A gender studies professor fulfilled her wildest dreams this week when she got to twerk on stage at a Lizzo concert in front of an audience of thousands.
Dr. Sami Schalk is a self-described “badass fat black woman” who teaches gender and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For support of this campaign, I submit Instagram evidence A: Me twerking into a hippo statue’s mouth at a putt putt golf course. https://t.co/VNs5CUd7iw
— Sami TwerkedWithLizzo Schalk (@DrSamiSchalk) October 2, 2019
Ahead of plus-size pop icon Lizzo’s Oct. 10 tour stop in Madison, Schalk began a hashtag campaign on Twitter in an attempt to get invited on stage during the show, CBS affiliate WISC reported.
“What outfit can I wear that will make her think ‘That’s a badass fat black woman. I wanna bring her up here to twerk with me on stage?'” Schalk asked her 13,000 followers last week.
She also added the hashtags, #meetlizzo and #twerkwithlizzo.
Leading up to the date of the concert, Schalk continued tweeting at Lizzo with the #twerkwithlizzo hashtag.
One day before the event, Schalk pulled out all the stops, uploading a video of herself wearing a homemade cape and dancing along to Lizzo’s chart-busting “Truth Hurts.”
Final attempt at getting @lizzo’s attention for her show tomorrow in #MadisonWI at @TheSylvee with this cape I made. All I wanna do is #twerkwithlizzo. Retweet to make this fat black queer bitch’s dreams come true. pic.twitter.com/oIYMJ6eMBR
— Sami TwerkedWithLizzo Schalk (@DrSamiSchalk) October 9, 2019
Her efforts were not in vain.
Schalk described on Twitter how during the concert, one of Lizzo’s associates pulled her from the crowd and invited her on stage.
“I got to dance with her. I put my butt on her butt, and I got to hug her,” Schalk said. “It was just the best.”
— Sami TwerkedWithLizzo Schalk (@DrSamiSchalk) October 11, 2019
Thus, the #twerkwithlizzo campaign was a smashing success.
In the aftermath, Schalk had a word for critics who flooded WISC’s Facebook page with negative comments about her story.
“These body shaming, sex shaming, racist sexist trolls are really gonna try to put a damper on this shine and I rebuke it yall. I rebuke it,” she said on Twitter.
“I also rebuke the notion that my shaking my ass in public somehow diminishes my work as a scholar or my potential as an educator. I am excellent at my job. I am good at twerking. I do not need to hide either of these things. I am allowed to have pleasure,” Schalk added.
The Lizzo phenomenon
Lizzo’s popularity has exploded recently, buoyed largely by support from the LGBT community and progressives who see her as a uniquely woke alternative to most mainstream pop artists.
In a Queerty profile from earlier this year, the “Truth Hurts” singer is described as someone who “spreads sex-positivity and body-positivity through her music and her public persona.”
“Lizzo creates music that celebrates the beauty of being different,” Queerty’s Rashad Sultana wrote in a piece celebrating the singer’s selection as one of 50 “trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people.”
- University of Wisconsin gender studies professor Sami Schalk twerking on stage at a Lizzo concert.: Screen grab