Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ empowers women. Ever since its release in 2017, and especially its 2019 viral breakthrough, its proved itself a modern classic. It’s easy to see why Rolling Stone, Billboard and Uproxx all placed it in their Best Songs of the 2010s lists. Every aspect of it is memorable, from the simplistic yet rich instrumentation from a piano loop, to Lizzo’s clever lyrics and marvelous performance. But this awe-inspiring song isn’t just another sugary pop hit. It’s an anthem for women who are ready to take control of every aspect of their lives and leave behind relationships that don’t encourage them to flourish.

With this song, Lizzo reminds us it’s possible to be the greatest, fiercest woman in the room, even when we’re “crying crazy.” ‘Truth Hurts’ embraces that duality of womanhood by recognizing we’re humans, but also otherworldly because of all the things we overcome. The lyrics encourage women to not be ashamed of their faults, don’t be a doormat for people to walk over, and never, ever, ever, ever be with someone who wouldn’t show you off to the world. This song empowers women to take on the lead role in their life’s story.

“Yeah, I got boy problems, that’s the human in me. Bling, bling, then I solve ‘em, that’s the goddess in me.”

Relationship problems are inevitable. Bad break-ups or awkward lulls in connections tend to make women feel less than worthy, doomed to fall prey to that ugly monster that is self-doubt. Lizzo’s line “I got boy problems, that’s the human in me” is an unabashed declaration that she has flaws, and so what? No one’s perfect enough to avoid romantic mishaps. Even strong, independent women have to cry it out over a tub of ice cream and Meg Ryan rom-com sometimes.

And when we’re done crying, well, we solve it. Because even though us women appear as mere mortals, we have the power of goddesses. In fact, just getting out of bed and starting over again is undeniably a feat of strength. Because Lizzo knows all too well how women pick themselves up and put themselves back together daily. Mending our broken hearts while living in a world that works against us is nothing short of a miracle.

“You ‘posed to hold me down, but you holding me back. And the sound of my not calling your back.”

What’s the point of a relationship if your partner doesn’t have your back? No one is entitled to your time. Every minute is a gift that you choose to give to people who value you and vice versa. Unapologetically, Lizzo explains she’s not in the business of wasting her time or data plan. Nor does she have the patience to be held back.

“You tried to break my heart? Oh that breaks my heart. That you ever thought you had it, no you ain’t from the start.”

“Truth Hurts” is not a sappy break-up song. It’s a firm stance against the notion of a sappy break-up song. If the relationship didn’t go well, chances are there’s no reason to feel regret or anguish. Lizzo denies that the breakup hurt her, and that the ex’s the attempt to do so was pathetic. When Lizzo says the titular phrase “Truth Hurts,” she’s not talking about her own pain. She’s talking about how bad her exes must feel now, and how that doesn’t matter. If you do wrong by Lizzo, that’s fine, she can find someone on the Minnesota Vikings.

“Best friend sat me down in the salon chair. Shampoo press get you out of my hair.”

Here Lizzo reminds us of the importance of friends in these situations. There’s no denial that it’s tough to do this all alone. So instead of bottling up those negative emotions, let them all out. Venting with your friends is one of the best forms of self-care, just like a day at the salon, unleashing all of those toxins.

Her ten-year music career is the biggest example of her determination to be successful in a cut-throat industry. She’s been hammering out amazing content for years, and the last thing she needed was someone not supporting her in pursuit of her dreams. Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ empowers women by providing proof that a woman doesn’t need a man to help her feel stable in her career goals. When he becomes too much like a weight, it’s time to keep moving forward without him.

“Who would want to hide this? I will never ever, ever, ever be your side chick.”

With the rise of the “side chick,” more women are becoming privy to the age-old practice of men having their cake and eating it too. It’s gross when a man declares love for you behind closed doors, but can’t seem to look you in the eyes when you’re in public. “Who would want to hide this?” is direct and filled with surety every woman should have about her own value.

Women deserve to be loved in the open. No part of us should be edited or erased to fit into a man’s vision. We don’t have to settle for the role of second in line. Lizzo is so confident in her worth without a partner that she’s more than willing to move on to other things in her life. Her strong focus on making sure in the end, she’s winning is what makes this song empowering.

Women are raised to be natural caretakers. We’re conditioned to give wholeheartedly and be thankful for whatever we receive in return. But ‘Truth Hurts’ shatters the notion that women have to stand still and take what we’ve been given. Because we can solve our own problems — even after heartbreak. We can decide when enough is enough and walk away from relationships that don’t serve a purpose in our lives. And we can refuse to be in the background of someone’s life. Lizzo is the protagonist of her story, never a side character. Her music empowers other women to take the same approach.

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