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Gabourey Sidibe: A Powerful Woman Who Turned Insults Into Gold

Updated on June 20, 2017
Pam Morris profile image

Writing is my passion. I have an undying thirst and quest in the field of writing. Some eat, drink or use drugs when stress, I write.

Ms. Gabourey Sidibe is a talented and confident actress who grew up in Brooklyn. Her mother, Alice Tan Ridley was a special education teacher from the South. She quit teaching special needs students to sing in the subway because it paid her more money. Sidibe's father, Ibnou Sidibe was a cab driver from Senegal. He split from Sidibe's mother when she was 12 years of age. Gabourey Sidibe was born May 6, 1983, part-African and spent much of her youth feeling a sense of anxiety because she was mocked for being overweight, and teased about her race.

Before landing her first movie role, Gabourey Sidibe struggled to find work and her purpose. Furthermore, being overweight made Sidibe worried that she would never find her true calling. Although she desired to be an actress, to support herself, Sidibe took a job as a phone sex operator, making $15 per hour and called herself Becky. However, it was not an easy profession because she worked in a corporation where the concept of business was to sound "100 percent white."

Looking for a life changing career, Sidibe pursued her dream when she auditioned for the role, "Precious" and landed it. That leadership role changed her life for the best; it was the role she prayed for and her life changed and took a new beginning as she had hoped.

"Precious" is a movie directed by Lee Daniels; it is a film about an overweight, illiterate teenager who has been physically mistreated by her mother and sexually molested by her father. Sidibe received an Academy Award nomination for her impressive performance in this role. Although, in the public eye, she was seen as the heavily-scrutinized woman that some loved to criticize. For that reason, Sidibe dealt with many negative comments and challenges, from people who pays attention to how she look and dress at all times. She has even faced body-shaming and slut-shaming to the right up bullying.

Gabourey Sidibe hit the public eyes when she landed the role "Precious, " and in the spotlight, she receives all types of controversial remarks. For that reason, Sidibe dealt with many negative comments such as negative criticism of her fierce fashion sense, the color of her skin and looks.

In an interview, Sidibe was asked why she thinks she was cast as "Precious"; her answer was priceless. She replied, "I think a lot of why I got the role, "Precious," it is not because I was like this girl." She also replied Daniels thought that he would be employing someone who was a lot like her." However, she explained. "it is not about being that particular character, nor has it been about living that exact life; it is about knowing how to understand such a role and being able to look at yourself in the mirror and know who you are."

I have much respect for Gabourey Sidibe, and you have to love her on so many levels because she’s confident, she’s talented, and she has navigated her way through Hollywood, continued to stay in front and center, not letting that negatively affect her career or who she is. Although Hollywood is a place that is not so welcoming to Sibide, she refuses to be broken. She said in a statement, "if they had not tried to break me down, I would not know that I am unbreakable.”

Gabourey Sidibe is a woman who can never be underestimated. She is a powerful woman who can slap back — especially after all that she has been through and after having to overcome all the criticism about her weight. Sidibe has been resilient; she is strong, she is an inspiring female lead in a world where your sizes play a significant role in being an actress.

Moreover, Sidibe is hard-core famous and visible women who have dealt with a consistent attack of public insults. In true, Sidibe has been known to be commanding, captivating, and empowering us with her fascinating words and at times she tells her haters exactly where they can stick it.

Gabourey Sidibe has a beautiful spirit and is a woman of great courage. Very few females would be able to continue standing from the stress, pressure, and criticism Sidibe manages to overcome. She is an amazing woman, a fighter inspiring the world as an 'Overcomer'.

The film, Precious, turned Sidibe into an overnight sensation. Since its release, she has played roles in some TV series, including, "The Big C" from 2010 to 2013, Since 2015, Empire as Becky Williams, and in American Horror Story, playing a witch named Queenie. Gabourey Sidibe feels she finally found her true calling doing the work she was meant to do.

May 2017, Sidibe released her memoir; "This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare." Speaking of her May 2016 weight-loss surgery following being diagnosed with the Type 2 diabetes, dealing with depression, haters, race, fashion and so much more. Sidibe said, “I didn’t get this surgery so as to be beautiful." "I did it so that I can walk around in heels comfortably." She also shared, she underwent a weight-loss surgery because she didn’t want to worry about all the effects that go along with diabetes. Also, she revealed how Hollywood screenwriters treat ‘overweight’ individuals. I agree with Sidibe's statement from her memoir, "If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” they would not look at her face or size, but they would see her for who she is - a beautiful person inside and out.

Behind the Scenes with Gabourey Sidibe, author and narrator of "This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare."

Sidibe made a choice to undergo Bariatric surgery for different reasons, but the primary reason was she did not want to worry about all the effects that go along with being diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

Also, Sidibe shared, she was in conflict with her body for a very long time. She, also, stated if she had been treating her body better earlier, she would not have spent very many years hating her body. However, after weight-loss surgery, she loves her body. As a result, she has endured a full lifestyle change.

Gabourey Sidibe; a Powerful Woman Who Turned Insults Into Gold

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Gabourey Sidibe

Mariah Carey- Precious Soundtrack (100 percent)

What Gabourey Sidibe looks like now

How well do you know the movie, "Precious" In this quiz, I will describe a character from the movie "Precious", and you tell me who played him/her.


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Gabourey Sidibe Audition Tape - Precious

Gabourey Sidibe Reveals Weight Loss

Gabourey Sidibe Reveals Weight Loss Surgery

Gabourey Sidibe weight-loss.

Gabourey Sidibe Gets REAL!

A Gabourey Sidibe quote

© 2017 Pam Morris

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