By Caitlin Seida
Gabourey (Gabby) Sidibe is awesome. And I'm going to tell you why. When she was up for the title role in Precious, she got some flack from Joan Cusack. "Oh honey," she said "You should really quit the (acting) business. It's so image-conscious." And Joan was right on the money - Hollywood is an image-conscious place. But what Ms. Cusack didn't bank on was the fact that there are millions of Americans who want to see someone like them - in ethnicity, weight, or both - portraying kickass characters.
So her name is out there, her image is out there - what don't people get? She's a big, black, beautiful woman. And this still seems to shock people - most recently regarding the dress she wore and her appearance at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.
And wouldn't you know it? The nastiness started on social media. There were the usual fat jokes and the "is she pregnant?" comments, and some notable tweets using the hashtags "ImSurprisedSheCouldFitInTheFrame" and "IThinkSheAteTheGoldenGlobes."
In true I Feel Delicious style, Gabby Sidibe fired back at her critics, issuing this tweet:
To people making mean comments about my GG pics, I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night. #JK
— Gabourey Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) January 13, 2014
|The Dress In Question|
With her head held high and a little bit of humor (and a lot of dignity), Gabourey handled the situation well. Having been on the receiving end of the same type of criticisms that Gabby got (and I don't get paid nearly as much - need a writer, Gabs? Please?), that kind of stuff HURTS when hundreds of people - people whose opinions shouldn't matter in the first place - pile on about something that really shouldn't matter.
I mean, really, how many of the people taking potshots at her appearance are actually earning as much as she is, working a job they love and looking and feeling fabulous doing so? Her weight - or anyone else's - is between her and her doctor. Not her and you, or her and the Internet. So shove off.
For what my opinion is worth (not too much), I think she looked pretty darn good. Her dress emphasized her bust, and the embellishment in the center called attention up to her face - She didn't look trashy, didn't show too much skin (but still managed to up the sexy factor with well placed bust darts - yeowzah!) and her hair, clutch, and earrings evoked an Old Hollywood style that suits her well. Also? Her makeup was flawless. And while I'm not a fan of pointy-toed shoes personally, they went well with her dress and looked like they'd be pretty comfy - always a plus in my eyes.
In true Sidibe style, she also got a lot of positive support for the way she handled the criticisms, and thanked her fans with a follow up tweet (for those wondering, no, she really doesn't have a private jet. She's not that fancy!). The humor and grace this actress shows are uncharacteristic of a rather big name Hollywood actress - I'd recommend following her on Twitter. She gained a follower in me after this incident.
Plus size or BBW actresses like Gabourey Sidibe, Nikki Blonsky, Cathrine Manheim, Rosie O'Donnell, Roseanne, and even retro Rikki Lake deserve mad props - they're going out there and pursuing their passion and earning money while doing so. And they're also inspiring other young women to not get down on themselves because of their size. Sure, Hollywood is image-conscious, but that image doesn't have to be the same cookie cutter mold for everyone.
Keep rocking on, Gabourey!