At yesterday’s Billboard Music Awards, Lizzo stole the show. Not simply because she looked fantastic in a custom Christian Siriano dress, complete with a blinding diamonds by Hollywood jewellery Lorraine Schwartz—but because she used the red carpet (and later, her winners’ speech) to make a bold and empathic statement: On November 3rd, vote like your life depends on it.
Not only was Lizzo’s Siriano dress covered in the words ‘VOTE’ in bold, block letters (the designer previously created a similar gown for Julianne Moore)—her manicure was too. When posing for photographers the singer nonchalantly lifted her carat-encrusted ring finger to reveal a long black nail painted daintily with the letters ‘V-O-T-E’.
Taking home the award for most song sales, Lizzo re-iterated her message during her acceptance speech. Despite the slightly awkward setting (the stage was set, but the auditorium was empty due to Covid-19 restrictions), she spoke with candid flair while discussing the very real threat of voter suppression.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression,” she said. “I wouldn’t be on stage if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed. Whether it’s through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power. Use your voice and refuse to be suppressed. When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power.”
Voter suppression has been an ongoing discussion in the lead-up to November’s 2020 presidential election, with growing concerns that certain neighborhoods—disproportionately neighbourhoods with majority people of colour, who are likely to vote against Donald Trump—will face undue difficulties in casting their votes (you can read up on the seriousness of the issue here). Celebrities have been using their platforms in myriad ways to encourage their followers to enrol and cast their vote, and we love to see Lizzo continuing to do the same.