Lizzo Says She Couldn't Find Backup Dancers Who 'Look Like Me' — So She Created a Whole TV Show to Find Them

On the new reality competition series Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, premiering March 25 on Amazon Prime, Lizzo auditions (and mentors) 15 dancers for a spot on her tour

As the cover star of PEOPLE's Women Changing the World issue, Lizzo — the Grammy-winning singer and rapper — knows that she's blazed her own trail through pop culture. Now 33, she's comfortable looking back a little.

As her music took off (her first hit, "Truth Hurts," hit No. 1 in 2019) she's since earned three Grammys, two Soul Train Awards and millions of fans — and her body has become a topic of conversation. "OK, we all know I'm fat," she tells PEOPLE with a sigh. "I know I'm fat. It doesn't bother me. I like being fat, and I'm beautiful and I'm healthy."

Watch Women Changing the World: Lizzo on or on the PeopleTV app.

Lizzo Rollout
Lizzo. Robin Harper

In fact, with her new Amazon Prime show — a reality competition series Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, premiering March 25 on Amazon Prime Video, where 15 dancers vie for a spot on her next tour — Lizzo's celebrating not only her body, but others' as well. It was inspired her experience in 2019 looking for dancers for her performances.

For more on PEOPLE's cover story with Lizzo, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

"I was like, I need dancers," she remembers. "We had an audition and it was all these girls, and they were beautiful dancers and beautiful people, but they just didn't look like me. And I remember, I was so emotional that I got up and I left. And I just drove to this little restaurant. I sat and had a margarita and I was like, 'What the f--- is going on? Do I have to do this myself?' So I was like, let's do an open casting call.'"

Lizzo Rollout

Lizzo says she knew it was going to be more work. "But it's more important to me to have those kinds of women next to me on stage than to have the most technically skilled, amazing dancer that's not a reflection of how I look," she explains. And besides, she's used to doing things herself.

"If I had a dollar for every time I had to say, 'I'll just do it myself.' That's why probably why I'm a millionaire, because a million times. It's reflected in every avenue of my career."

Lizzo lists the stereotypes women like her face: "The funny, fat friend. I played that trope in high school. Or the friend who is gonna beat your ass 'cause she's big. Or it's the big girl who's insecure 'cause she's big." She pauses. "I don't think I'm the only kind of fat girl there is. I want us to be freed from that box we've been put in."

Lizzo Rollout
Lizzo covers PEOPLE. Robin Harper

She released a single, "Rumors," with Cardi B last August. It sparked more critiques about her body. "People talk about everything but the music sometimes," she says. "I think people forget how good of a musician I am."

Her response? An emotional post on Instagram calling on people to "check ourselves and how we treat people" — and more nude photos of herself.

"I don't actually give a s--- about any of the insults people make about me," Lizzo says. "What I care about is a whole generation of young people coming up who will be hurt by that. I'm doing this for other people — to help other people feel better about themselves and to show how to have empathy for others. I feel like if I don't outwardly show the world how I get through it, these kids won't have the keys. If I can be one example of how to get over people undervaluing you, I'm doing it."

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