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Lizzo shares how twerking taught her self-love: “I used to hate my ass”

The “Good As Hell” singer also used her “TEDXTWERK” to discuss the African origins of twerking.

Lizzo Getty Images for Global Citizen

Is there anyone better suited than Lizzo to give a TED Talk on twerking? Absolutely not. The “Good As Hell” singer is a body positivity champion and has often shared videos of herself proudly shaking her backside on social media. In a recently released TED Talk, Lizzo dubbed “TEDXTWERK,” The Grammy Award winning recording artist said, “through the movement of twerking I discovered my ass is my greatest asset.

I used to hate my ass, believe it or not. I have my father’s shape and my mother’s size, because it’s big and long,” Lizzo said. “I used to think that only asses like J.Lo’s or Beyoncé’s could be famous, I never thought that could happen to me. I always felt like my body type was never the right one or the desirable one growing up. I grew up in an era where having a big ass wasn’t mainstream.”

“I felt like the ass odds were against me, but baby, this badonkadonkdonk is going places,” she continued. “My ass has been the topic of conversation, my ass has been in magazines, Rihanna gave my ass a standing ovation. Yes, my booty, my least favorite part of my body. How did this happen? Twerking.”

Apparently, Lizzo first encountered people twerking at a Houston teen club, “moving their booty to New Orleans bounce,” she recalled. With some practice, the 33-year-old gleefully confessed she realized, “Damn, my ass could do magic.

The tone of her 13-minute “TEDXTWERK” changed slightly when she began to delve into the history of the dance. “It’s important to me to keep the origin story of twerking alive,” Lizzo said.

Modern-day twerking derived from Black people and Black culture. It has a direct parallel to West African dances like Mapouka… Black people carried the origins of this dance through our DNA, through our blood, through our bones. We made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it became today,” she explained. “Now, as a big black woman who has ass, who can twerk, and who has been doing it her whole life, I kind of think I’m an expert on the subject. I want to add to the classical etymology of this dance because it matters. Black people will not be erased from the creation, the history, and the innovation to twerking.”

Watch Lizzo’s entire “TEDXTWERK” below:

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