While the critics are bashing female celebrities about their bodies, Gabourey Sidibe is the latest kick-ass female in the spotlight to not let the critics win.
Speaking at WIE, the Women’s Inspiration and Enterprise [wienetwork.org] conference in Manhattan last weekend, Sidibe spoke about being happy and body confident, something she mastered in her early 20s:
“I didn’t really get to grow up hearing that I was beautiful a lot, or that I was worth anything nor did I grow up seeing myself on TV. Then at some point when I was 21 or 22 I just decided that life wasn’t worth living if I wasn’t happy with myself so I just took all the steps that I could to figure out how to love myself and become confident. Truthfully speaking if I hadn’t found this person before that movie [Precious] I wouldn’t have even be in that movie”, says Sidibe.
While the 29-year-old Precious star takes daily steps to build her confidence, which includes small things from listening to music that makes her happy and getting her nails done, to getting advice from Oprah and counting her blessings, she admits that like most people it’s a daily practice and an active choice to be happy.
“People see me as a confident person but I get shaken a lot, especially being in this business. A few weeks ago I was on vacation and I went into a CVS [a pharmacy chain of shops in the US] and as I’m paying I see a picture of myself on the cover of a magazine and they’re guesstimating what my weight is? The headline was 'Gabourey Sidibe 250 pounds'”, says the actress. In that moment she had to deal with not only the cashier seeing the horrible and inaccurate article, but also everyone else in the shop and in other shops.
Sadly, it’s a tale that countless other women in the industry face. The debate about how much a female celebrity weighs is constantly analysed in the media, with things coming to a head when Lady Gaga stripped to her undies and launched her Body Revolution campaign to get back at critics who slammed her weight gain.
For Sidibe, it’s all about creating your own rules: “I have to keep going and living my life, so when things like that upset me I have to find things that build my confidence back up”, says Sidibe, who also hopes to start writing and working behind the camera to enhance the range of colours, shapes and sizes we see on the screen, and “because I don’t want to wait for work I want to make work”, she adds.
Here at Grazia Daily, we can’t wait to read that script!
by Carlene Thomas-Bailey