Emmys and the Emmys voters, first of all. I'm very emotional," she also said during her speech. "The trophy is nice but the emotion is for the people who are on this stage with me. The stories that they shared are not that unique, they just don't get the platform. Let's just tell more stories."
To see how this kind of representation impacts young people who are watching, all you have to do is take a look at the dozens and dozens of viral reaction videos of Black girls watching the new trailer for Disney's live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid." (Try not to cry while watching, I dare you.)
According to a Variety report last year, 42.2% of the U.S. population is racially and ethnically diverse, and that number is only projected to grow in the decades to come. The report cites that Black talent is "above on-screen parity," but 58% of Black respondents in the report noted that is still not enough. Black women also remain largely underrepresented in shows compared to Black men. And with most representative dramas featuring Black women on-screen, only about 15% of them have Black women writers in their credits.
A McKinsey report graphic shows just how underrepresented Black actors and creators are in Hollywood as of 2021.
The legendary Geena Davis, who accepted the Governors Award during the Emmys Monday night, also gave a shoutout to Lizzo while acknowledging there is still progress to be made.
"Tonight's about honoring the best of television and as you know, as Lizzo knows, television can often directly impact how people see themselves and judge their value in the world," she said. "And in the time since I launched the institute, we've made a great deal of progress. But still, there's more work to do."