In Your Own Skin

“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.



  1. She has more Self-Confidence than half of the Slim Women in America and across the Globe!!!

  2. I love the fact that this young black woman loves herself no matter what.The media has always tried to break black women’s self -esteem. Why do you think they keep doing all this “research” (70% of all black women are single ,55% of all black women have herpes, 52.3% of all black women are obese…)

    Basically black women continue to be reminded that to the media were basically vermin,so watching a black woman love herself infuriates them . Keep doing you Gabby!

  3. @melinda you is so right. I think we are the powerful human being on this earth. We can handle so much under pressure. We just need to stop beating each other up. We come in all different shape and sizes and colors. From fear-skinned to dark skinned.

    I love gabby for just loving herself. She a beautiful woman to me. We just have to embrace each other. But the more important is love yourself. You will come along way if you start with that first.

  4. “I love myself”… Blablabla. Is that an excuse not to get healthy. Look deep down in your heart and tell me with a straight face that this girl should be happy about her looks. I am 165lbs and I don’t feel great. Not that I don’t like myself but I clearly notice the change from when I was 140lbs. I honestly don’t feel as healthy. I know the body is not supposed to carry that much fat around it. It’s not even about the looks, think about the heart disease, liver problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, think of all those things.

  5. @coco i feel you on that. Im in the gym myself. But if she like herself there nothing we can do but support her.

  6. melinda, i love that you put the statistics in quotations…All medical statistics should be take with a grain of salt, because they are from public health records white women have abortions and get treatment for stds but since a lot more white people have insurance, they go to private doctors who are less likely to report to the health department.

  7. @Melinda I so agree with you and I don’t believe alot of this stuff they come out with. I will support her because she is not going to shave her nose bleach her skin or starve herself to look like something she was never created to look like. If she is healthy and happy that should be all that matters. Here it is she should be celebrated being nominated for an Oscar her fist time out and all Hollywierd can do is focus on her weight. Such loser and these are the people most people try to emulate. That is what’s sad.

  8. @ CoCo Although she is comfortable in her own skin, maybe she does want to be healthier…I don’t know–I haven’t heard her say she likes being big and does not want to lose weight. Just that she loves herself. You have to love yourself regardless of your size because if you are 410 lbs and have low self esteem, then you will have low self esteem after you lose it and become 130 lbs. I think that’s the point.

    I’m a overweight, and I love myself and have confidence, but I stil recognize that I need to lose 40 lbs. My self confidence and happiness comes from within and knowing that I’m always trying to improve mysself

    And I can’t stand Howard Stern.

  9. @LOVELY I seen Gabourey on TVONE access and she did quote ” she loves being big ” and even though she may feel this way It doesn’t justify her health…It’s just NOT HEALTHY to be TOO BIG or TOO small and after a while your confidence and pride needs to be put aside and maintain a health weight ….and even though she may have other movie roles avalible for her she will always be ”PRECIOooUSuuss”

  10. I love her self confidence but she does need to tend to her health.. That’s just a reality.

  11. there’s nothing wrong with Gabby loving herself. BUT, there is a big picture here. We (in the US) have the highest number of obese people, women, and children. Technically, she should NOT be happy with her looks. Howard Stern is an a**hole–no one can dispute that, however, was he totally wrong? Yeah, he was wrong for saying that out loud, but the content was right on the money. She looks like “a ticking timebomb” and I really hope she loses weight so she can increase her life span and really show us what she’s got!! Just my thoughts.

  12. @ Signature Barbie & CoCo Oh, ok–I stand corrected. And you’re right. No extreme (big or small) is a good thing.

  13. Thanks Brown Sista for this story.

    Let me say this to all the people claiming to care so much about this young sistas health….There is a way to say everything and attacking her and calling her names is not it! Ms. Thangs self esteem is not low…she’s probaly healthier than alot of you bitches talkin. I wish her personal happiness and professional success.

  14. Good that she has confidence, despite the 3 strikes she has against her already. But I do hope she gets her weight on track.

  15. Love, Love, Love it. There are people who are thinner than Gabby and they are sick, busted and disgusted. so just because you are chubby does not mean you are not healthy. People think because of my size that i should have high blood pressure, sugar diabetes or high cholesterol or something to signify that they know what is right for me, but i always fool them and let them know i am in better health than you are. Gabby, You Go Girl!!!

  16. Good for her, Personally at that size, I’ll be working out to get healthier but if she is healthy and happy, More power to her.

  17. SURABI- SO true there are people dropping dead from heart attacks right now and some aren’t nearly as big as Gabby. So EVERYONE no matter what size you are needs to watch your health.

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