As you may have noticed, Academy Award-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe has been one of the most talked-about women of the winter season. Sure, she was great in the big indie earner 'Precious,' but people seem to be more interested in what she's going to be doing in the near future than what she's already accomplished. Why the curious need to look into the fortune teller's crystal ball?

Well, for one thing, Sidibe presents Hollywood with an interesting case study: Can an overweight African American woman be successful as a leading lady in the movie business? The intrigue in Sidibe's upcoming prospects has less to do with her talent than with her physical appearance; she's not a standard beauty queen, but perhaps that will work to her advantage.

We're wrong to be looking at the issue from the standpoint of, "Will Gabby Sidibe get more leading roles in the future?" Rather, let's take a step back and ask ourselves if the success of 'Precious' will inspire more writers to make films about plump African-American women. Forget for a moment about Sidibe getting the roles. Instead, let's talk about whether or not there are any out there for her to get. Screenwriters will be presented with a difficult and risky task, attempting to sell a script to a major studio about a black woman who doesn't fit the traditional model of beautiful. To those screenwriters, I say: Bring it on.

Queen Latifah has had quite a solid career as a character actor, and that goes for Oscar winner Kathy Bates. Sidibe may find herself in the company of these respected women someday soon. Who needs to be a budding ingenue when supporting characters get all the fun stuff?

Sidibe will either represent a changing Hollywood or a shallow one still stuck to its dusty old ways. Her weight makes her different, yes, but also special. She's the type you always need but can't ever seem to find. Sidibe and young girls who share similar features have been ignored for far too long. Kind of like Precious, don't you think?