Lizzo Talks Self-Love, Empowering Fashion and New Absolut Partnership

Lizzo-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Absolut

"I am a bad bitch that takes risks and wears whatever she wants," Lizzo tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Be completely in love with who you are with no makeup, no extra hair, no styling, no corsetry."

Get ready for the juice, because Lizzo is bringing it. The pop star’s irresistible feel-good single "Juice," regarded as one of the songs of the summer, has kindled a movement of self-acceptance that translates into Lizzo's signature style. 

Lizzo has flaunted her "juice" — which she describes as "swagger" and "celebrating how popping we are" — in colorful ensembles on the red carpet and in natural looks on social media. From a lavender BCALLA bodysuit worn to the Glastonbury Festival to the wedding ensemble she donned at the BET Awards in June, Lizzo keeps her costumes playful and empowering to match her body-positive message.  

"I am a bad bitch that takes risks and wears whatever she wants," Lizzo tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Turning jokes into a red-carpet look is what we do best. ... You should essentially, by the end of your self-love journey, be completely in love with who you are with no makeup, no extra hair, no styling, no corsetry." For her, she's still working on embracing her natural hair without wigs.

Now she is furthering her "Juice" agenda with premium vodka brand Absolut to launch Absolut Juice in strawberry and apple flavors — a partnership that the singer says is a "match made in heaven." The collaboration, Lizzo says, aligns with her true self and her brand, which encapsulates self-love, self-empowerment, freedom, beauty and celebrating all body sizes and diversity.

Below, Lizzo talks more with THR about how fashion contributes to her "Juice" movement ("It’s everything! You got style, baby, you got the juice!"), her wild "flamingo pink" Met Gala look by Marc Jacobs and her favorite items in her closet.

Can you tell me about your partnership with Absolut Juice? Why did you decide to partner with the brand?

First of all, it’s Absolut Juice, and I was like "Holy shit." The name got me, because I have my song "Juice." I’m very selective and weird about partnerships, because I like to stay true to myself and really authentic. The people at Absolut also were really conscious about staying true to me and what Team Lizzo is and what the Lizzo world looks like. They even included the big girls, and they were talking about the creative and visuals, and that was really exciting to me.

Tell me about the concept of "Juice" and what it means to you.

It’s a cultural thing. Like with black people, if you got the juice, you got the sauce, you got the swagger, you got it! Right now it’s such an incredible time for black women, such an incredible time for body diversity and thick girls and big girls. To be a part of this movement and to be a part of this moment that we’re having, I really wanted to sum that up into words, and be like, "Not only do you got it, girl, I got it, too. I got the juice. I’m it." So that’s kinda what "Juice" is all about — celebrating how popping we are.

How does fashion and what you wear contribute to your own "Juice"?

It’s everything! You got style, baby, you got the juice! I really love my team, my creative team: hair, makeup, styling. We get to just really play around. We love exploring with color, shapes, motifs, big ideas and jokes. Turning jokes into a red-carpet look is what we do best. So I feel like right now, there are some people who aren’t like this, but I like to wear my heart on my sleeve. My personality, you can see it. I don’t even have to say nothing. I walk into a room and you know what’s up.

How would you describe your sense of style?

I am a bad bitch that takes risks and wears whatever she wants.

What are some particular pieces in your closet that help you feel like a "bad bitch?" 

I really love a good panty. I love panties. If I’m wearing panties — because I don’t always wear panties, but if I chose — the panty really sets off what I’m doing for the rest of the day. Like, I’m wearing a thong right now, a leopard thong with black trim, if you were wondering.

You have an affinity for monochromatic looks: your green look at the MTV Movie & TV Awards and your yellow look at your live performance on The Today Show are standouts. Can you tell me about the inspiration for these monochromatic, bold-colored looks?

We just discovered that it looks good on me. We just love to make a statement and what’s a bigger statement than just — BOOM — neon green or slime green or — BOOM — tennis ball yellow — BOOM— all red — BOOM — hot pink — BOOM — purple! Marko Monroe, who styles me, loves the way that I look in monochromatic colors, so when we talk about these things and when we’re planning for carpets, we’re just like, "How do we make everyone stop and look?"

Can you elaborate on that process of choosing pieces with your stylist Marko?

With the BET Awards, how I got the full wood grain outfit, it started with this designer that he found in Europe. And he was like, "Hey, they want to make you a full wood grain dress." And I was like, "Oh, cute. Wood grain — I’m from Houston, so, you know what I’m saying, wood grain in this thang!" And so it was like, "Well shit, I want to get wood grain nails — I’ve always wanted wood grain nails!" So he was like, "Let’s do wood grain nails! Oh wait, I’m making you a wood grain boot. Okay, we’re going to do wood grain hair, a glam face." It kind of evolves like that. We take one thing and we run with it, depending on what the event is. With the Met Gala, I don’t even know what we were going to do for hair. I can’t remember originally, but after we looked at the outfit, it was like, "Let’s just really make it camp and just do flamingo pink hair." We just like to take it and hype it up. We don’t really think about it.

Will you and Marko have any new, special looks for your upcoming shows in Los Angeles in October?

Yeah, we’re probably going to look incredible. It’s not planned though, yet. We like to reference the greats. We reference Diana, Madonna, Cher, and we kind of try to bring glamour back to live music and live performance.

In addition to dramatic and extravagant looks, you also like to go au naturale at times. How does being comfortable to show your body and face in their natural state fit into your "Juice" message? 

Loving who you are should start in the buff. You should essentially, by the end of your self-love journey, be completely in love with who you are with no makeup, no extra hair, no styling, no corsetry. That’s my opinion for my life — I don’t think anybody should have to subscribe to that. But I feel like if I can love that person, then anything else is possible within the spectrum of self-love. My skin, my face, no makeup — that’s fine.

Nudity is something that I’ve explored, and it's exciting for me. The final frontier for me is the wigs and the weaves — my natural hair, my natural state truly. I’m working on it. It’s a struggle. We’re not there yet. There’s no top of the mountain for self-love. It’s a journey that continues forever, so I think it’s a part of it. You gotta love that part. That’s the juiciest part of you, though.

What is your go-to look for the summer?

I feel like my go-to look for the summer is, "How can I manage to wear as little clothing as possible everywhere? Period." I’m just kidding.

You know what I’m super into: matching sets. This summer, I have a bunch of matching panty and bra sets or, like, briefs. To be honest with you, swear to God, I’m just about to start rocking that outside with some socks and some sneakers. Not just panties but the boxer briefs, kind of like shorts. And that nice little panty top that matches with some hoops, some jewelry, some fresh bed hair, maybe a brow, a gloss, a boot. That’s it!

What are some things in your lifestyle — hobbies, interests, workout routines, activities, friends — that contribute to having or maintaining your "Juice"?

I love popping bottles with my girls. We pop bottles of Absolut Juice. We chill. I just started getting back into my workout routine — meditation. I think self-care makes you juicy. It’s not about the flashy shit. It’s about some of that mundane shit, the regular day, sitting on the couch, watching TV, feeling yourself. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.