Lizzo Kanye West

Lizzo says twerking is a ‘pearl of wisdom’ Image via Twitter @lizzo

Lizzo’s ‘Ted Twerk’: ‘Twerking is good for humanity’ [watch]

Grammy award-winning artist Lizzo blasted mainstream media for how twerking has been taken out of context. She said it taught her self-love and should be an Olympic sport…

Lizzo Kanye West

Lizzo says twerking is a ‘pearl of wisdom’ Image via Twitter @lizzo

Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Mark’s Ted Talk has hosted several speakers from around the world to discuss culture-shifting and influential topics. Some of the most successful Ted Talk topics include the power of vulnerability, how to be successful in the workplace and how to spot a liar. 

Lizzo recently took the Ted Talk stage and dived into the world of twerking and used the opportunity to speak about the harsh criticism the dance has received from mainstream media. 

ALSO READ: Lizzo breaks down while addressing fatphobia and racism [watch]


If you’re a Miley Cyrus fan then you would definitely remember the singer’s head-turning MTV Video Music Awards performance in 2013. The multitalented entertainer joined Robin Thicke on stage for a performance of We Can’t Stop mashed with his popular tune Blurred Lines

Saying that the performance went viral is an understatement, Miley Cyrus broke the internet with her twerking! 

“The media described twerking as I 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,” said Lizzo. 


The Grammy award-winning singer spoke passionately about twerking in her Ted Talk or as she calls it, her “Ted Twerk”, and opened up about how she used to have negative feelings towards her body. 

“I grew up in an era when 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.”

Twerking did not begin with Miley Cyrus or Beyoncé. Lizzo explained the history of the popular dance, noting that it has parallels to a West African dance called “mapouka” which women would perform as a celebration of joy and religious worship.

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

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Although Lizzo recognises that twerking was popularised by Miley Cyrus in mainstream media, she credits twerking for playing a role in the success of her profile and career as an artist. She described twerking as a “pearl of optimism”. 

“Twerking is not just something I do to music. It’s extremely useful. It manifests in my life in ways that I need more joy. In the mornings, twerking leads me to stretching and taking care of my body.”

The Truth Hurts singer says twerking has taught her self-love and says it is a sacred practice. “Twerking is good for humanity,” she noted. 

Lizzo also mentioned that breakdancing has been named an official sport for the 2024 Paris Olympics and asks if we will see the same for twerking in the near future.

Imagine that! Winning an Olympic gold medal for twerking…