Lizzo’s “Juice” and A Newfound Autonomy

By: Patricia Kusumaningtyas |

I got one of the best advice I’ve ever got just recently, from a conversation with a friend: You have the right to not give permission to other people to make you feel bad. I’ve never thought of self-confidence the way he thought of it—through a system where we have full agency over it, like a door in which I am the only person with the key. I didn’t realize that we can allow/not allow other people to go through that door, inside our lives. At some time in my life, I am aware of very little of it, and sometimes, I am more aware of it than usual. I thought of this advice while I was listening to Lizzo’s “Juice,” one of 2019’s best releases so far. Through a hypnotically danceable song about self-confidence and self-acceptance, “Juice” is the soundtrack to my newfound autonomy.

The song’s start reminds us of an early Whitney Houston song; it has that 80s sensibility and triggers an instant will to dance in the middle of the street. We can tell by the starting instrumental itself that the song is going to exude a lot of confidence, and Lizzo indeed delivered that in the song. The starting lyrics itself said, “Mirror, mirror on the wall / Don’t say it ‘cause I know I’m cute,” showing us that self-autonomy—that not even a mirror can interject our self-confidence. The refrain itself—easy to follow and easy to sing along to—has Lizzo singing about how her having fun and being her true self is not her fault, which takes us back to how societal structures would urge women to apologize for being outspoken and how comforting it is to see a woman in the music industry like Lizzo break those societal structures. By the end, Lizzo asks the audience to vibe with her, feel her confidence, and let it seep into ours.

Seeing Lizzo’s viral performance of this song on Ellen really shows that she’s the “pudding in the proof” and she practices what she preaches. She sang her heart out, danced with joy, and even put on a flute solo for her audience. A lesson we can learn from all of this is to not be afraid to show our true selves, and most importantly, not allow anyone to make us feel bad about ourselves.

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