“I learned to love myself, because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning, and if I don’t like myself, there’s no reason to even live the life.” Those are the words of Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who portrayed Precious Jones in the hit movie ‘Precious’. Unlike the character she portrays in ‘Precious’, Gabourey is intelligent, funny, vibrant, full of life and she adores who she is. She is one Brown Sista that is comfortable in her own skin.
Recently radio personality, Howard Stern had some pretty harsh comments regarding Gabourey. He even made the prediction that ‘Precious’ would be her one and only shot at being an actress. Little does he know that she has already started filming another movie and has landed a spot on Showtimes series, “The Big C”. Stern assumes that because Gabourey is a ‘Big Girl’ that she must be unhappy with herself. That other people will not be able to see the talent or beauty within because of what he deems ‘ugly’ on the outside. Stern thinks there is ‘something wrong’ with Gabourey. He even made the statement, ‘now that you have some money, go out and get thin’. Last I checked, he was one of the most highly paid radio personalities and he still hasn’t ‘gone out and bought himself a clue’. Because Gabourey doesn’t need fixing….she’s NOT broken. She’s perfect….in her own skin.
Gabourey comes from a home where being authentic was nurtured, not neutered. Her mother Alice Tan Ridley has been a NYC subway singer for the past 18 years. I’ve visited NYC a few times and I tell you, you have got to be comfortable in your own skin to be able to pull something like that off. As a matter of fact, Alice Tan Ridley QUIT her day job to sing full-time in the subway. With a mother like that, how could Gabourey fail? How could she not learn to love herself? How could she not succeed? Children learn best from observing. And Gabourey was blessed to observe her mother do what she loves best…..sing. And she did it in her own skin.
Gabourey said it best, “They [the press] try to paint the picture that I was this downtrodden, ugly girl who was unpopular in school and in life and then I got this role and now I’m awesome, but the truth is that I’ve been awesome, and then I got this role.” So, the next time you dare to venture out and go for what you want, remember, there is no other like you. There is no other that can do what you do. There is no other that could give what you have to offer. Stand tall in your own skin.