Lizzo's long-awaited TED Talk on twerking (aka her "TED Twerk") is finally here, and it's just as amazing as we thought it would be, if not more. The talk, which was delivered as part of TEDMonterey's "The Case Of Optimism", has been highly anticipated by fans, and we're so glad it's here.
The TED Talk speaks about how twerking as a dance move has become a part of mainstream culture, and how the move taught Lizzo to love her body. She says, "My ass has been the topic of conversations, 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. Through the movement of twerking, I realized that my ass is my greatest asset. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my TED Twerk."
Throughout the talk, she talks about the origins of twerking in West African dance, and how it made its way into Southern Black culture through genres like hip-hop and New Orleans bounce, before being co-opted by whiteness. She explains, "My body ain't a trend. I twerk because of my ancestors, for sexual liberation. … Because I can. Because I know I look good. I twerk because it's unique to the Black experience, it's unique to my culture, and it means something real to me."
She finishes the talk by saying, "I twerk because I'm talented. Because I'm sexual, but not to be sexualized. I twerk to own my power, to reclaim my Blackness, my culture. I twerk for fat, Black women because being fat and Black is a beautiful thing." Powerful words.
You can check out the TED Talk below. Get your notebook out and have a pen/pencil handy, because Lizzo's about to take you to school.