One-Woman Revolution

Gabby Sidibe is amazing. This woman is defying all our societal standards and notions of what it means to be beautiful, and she’s doing it with poise, confidence, eloquence, and spunk. Her performance in Precious speaks for itself; it was phenomenal. And if you’ve ever seen her in an interview, it quickly becomes clear just how much of a performance it was. This girl is effervescent, bubbly, infectious, and all kinds of adorable.
She embraces her size, her dark skin, and her round face. When most larger celebrities choose black, tan, or navy for their red carpet attire, in an effort to look as thin as possible, Gabby wears color. Lots of color. Bold color. She’s not trying to hide anything. And reading or listening to interviews with her provide soundbite after amazing soundbite. All the quotes in this post have come directly from Gabby.

“People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful.”

“When I was 14 I decided that whatever people say and no matter what I look like, I was going to be happy with myself – it’s like a force of will. And it worked for me.”

“I feel like a model. It justifies everyone in my life who told me I wouldn’t be anything until I lost weight. It justifies that little girl who cried because she didn’t think she could be in front of the camera. And it’s for other girls who feel like they can’t do this or that and feel like they’re not pretty and not worthy of having their photo taken.”

If she met herself at a party, “I’d think I was pretty. Is that weird? I might be really interested in me. I’d probably watch myself the whole night, then I’d come over and say, ‘You’re a really good dancer.’ We’d talk for a while and then,” she says, starting to giggle at the silliness of it, “we’d go home separately to avoid the paparazzi.”

“…if you look at me and all you see is someone who is overweight and dark-skinned. You’ve missed the point. You’ve missed me.”

“I don’t think my brand of confidence can come from an outside source. I have to find it in myself. I have two little sisters who are 13 and they’re just at that age where they’re about to hate themselves. I do it for them. They think I’m pretty, and I want them to think they’re pretty.” She also admitted that there was a time that she felt sad because the world didn’t find her beautiful, but then she realized: “I am the world.”

“Over time, I’ve worked out that nobody else lives in my body, nobody else has to live my life, except for me. I’m the only one in charge of whether I’m happy or sad.”
By publicly stating that she feels beautiful, that she is beautiful, that she loves her body, she’s making a difference. She is a one-woman revolutionary in an industry that is white-washed and whittled down. What she’s doing and what she’s saying are important. Little girls need to see someone that looks like them saying that she’s beautiful. That they’re beautiful. Because she is. And so are they.
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  1. Meg
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The most important part of her beauty is not on the outside–though she does have physical beauty–but rather that inner happiness and confidence that positively radiates from her like a beacon.

    She's cute in pictures, but she is amazingly wonderful in interviews, because she is real, kind, and able to tell it like it is.

    Great post, Britni.

  2. Sa
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I am so moved by this because it would have changed my life to hear those words when I was a young girl. Go Gabby.

  3. Librarian Babe
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Her confidence and self-love are so inspiring. And the glow that comes off her – she really demonstrates that if you think you're beautiful, you are.

  4. Aurore
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    She is nothing short of amazing. I am in awe of how someone so young can be so mature, so composed, so comfortable in her own skin. We can all learn a lot from her. And I just love the pic with her face all squished up – adorable.

    My hope is that she doesn't succumb to the pressures of being in the limelight – it's changed more than one celebrity – think Jennifer Hudson.

  5. Eliot
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    You're right–she *is* a one-woman revolution and she is awesome.

  6. Welcome to Chicago, Jillinois
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I love her, but I think unfortunately we won't see much of her anymore. I can't see Hollywood giving her any more roles. Maybe "fat, poor woman" again. I hope I'm wrong.

  7. Another Suburban Mom
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I hope that she can keep that spirit and be successful in Hollywood. I think that will be tough. Take Oprah, with all her money, all her success, all her accomplishments and the lives she has saved and improved, and what does she focus on? The fact that she can't stay thin.

  8. La Roo
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    It just floors me if someone doesn't see anything but beauty in her. She just exudes beauty, effortlessly. Our world is full of haters and most of them don't even know why. They think they are so much better and so judgemental and have no room to be that way.

  9. Tom
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    well at least it wasn't another rape post

  10. Britni TheVadgeWig
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Tom: Don't like what I write about? Don't read my blog.

  11. Amy
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    She makes beautiful girls look pretty. In under a minute she restored my faith in mankind. Haha. Wow, I can't wait 'til Precious is at the movies.

  12. Stephanie
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    I'm really sorry to say this because she's definitely talented and does seem to have a great personality… But being morbidly obese is not healthy, nor should it be encouraged. It's just as bad as being rail thin in my opinion. Being comfortable with yourself and loving yourself no matter what IS the most important thing, but I also feel that if you truly love yourself you won't treat your body poorly by being inactive or overeating regularly. I enjoy reading your blog, but there's a lot of BS in the comments with no balance on the opposite side. Thanks, and sorry again.

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