As someone who also lost a dramatic amount of weight over a fairly short period of time, I find Gabby’s words almost revolutionary.Like many, I first became aware of Gabourey Sidibe when she played the title character in Lee Daniels’ 2009 film Precious, an adaptation of the urban novel “Push” by Sapphire. I was stunned to learn it was her debut acting role, and was moved by the compassion and humanity she brought to a character who would likely experience neither in the real world. I remember being impressed with her talent, but doubtful that she would be offered many other mainstream roles. Hollywood is all about profit, and the industry is only just beginning to admit that Black women bring value to the industry. The Black women who are given screen time must be seen as palatable to broad audiences, meaning that fat, dark-skinned Black girls are often excluded. Gabby defied these odds though. After Precious, she took on a variety of roles ranging from comedy to horror. In fact, I struggle to think of another role where her weight was central or even tangential to the character’s development. Despite our society’s obsession with policing women’s bodies, Gabby remained as confident as ever, reminding us that such criticisms often reflect our own insecurities.
When Gabourey Sidibe announced that she had bariatric surgery, a lot of her former supporters threw up their arms and called her a traitor. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” This old saying comes to mind as I watch armchair critics weigh