NPR recently conducted an interview with 34-year-old actress Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe to talk about her new book “This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.”
In the book, Sidibe reflects on her breakout role in the 2009 film “Precious,” which earned six Oscar nominations. In the book she discusses the hurdles she’s had to face on her rise to stardom, in particular the body-shaming.
The actress states that she’s always been criticized for her size. She doesn’t let haters bring her down though, and a chapter in her book titled MYOB (“Mind your own body”) goes into depth about her opinions on fat-shamers.
“It’s important because I don’t happen to have the kind of body that we usually see on television and in films,” Sidibe says. “I am plus-size, I have dark skin and I am 100 percent beautiful, but I get a lot of flak. ‘Oh, you should lose weight.’ And now that I have lost weight – I lost weight for health reasons – I get, ‘You look good, but don’t lose too much weight because your face is starting to sink in.’”
Sidibe says she finds it odd when people congratulate her on her weight loss. She comments, “that’s a weird thing to congratulate me on because this is my body.”
When Sidibe talked to NPR about the “MYOB’ chapter she wanted to make it clear that it’s not just men who body shame women. She says, “It’s not just the male gaze, it’s like the human gaze. People do this to me. People stare at me.”
Her final response to haters says it all:
“This has been my body since I was 5-ish, you know? It’s been a 30-year thing of other people putting their own stuff on my body. But it’s mine, so I will police it, thank you.”