It's no secret that Gabourey Sidibe gave a heart-wrenching performance of a lifetime in 'Precious.' It's also no secret that her weight could limit the number of roles she's offered in the future. This raises an important question: Do we champion Sidibe's acting career despite the fact that she's a plus-sized woman, because of that fact or regardless of it?

That Hollywood adores stick thin leading ladies isn't news, but it makes the emergence of new, more normal-looking actresses all the more noticeable. Christina Hendricks of 'Mad Men' has garnered much attention for her "full figured" sexiness when she herself never felt unusually voluptuous until casting agents mentioned it, as she explained to New York Magazine last month. Actresses such as Queen Latifah and Mo'Nique are representative of more curvaceous women who are likelier to populate the seats in a movie theatre than, say, someone who looks like Kristin Stewart. Even stars like Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon, while not as amply proportioned as Nikki Blonsky or America Ferrara, stand out simply because they are healthy rather than underweight. The status quo body type in films is so grotesquely unnatural, skinny to a degree that the average woman will never resemble, that when a regularly-shaped actress appears in a movie or on TV, she's hailed as a sensually plus-sized anomaly.

When you think about it, it's pretty ridiculous. It's as if, in Hollywood, women who don't wear a size 0 must be deemed attractive in order to be acceptable. You don't often see a successful actress who is plus-sized -- or even overweight -- and not considered sexy. This is what makes Gabourey Sidibe such a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood fare. Sidibe is heavy-set, and she'll probably never be on the cover of GQ. But she is talented. She has received accolades for her role in 'Precious' not because she is full-figured, but because she gave an astounding performance. Sidibe's acting abilities should be nurtured and her career allowed to blossom. It's not because she's physically big; it's because her talent is huge.