Gabourey Sidibe is many things – actress, model, published author. Too often, though, her weight steals headlines that should belong to her talent.
As a guest on Janet Mock's podcast, "Never Before With Janet Mock," the actress spoke candidly about shying away from the body-positive movement because of trolls, and why she's fed up with people who can't stop commenting on her body.
After starring in "Precious," Sidibe was thrown in front of journalists, bloggers, concern trolls, and the like who wanted to comment about her weight. To take control, she stayed silent on her weight altogether. Unfortunately, that also meant excluding herself from the body-positive movement.
“I never wanted to talk about my weight. I didn’t. And when all the movements started happening, I didn’t want to join the body acceptance movement because I thought I would be a detriment to it,” she said. “Because people would comment like, ‘She’s promoting like a really unhealthy lifestyle. She’s promoting being fat and beautiful and that’s not true and that’s really unhealthy.’ It’s like, I’m promoting a movie! I’m promoting a TV show! I’m not telling you what to eat, what not to eat. Because the honest truth of it is I have had several trainers throughout my life. I have been on every single diet throughout my life. I know what I look like.”
Despite her choosing to not let her weight become her defining characteristic, Sidibe still had to battle a force we're all too familiar with — concern trolls, or people who feel the need to comment on a woman's body out of feigned concern for her health.
"People pretend that they care about my health by calling me a fat, disgusting bitch," she told Mock. “You do not care about my health. You are just a giant gaping asshole. And you think that you can have an opinion about me, but this is my body. I’m not out here in these streets writing thinkpieces about how your dick is too small."
This isn't the first time Sidibe has addressed the way critics body shame her.
Just last month, the actress told ABC News anchor Robin Roberts about the double standard that comes with fat shaming.
"There are plenty of fat guys or whatever," Sidibe said. "And no one has ever written thinkpieces about why they need to lose weight. No one's ever going to accuse them while they were, you know, on a show promoting their film, that they're actually promoting an unhealthy diet."She also told concern trolls to "mind [their] own body" instead of policing hers. We couldn't agree more, Gabby!
Check out the full interview with Janet Mock on iTunes.