Entertainer of the Year #TWT

Lizzo. The first thing that comes to my mind is her body positivity. As 2019 comes to an end, I can’t help but admire her hustle, her catchy tunes, and her abundance of self-love. Her boldness is shaking the industry and has everyone motivated to be unapologetically themselves. She is our last terrific woman of the year.

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Lizzo grew up in Texas playing the flute. She went to the University of Houston for music performance and rapped in a group named the “Cornrow Clique.” After, she hopped from group to group and then went solo.

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As a solo artist, most of her songs were and still are about being black and an “overweight woman” and the stigma attached to it. Her songs resonate with many listeners. An album that really highlighted her personal experiences and contributed to her success was ‘Big Grrrl Small World’. Her song, “My Skin” from the album blew up in 2014. With powerful lyrics like, “I woke up in this in my skin…I can’t wash it away, so you can’t take it from me my brown skin,” women were shocked by its relatability and truth. In 2014, body positivity wasn’t a conversation that was prioritized. There was still a lack of representation of minorities and thicker women on TV and in media, so this song was one of the first to address it.

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This year Lizzo’s album ‘Cuz I Love You’ remained in the top 10 of the billboard 200 for several weeks, she made her SNL debut, performed at Coachella, and was named Entertainer of the Year by TIMES’s magazine. Every time I open up Instagram or Facebook I always see her name, her face, her performances. She has been the topic of most conversations recently.

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Lizzo never fails to give a killer performance and is very passionate about her music and what she stands for. I admire her desire for others to continue to push and work harder. In a tweet while reflecting on where she was versus where she is, she writes, “don’t stop…we need you. Your time is coming.”

Drakeâ™s Private After Party at Poppy nightclub, presented by The h.wood Group & PacSun, with specialty sips by Virginia Bla

Lizzo is a girl with beauty and brains, and I am excited to see what else she is capable of!

What other beauty would you like to acknowledge before the year ends?

My First Spoken Word Experience

Girl! Be Heard Unplugged showWhen I was younger, I always wanted to go to a poetry slam or a spoken word cafe. The people snapping when they can relate, the engagement, the stories being told. It seemed like a great experience!

In September,  I auditioned for Girl Be Heard’s Sunday Workshops. Girl Be Heard develops, amplifies, and celebrates the voices of young women through socially conscious theatre-making. Their philosophy is ” if a girl can change her own life, she can change the lives of girls everywhere. We envision a world in which every girl is valued and encouraged to be a leader and change maker.” I wanted to be apart of this wonderful organization because I wanted to grow as a writer. I wanted to write about what I was passionate about. I wanted my voice to be heard.

We met every Sunday starting, October 22. When I got into this program, I met so many amazing and talented girls. They all had a story and they were all ready to be heard. On December 17th, Girl Be Heard held their annual Unplugged Holiday Showcase to give all the girls in the program an opportunity to share the pieces they’ve been working on.

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My amazing group! Manhattan Sunday Workshops!

I did an original piece called “You Can’t Touch My Hair.” I created this piece because I wanted to express the love I have for my hair, the experiences I’ve been through regarding my hair, and why I love my hair so much!

The show started at 3pm and I was the 7th person to go. I was so scared. Yes, I’ve been on stage before. Yes, I perform on stage all time, but this was different. It was different because I never performed an original piece before. That is a whole other stage of vulnerability! When I stepped on stage, I was still a little nervous and my heart was beating really fast, but as I started to recite my piece I felt completely comfortable. The audience was so engaged and supportive. When they could relate they snapped. When they really liked a line they made a sound like, “mmm” or “yesss!” IMG_5957Hearing that feedback while I was reciting, made me even more confident in my piece. It made me feel accomplished. I felt as if I actually touched someone’s heart with my piece. My piece could’ve made someone’s day or encouraged them to love themselves. My piece was more than about touching my hair. It was about making other girls aware that they aren’t alone! The feedback I received after I got off of stage was so heart warming. Girls came up to me and shared their experiences with me. Some told me they just got the courage to embrace their hair, and others told me they can 100% relate to my piece.

Overall, it was a great experience like I imagined! If you live near New York and you love writing, I advise you to check out Girl! Be Heard and see how you can get involved. The next time they have auditions, I encourage you to go! If you don’t live near New York and you love to write, find out what is in your community. I am sure there are writing workshops or cafes where you can recite your pieces!

Alright, enough chit chatting!! 😆 Here is my piece, “You Can’t Touch My Hair.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLruIgNivhA]

I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know in the comments what you think. Also let me know if you guys like to write!

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