Gabourey Sidibe is a goddess. The acclaimed actress, who is currently co-starring on "Empire," just gets it: Whether it's taking down rape culture, cracking jokes on social media, or inspiring us all in Lane Bryant ads, she's one woman who gives us all the feels.
As Sidibe gears up to release her first book, "This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare," she's chatting with a number of outlets, including People and Nylon, about how she's arrived to this point in her journey.
She's also dropping gems all fat babes can adsorb and apply to their own lives. Here are five of them:
Body-positive babes have to make choices that increase their happiness.
Recently, the 33-year-old actress underwent bariatric surgery. She told People she opted for weight loss surgery after being diagnosed with diabetes. The body-positive movement has made space for agency, which Sidibe exercised by making a decision for her health.
After her personal trainer died from cancer, Sidibe decided to have the surgery.
"I really, really tried — I gave a valiant try," she told People. "So I'm glad that I finally realized that the surgery wasn’t the easy way out. I wasn’t cheating by getting it done."
She said she's lost far more weight after the surgery and is still training and eating healthier as well. Best of all, she made the best decision for herself. That's what matters.
Your weight should never stop you from pursuing your dreams.
The Oscar-nominated actress has endured relentless bullying since she burst on the scene in "Precious." It has not distracted her from her career goals.
"I was born to stand out," she told Parade in 2013. "I don't care whether or not people will find me attractive on-screen. That's not why I became an actor."
There will always be haters. Don't let them distract you from your goals.
You never have to hide your body, especially from someone you're intimate with.
Internet trolls shamed Sidibe when she shot a sex scene for "Empire." However, her response to the hatred is a lesson in the importance of being comfortable with your body, especially when it comes to being intimate — on-camera no less.
"It was only a big deal, though, because I happen to be in this body, this body that I have had my entire life and career," she told Nylon Magazine. "You all knew I was fat then; don't turn on the TV and still be surprised I am fat. It implies that people with bigger bodies don’t find love and aren’t worth loving."
Big bodies deserve love too. Don't ever forget it.
You don't have to be a "perfect" bopo warrior all day every day.
The "American Horror Story: Coven" actress has spoken extensively about confidence. In a 2014 speech at the Ms. Foundation for Women gala, she revealed how she's made herself more confident. She said her confidence is shaken every time someone says something cruel about her body.
"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," she said. "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 pitcher of Kool-Aid that says, 'Oh, yeah!'"
More than three years later, Sidibe is still learning how to retain her confidence:
My confidence, I can't set it and forget it — I didn't find confidence one day and I was fine forever: I have to put it on as much as much as I have to put on lipstick. I have to go through this mantra of who I am and my value, and all of that makes me feel confident. My friends, my humor, all of that makes me feel confident. And I have to keep remembering it to stay confident.
All big babes have been there. Keep pushing.
We all have to find ways to increase our confidence.
Confident fat women are perceived as an anomaly because we live in a world that teaches fat people to hate their bodies. From the thin bodies that populate television shows and magazines to the ways fat people are mistreated on airplanes, at work, and at the doctor, it's clear what bodies are valued.
Given this, fat women have to boost their own confidence. Sidibe has figured that out.
When People asked her how she retains her confidence, she said, "Feeling tall [in high heels] makes me feel confident. My hair, depending on how it’s done, can make me feel confident. Allowing myself to feel smart makes me feel confident."