Marie, who uses they/them pronouns, struggled to find a dress that would fit their size and was “red carpet ready.”
“I need to show out,” Marie said in the Oct. 27 video.
Marie, a winner of the 2022 Georgia Author of the Year award, is a Black queer poet, essayist and activist based in Atlanta. Last year, Marie published a debut poetry collection, titled “Gumbo Ya Ya,” that explores “race, gender, desire, and violence in the lives of Black gxrls.”
“My purpose is to tell our stories honestly, no matter how intricate and complex they are,” Marie told Out magazine in their award citation. “There is such freedom in all this mess.”
After 10 years of writing, the author was honored on this year’s Out100 list, awarded annually to the 100 most influential members of the LGBTQ+ community. Lizzo was an honoree on the list in 2020.
“I know you know how it feels to be the biggest b—- in the room, and all the scrutiny and hypervisibility that comes with that because I’ve watched you talk about it,” Marie continued in the TikTok video. “I figured the worst thing you can say is no. I hope you don’t, though.”
Lizzo said yes, fulfilling Marie’s wish. About a week after Marie posted the video asking for the dress, they received a message from one of Lizzo’s managers, who said the popstar passed along the TikTok video and would “love to make” it happen.
And come time for the Out100 honorees’ induction ceremony on Friday, Marie wore the artist’s floor-length fuchsia gown from the 2019 American Music Awards.
Lizzo was worried about sending her Emmys dress, she said in a TikTok video posted Friday, because she had ripped it.
“I had to think fast,” Lizzo said. “My AMAs dress was very similar to my Emmys dress and just as cute honestly. So I found it in my storage, I got it cleaned and shipped it out.”
The dress arrived at Marie’s home 20 minutes before they were set to fly to New York for the Out100 celebration. In another video showing the gown, Marie said they “might’ve gotten a few tears” on the dress.
Years before they asked for Lizzo’s dress, Marie wrote an essay for Teen Vogue after the singer, a longtime champion of self-love and body positivity, received criticism for an outfit she wore to a Los Angeles Lakers game.
A video of Lizzo twerking in her outfit, a T-shirt dress with a cutout in the back, at a December 2019 game had gone viral, and the negative comments on her body and clothing choices came rushing in.
“I spent too long hating Lizzo because she forced me to see myself, but I’m thankful for her audacity and willingness to bear the burden that this world makes of her body,” Marie wrote in the essay. “She should be allowed, like all of us, to exist gloriously as herself without worrying about being discarded.”
Mary Chayko, a professor of communication and information at Rutgers University, told The Washington Post that social media has helped generate feelings of intimacy and connectedness with other users, including celebrities. Interactions such as likes, shares and comments, she said, help strengthen those feelings.
“It’s really not surprising that virality works in that way because it really touches on something inside us that makes us feel really good and makes us feel really connected to one another,” Chayko said. “So people are feeling connected to one another and to the celebrity.”
In her videos telling fans about what happened with the dress alongside a haul of items from her shapewear line, Yitty, Lizzo said she is “always scrolling” on TikTok and sees the videos people tag her in.
“I didn’t know if they got it, but you did get and you look absolutely beautiful,” Lizzo said, addressing Marie directly at the end of telling the story to her followers.