Lizzo has had a difficult year in the public eye. The singer made a name for herself as role model for body positivity, but came under fire for allegedly mistreating her backup dancers behind closed doors.

She was accused of going against the very body positivity she stood for, by allegedly making fun of the dancers’ appearance (among other things). The negativity from these accusations (and the lawsuits that came with them) have lingered, but now Lizzo has to deal with one more headache: South Park has come for her.

The beloved (and often controversial) animated show put out a special that satirized the notion of body positivity and the recent craze surrounding the weight loss drug Ozempic. Lizzo gets referenced by name throughout the episode, and bears the brunt of the satire from creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Why, though? What made Lizzo such an obvious target for the South Park team? Let’s discuss.

South Park poses “Lizzo” as an alternative to Ozempic

Lizzo has been one of the unabashed and outspoken celebrities in the world when it comes to body positivity. She posed nude on the cover of her breakout album, Cuz I Love You (2019), and she championed the concept of embracing one’s body shape in virtually every interview she gave.

It’s for these reasons that the singer was chosen to represent the “alternative” to weight loss. She represents the most obvious target, given her celebrity, and the allegations of her not practicing what she preached behind closed doors.

In the South Park special, titled “The End of Obesity,” “Lizzo” is the name of the drug given to those who can’t afford Ozempic. It’s “FDA approved” and makes you feel good about your weight while costing 90% less than Ozempic. The drug in question is named after the singer because it’s merely a state of mind. Those who take “Lizzo” on the show are simply meant to champion their body shape, which doesn’t require them to put any effort into working out or changing their diet.

A voiceover for a “Lizzo” ad during the episode states:

In case studies, 70% of patients on Lizzo no longer cared how much they weighed. Lizzo helps you eat everything you want and keep physical activity to a minimum.

The “weight loss” in the show is not meant as an actual comment on the real Lizzo’s weight loss, nor does it imply that the pop singer has taken Ozempic. It merely uses her fame, and the current trend of Ozempic usage among celebrities, to make a few jokes about weight loss in general.

Lizzo responded positively to the South Park jokes

Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage

We’ve seen public figures respond poorly to South Park mockery. Kanye West was so annoyed by his “fishstick” episode that included a diss towards the show’s writing staff on his 2010 masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Lizzo, on the other hand, took it in stride. The singer posted a reaction to the special on TikTok, and admitted that she was initially scared to see how she was satirized. “Guys, my worst fear has been actualized,” she told her fans. “I’ve been referenced in a South Park episode. I’m so scared.”

Lizzo recorded herself watching the special, and she puts her hand over her mouth in surprise at one point. She does, however, take away something positive from her involvement. “That’s crazy,” she said. “[I] really showed the world how to love yourself [to where these men] in Colorado put it on their cartoon that’s been around for 25 years.” The singer’s upbeat handling of the situation is a far cry from her previous social media update.

Lizzo posted an Instagram pic of herself on May 23, claiming to be the happiest she had been in nearly a year. The depression mostly stemmed from the lawsuits and accusations made against her, but Lizzo assured fans that she was on the rebound. “The strange thing about depression is you don’t know you’re in it until you’re out of it,” she wrote in the caption. “I’m definitely not all the way as carefree as I used to be.. But the dark cloud that followed me every day is finally clearing up.”

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