We’re just going to say it: Gabourey Sidibe is awesome.
She’s made to put up with a lot, but she doesn’t let the haters get her down. Not anymore.
Once again, the 30-year-old actress proved why she’s one of the strongest women in Hollywood with a powerful and moving speech about confidence at the Gloria Awards and Gala in New York City on May 1.
Sidibe opened by declaring that she loathes questions about the source of her confidence.
“I hate that,” Sidibe told the crowd. “I always wonder if that’s the first thing they ask Rihanna when they meet her. ‘RiRi! How are you so confident?’ Nope. No. No. But me? They ask me with that same incredulous disbelief every single time. ‘You seem so confident! How is that?'”
After telling a story about the cruelty of children and the importance of thinking highly of yourself, she circled back:
“Gabourey, how are you so confident?” It’s not easy. It’s hard to get dressed up for award shows and red carpets when I know I will be made fun of because of my weight. There’s always a big chance if I wear purple, I will be compared to Barney. If I wear white, a frozen turkey. And if I wear red, that picture of Kool-Aid that says, “Oh, yeah!” Twitter will blow up with nasty comments about how the recent earthquake was caused by me running to a hot dog cart or something. And “Diet or Die?” [She gives the finger to that] This is what I deal with every time I put on a dress. This is what I deal with every time someone takes a picture of me. Sometimes when I’m being interviewed by a fashion reporter, I can see it in her eyes, “How is she getting away with this? Why is she so confident? How does she deal with that body? Oh my God, I’m going to catch fat!”
The former “American Horror Story” star went on to say that every day she went to school, people made fun of her, and that she had to go home to a place where everyone made fun of her as well. But when she moved in with her aunt, Dorothy Pitman Hughes, whom she described as a “feminist, an activist, and a lifelong friend of Gloria Steinem,” a portrait of her aunt and Steinem together gave her hope and strength.
The actress closed out her speech returning again to the question of confidence — something she hopefully won’t have to address again.
“How are you so confident?” “I’m an asshole!” Okay? It’s my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. I show up because I’m an asshole, and I want to have a good time. And my mother and my father love me. They wanted the best life for me, and they didn’t know how to verbalize it. And I get it. I really do. They were better parents to me than they had themselves. I’m grateful to them, and to my fifth grade class, because if they hadn’t made me cry, I wouldn’t be able to cry on cue now. [Dabs tears] If I hadn’t been told I was garbage, I wouldn’t have learned how to show people I’m talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn’t have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn’t told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn’t tried to break me down, I wouldn’t know that I’m unbreakable. [Dabs tears] So when you ask me how I’m so confident, I know what you’re really asking me: how could someone like me be confident? Go ask Rihanna, asshole!”
To read Sidibe’s entire speech, head over to Vulture.
article by Stephanie Marcus via huffingtonpost.com