Lizzo Talks Twerking in New TED Talk: ‘Black People Carry the Origins of This Dance Through Our DNA’

by Shine My Crown Staff
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Lizzo likes to twerk.

And even though she’s a plus-sized woman, she doesn’t shy away from flaunting her plentiful curves — many times serving up an NSFW twerk or two on the Gram.

The artist was invited to discuss twerking on the TED Talk stage, and Lizzo explained how the dance is intrinsically linked to Black culture.

Earlier this month, the three-time Grammy award winner spoke at the TEDMonterey’s “The Case for Optimism” conference in Monterey.

“My ass has been the topic of conversation, my ass has been in magazines, Rihanna gave my ass a standing ovation,” said Lizzo at the beginning of the clip. “Yes, my booty. My least favorite part of my body. How did this happen? Twerking. Through the movement of twerking, I discovered my a– is my greatest asset. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TED Twerk.”

The singer explained that the roots of the dance trace back to a traditional West African dance called Mapouka.

“Black people carry the origins of this dance through our DNA, through our blood, through our bones. We made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it has become today,” she continues.

The singer has faced heavy criticisms for twerking in nothing but her underwear on her Instagram and TikTok pages. She has often been the target of body-shamers.

At times, Lizzo has shared that she feels she has been targeted merely because of her size. At times, the backlash has knocked her confidence, but she has not stopped being an advocate for body positivity.

“I want to add to the classical etymology of this dance because it matters. From TikTok trends to songs and humor, we see so much erasure of what Black people have created,” she adds. “I’m not trying to gatekeep, but I’m definitely trying to let you know who built the damn gate.”

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