Ted Talk: Lizzo Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis

March 5, 2023

12 min read

If you are looking for the Lizzo Ted Talk speech, a summary, text, and analysis has been provided for you. Lizzo, most well-known for her hit songs, “About Damn Time” and “Good as Hell”, delivered a Ted-talk following her well-known singing career.

Ted Talk: Lizzo Speech Summary

  • The speaker grew up in an era when having a big ass wasn’t mainstream, and felt the odds were against them.
  • Twerking has its roots in African dances and was alive and well in black communities before it became mainstream.
  • The speaker was re-introduced to twerking at a club, and then incorporated it into their performances.
  • Miley Cyrus popularized twerking in the mainstream, but it was taken out of context and seen as exploiting young women.
  • The speaker wants to make sure that the origin story of twerking is preserved and that black culture isn’t erased from the creation of it.
  • Twerking is a form of self-expression and freedom and can be a spiritual practice.
  • Break-dancing was villainized in the media and wasn’t taken seriously, but is now an Olympic sport.
  • The speaker twerks to reclaim their power, to reclaim their blackness, and to advocate for fat, black women.

Ted Talk: Lizzo’s Speech Text

Yoodli can generate the text transcript of any speech you upload or record. The speech text for Lizzo’s speech is included below:

"Oh my God, I’m so, who’s the first watch seeing people since March, 2020? Hi. Hi people. I’ve had a lot of accomplishments, but this is a dream come true right now. So make some noise for the dress and now the back of the dress. Can we get booty cam please?

Booty cam. If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen my heinie before. It’s no secret , but you know, I used to hate my ass. Believe it or not.

I have my father’s shape and my mother’s size, so it’s big and long. I used to think that only ass is like JLo’s or Beyonce’s could be famous. I never thought that could happen to me. I always felt like my body type wasn’t the right one or the desirable one growing up. Cuz I grew up in an era where having a big ass wasn’t mainstream. I grew up watching movies where women were like, does my ass look fat in this? Like it was a bad thing. I felt like the ass odds were against me.

But baby, this B Donka Don Donk was going places. my ass has been the topic of conversation. My ass has been in magazines. Rihanna gave my ass a standing ovation. Yes, my booty, my least favorite part of my body.

How did this happen? Twerking . Through the movement of twerking, I discovered my ass is my greatest asset. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Ted Twerk . I’m gonna take my shoes off. Is that okay with y’all?

<laugh>. So the first time I saw twerking in person was at a teen club called the Z in Houston, Texas. Hey, shout out Houston. We got some Houstonians here, there. I saw a bunch of girls my age shaking their booty to New Orleans bouncing. I was like, how are they doing that? It was incredible to me. Thanks to my Caribbean besties peaches and jalene and thanks to Master P, whoop whoop .

I found the rhythm. The better I got, the more I fell in love with what I had because damn my ass could do magic. Finally, I could twerk, but twerking did not begin with me, believe it or not. , I know you think I invented it’s twerking. I didn’t .

I want you to know where twerking came from. I think everyone should know where everything comes from. You should know where your food and water come from. You should know where your clothes come from. , it’s important to me to keep the the origin story of twerking alive.

So here’s some farm to table for that ass . So funny, modern day twerking derived from black people and black culture. It has a direct parallel to West African dances like Map Puka. Traditionally. Map Puka was a dance for West African women to be used as a celebration of joy, religious worship, or a dance to do at a wedding To show you or dtf.

Or dtm. Down to Mary. Down to Mary. Get your mind out the gutter. black women carried these dances across the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the ring shout and what became the Black American church until the hips of Ma Rainy and Bessie Smith when they sang the blues into the bounce of Josephine Baker’s banana dance from jazz dance to jitterbug, from shake your tail feather to shake your thing to that thing Thinging black people carried the origins of this dance through our D n a through our blood, through our bones, we made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it has become today. Now as a big black woman who has ass, who can twerk and who’s been doing it her whole life. I kind of think I’m an expert on the subject .

I want to add to the classical etymology of this dance because it matters. Black people will not be erased from the creation, the history, and the innovation of twerking , thank you. From TikTok trends to songs and humor, we see so much erasure of what black people have created. So I wanna do everything in my power to prevent the erasure of blackness from twerking. Twerking is a black American communal collaboration, born of black southern culture from DJ Jubilee and Cashman records in New Orleans to Littlejohn and the Ying Yang twins in Atlanta to Uncle Luke in Miami. Twerking was alive and well in nearly every black club in the south, but it would take years after these songs were released for twerking to finally become mainstream.

I got a test for y’all. Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh. Oh no, no.

Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh. Oh no, no. You know that one?

Hold on. Y’all ain’t see it. Uhoh Uhoh. No, no, no. Theoh dance.

Beyonce called it that cuz she was trying to warn us because of Destiny’s child, bootylicious is in the dictionary and because of Beyonce’s 2003 music video for her single crazy in Love the World was introduced to the Uhoh dance. That was the first time I’d ever seen a pop star do something like that. And I wanted to be just like her. Beyonce gave me permission to be myself, to be Bootylicious because she could shake ass and still be seen as classy in the eyes of America.

And that was hard to do. When I moved from Houston to Minneapolis in the early 2010s, I hadn’t seen twerking in a while until Big Frieda’s tour came to town. Now big Frieda performs bounce music with the voice of a preacher in the body of a bad bitch. , if you can imagine this incredible big Frieda has a moment in her shows where she will call people on stage of twerk and she chose me from the audience to battle another person. And I remember being like, oh my God, I miss this so much.

<laugh>. When I was up there, I thought to myself, not only am I shaking ass, but I’m winning. And besides Big Frida, I’m the best twerker in the building. And just like that, I was reintroduced to twerking. When I started to perform my solo music, I began incorporating twerking into my performances and people would go crazy. I performed for mainly in the audiences. So they didn’t know what the fuck was happening.

And I liked it that way. twerking made me feel empowered. It was my secret language, my sauce. Little did I know that a couple years later, Miley Cyrus would perform, would seem like the twerk her around the world.

Y’all remember that? In 2013, within a month of each other, I released my debut project. Lizzo Bangers and Miley Cyrus released her project bangers that same year. Miley released a single We Can’t Stop. And she was twerking in the video. I remember being like, this is crazy.

Hannah Montana twerking all over the place, . A couple months later she performed with Robin thick on the VMAs. And that night, seemingly overnights twerking went mainstream. The media described twerking as a quote, disturbing and disgusting. Critics blasted twerking as something that was exploiting and over sexualizing young women. Once mainstream twerking was misunderstood and taken out of context, it was bittersweet. For one, I wish that a black woman could have popularized twerking in the mainstream.

But on the other end, twerking going mainstream played a role in the rise of my profile and my career. Listen, everything that black people create from fashion to music to the way we talk is co-opted, appropriated, and taken by pop culture. For this reason, optimism can be an illusion to the experience of black people in America. In this Ted Talk, I’m not trying to gate keep, but I’m definitely trying to let you know who built the damn gate.

The fact that I can make a stake in the reclamation of black things and black culture makes me very optimistic to be on stage at the Premier conference for the experts in their field talking about twerking and stating my facts makes me optimistic. The best thing I can do is be loud and take ownership. Because for me, twerking is is a pearl of optimism. It’s a form of self-expression. Freedom, confidence, twerking is not just something I do to music. It’s extremely useful.

<laugh>, it manifested my life in ways that I need more joy. In the mornings twerking leads me to stretching and taking care of my body. I bend over and I isolate my cheeks. I’m a downward dog, not my stay . Sometimes I put on a song and I shake ass and immediately I’m in love with myself. And not just self love, I mean like, okay, Lizzo, what’s your number? , I would do me.

But it’s not just sexual, it’s not. It’s twerking is a deep, soulful spiritual practice. It’s hip opening, it’s empowering when performed as the maka, it’s set to connect you to God. It’s sacred. And now we’re practicing that on mainstream stages. We’re practicing that at home and it’s contributing to the liberation of women and people around the world. It’s twerking is good for humanity. , 40 years ago when black and brown people in New York invented break dancing, it was villainized mainstream media weaponized break dancing by connecting it to gang activity and violence as an art form and subculture.

It wasn’t taken seriously. Fast forward to today, break dancing is now an Olympic sport. What will be the future of twerking? .

Russian ballet dancers are twerking. Have you seen it? They be like this. Y’all think I’m playing okay out there like . Can we clear Chaikovsky ? Will we see twerking as an Olympic sport one day?

And will black people still be part of it? I’m proud to be a twerk pioneer. I’m grateful for the ass that came before me. all hell.

Beyonce. Nicki Minaj from Betty Boot to Buffy the Body. When I shake this ass, I do it for the culture, not the vulture. For me, twerking ain’t a trend. My body is not a trend. I twerk for the strippers for the video vixens for the church. Ladies who shout for the sex workers, I twerk because black women are undeniable. I twerk for my ancestors, for sexual liberation, for my bitches. Hey girl, because I can.

Because I know I look good. I twerk because it’s unique to the black experience. It’s unique to my culture and it means something real to me. I twerk because I’m talented, because I’m sexual.

But not to be sexualized. , I twerked to own my power, to reclaim my blackness, my culture. I twerked for fat. Black women because being fat and black is a beautiful thing. , I twerked work because this as natural to me as breathing.

Black women invented twerking and twerking is part of the revolution. We’ve been doing it. We gonna keep on doing it because we have and always will be the blueprint. We twerk to remind ourselves we hear and we ain’t going nowhere.

So in a case of optimism, I want everyone to stand up and shake some ass with me. Are y’all ready? Come on y’all. I been waiting for this one. Show you.

How do you going in the circle now? Hi. Hi . Let’s go. I see y’all. Okay.

You really er on see what you do. Okay, okay, okay, okay. Okay. I like what you doing. Hey. Hey. Thank you so much. I dunno why I’m emotional, but I feel like we made history tonight. So thank you so much."

Ted Talk: Lizzo’s “History of Twerking” Speech Analysis

Yoodli simplifies speech analysis into two primary categories: Word Choice and Delivery. Overall Lizzo ranked well in both categories, however, Yoodli provided suggestions for improvement.

Word Choice

Yoodli detected that Lizzo’s speech had 3% repetitions, nearly over the average 4%. In addition, the AI speech coach found the use of 29 filler words, with the most used word being “oh”.

The singer’s top keywords throughout her 14-minute speech included “twerking” at 38 times, which was paralleled by the use of the word “twerk” at 12 times total! Her second most used word was “black” at a total of 23 times.

Lizzo’s weakest word used was “so” at 14 times, with other weak words only used once on average.

With Lizzo’s Ted Talk discussing a topic that may be seen as taboo, Yoodli flagged 29 instances of profanity in Lizzo’s speech.


Yoodli detected that Lizzo spoke at a conversational pace at 155 words per minute. Yoodli also detected the presence of eye contact, pauses, smiles, but also provided suggestions for centering.

Wrapping Up


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