She Did It: Gabby Is an Inspiration To Those Who Think Only the Skinny Can Pursue Their Dreams
Today, I'll watch Gabourey Sidibe. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have. Five years ago, I wouldn't have. But now, I will.
This plus-sized actress and others, like Brooke Elliot and Queen Latifah, have transformed my outlook. I have always had an extreme fear of fat, going so far as to starve myself and recklessly abuse my body. My dreams were often shelved until I was thin enough. I'd say to myself, "Once I'm really skinny, then I can be pursue my dreams. Once I hit that magic number, then I'll be successful."
Glossy magazines and my favorite models and actresses reinforced my theory. I succumbed to the massive peer pressure to lose weight at any cost. This landed me briefly in the hospital in my early twenties. But I was trapped in the prison of my mind for many more years and only a few pounds kept me from stepping out and trying anything new. I have never been plus-sized, but considered any amount of fat to be a reason to not try.
TV shows and movies along the way disproved my theory. I'd see plus-sized celebrities and wonder just how they ever got where they were. It didn't make sense to my fat phobic mind. Oprah broke the mold with her success, but her constant public struggle with her weight didn't help change my mind that only the thin are worthy.
Drawn to the fashion industry and all the glamour that came with it, I began watching Tyra Banks and her 'America's Next Top Model' show. While this show glamorized the thin, Tyra's attitude was a breath of fresh air. I started to see more plus-sized models as the beautiful women they are. The Real Women of Dove advertising campaign that emerged around the same time shocked me. These were models who looked like people I know. TV shows started adding normal sized women to their casts, maybe they were there all along, but the roles are becoming less about their weight.
When I saw the preview for 'Precious' with Gabourey Sidibe, I knew right away I'd be going to see the movie and rooting her on all the way. This actress has been blasted in the media. The general public is spouting their opinions about her weight. I look at her and her success so far and have to simply say, "She did it!" She went ahead and followed her dream regardless of the circumference of her thighs. I love this about her. I want her to succeed, for all of us that are so fearful of fat and for all those waiting in the wings until they "lose 20 lbs in 2 days" or other such nonsense from the newsstand.
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