+
lizzo lyric change, lizzo grrrls

She's the pudding in the proof, alright.

Lizzo—an artist who has made inclusion a part of her platform—received criticism from fans for a word included in her newly released single “Grrrls,” which was seen by some as derogatory toward disabled people.

The song’s opening line includes the word “spazz,” which in broad slang terms can mean “random, wild outburst,” according to Urban Dictionary. As many disability advocates pointed out, however, “spastic” is also used to describe someone with an actual medical condition where they lose control of their muscles (cerebral palsy, in particular). The term has often been used as an insult, implying that someone is “awkward or clumsy.” Hence why many view it as an “ableist slur.”

Fans who were disappointed by its inclusion in her song posted about it online, which eventually caught the attention of Lizzo herself.


"Hey @lizzo, my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad. 'S--z' doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better,” one person explained.

Another added: “Oh @lizzo. A VERY influential figure, using the word sp@z in her new song. An offensive and derogatory term. As someone who’s written about the use of disability language, especially slang/slur words which have been used in schools, this is a huge step back. Please, remove it.”

So … what do you do when you say something hurtful, despite that being the furthest thing from what you intended? How do you make it right without compromising your own integrity? You do exactly what Lizzo did.

Without missing a beat, Lizzo made a statement on Instagram that acknowledged the pain caused by using the word, focusing on impact rather than intent. It's a crucial shift that makes an apology authentic.

"It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song 'GRRRLS'. Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally),” the singer wrote.

That simple change made a world of difference. Lizzo soon received an outpouring of love, even from those who initially reached out in retaliation. Amazing things happen when people feel heard.

Some even noted their own discoveries, sharing how they too learned about the word’s other meaning and plan to change moving forward.

lizzo spaz, lizzo twitter

We're all learning together.

Instagram

Even the most conscientious person doesn’t know everything. No one is going to know how every word is translated across cultures and backgrounds. We are all human. But compassion doesn’t have to get lost in translation. There doesn’t have to be drama in allyship. Sometimes it might be as simple as a more mindful approach to our ever-evolving language.

Despite what another Lizzo song suggests, maybe truth doesn’t have to hurt.

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

Some cries for help can be hard to discern.

“I’m fine.”

How easily these two words slip from our mouths, often when nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes, it feels safer to hide our true feelings, lest someone make a judgment or have a negative reaction. Other times, it’s a social rule instilled in childhood, perhaps even through punishment. Or maybe denying is the only way to combat overwhelm—if we ignore it all long enough, things will eventually get better anyway.

At the end of the day … it’s all about avoiding further pain, isn’t it?

But this denial can lead to even more suffering—not only emotionally, but physically as well. Everything from stiff muscles, to migraines, to digestive issues can stem from suppressing emotions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Stowaway cat hid in a camper to go on family vacation and captured hearts along her journey

Delilah the cat was a hit at the biggest air show in the country.

The EAA AirVenture air show.

According to a series of Facebook posts, the Scholten family embarked on a 1200-mile journey from St. Albans, Maine, to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 22 to see the legendary EAA AirVenture air show. Known as the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” the weeklong event attracts over 500,000 people to see more than 10,000 aircraft.

News Center Maine reports that 15 hours and 900 miles down the road, in Toledo, Ohio, the family stopped for a routine pit stop and got an incredible shock. Their cat Delilah had secretly hitched along for the ride in the family camper.

"I open the door, and there's Delilah," Andrea Scholten told News Center Maine. "I just screamed 'Delilah!' and my husband and the kids were like 'Delilah!'”

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

How breastfeeding actually works is seriously awe-inspiring

Let's take a moment to marvel at this miraculous process.

A viral video shows what's happening beneath the surface when a baby breastfeeds.

Let me start by saying I don't care whether you breastfeed or not. Everyone's circumstances are different, no one needs to explain why they did or didn't breastfeed their babies and we'd all be better off with far fewer judgments across the baby-feeding spectrum.

With that disclaimer out of the way, can we at least all agree that breastfeeding is freaking awesome?

I mean, the whole biological process of growing an entire human practically from scratch is mind-blowing all by itself. But the fact that our bodies then create food to feed that human, with a whole system for how and when that food gets made and released, is just so cool.

Keep ReadingShow less