Pop-Ed: Gabourey Sidibe Shouldn't Pose for Vogue
By Jo Piazza Posted Mar 25th 2010 03:05PM
Pop-Ed: Let me preface this (and try to deflect at least a couple of the impending angry commenters) by saying that I think Gabby Sidibe is a wondefully gifted actress and an adorable girl. That said, I agree that she should not be on the cover of the fashion bible, Vogue magazine.
My Naughty and Nice colleague Rob Shuter proffered a challenge to Vogue editors earlier today, saying, "If Vogue is so buddy-buddy with all the designers, tell them make a dress for Gabby for the next issue. See? Problem fixed. That was easy! And for all of you magazine editors out there, normal people don't want to see all of these skeleton models -- give us the real girls!"
But there's a problem with that logic: Gabby doesn't represent real women.
Yes, real women have curves (I am personally a size 8) and they are beautiful, and I think that Vogue has begun taking steps to move away from only presenting skeletal size zeroes in their pages. In 2007, Vogue put real curvy, real gorgeous Jennifer Hudson on its cover. Yay for that! Hudson represents what real women look like. Sidibe generally does not. While Sidibe has never said exactly how much she weighs, in her star turn in 'Precious,' she plays a girl who weighs around 350 lbs. In real life, Sidibe appears to just about be pushing 300 lbs. The average weight for a woman in her twenties in America is around 140 lbs. I think it's safe to say that Sidibe more than doubles that.
If we want to argue that Vogue should stop including size zeroes in their pages because they don't represent real women, then we have to say they shouldn't include Gabby either, as she is no more representative of the average woman. We say that young girls are developing eating disorders because they see emaciated women in magazines. Well, obesity comes with major health problems too, so both sides of that coin have to be represented.
Everyone wants to be on the right side of the Gabby Sidibe weight argument because Americans are conflicted about their own feelings about weight. We don't like fat or fat people -- that's why we don't see many of them on TV or in movies -- even though a lot of us are admittedly overweight.
If Gabby is comfortable with her weight and her size, as she told Oprah she is, then good for her. But should we guilt a magazine known for high fashion into putting her on the cover just to make an example and to make ourselves feel better about our own conflicted feelings about weight?
And this isn't an issue of giving Gabby the recognition she deserves. Not every Oscar nominee makes it onto the cover of Vogue, plain and simple.
Let's not demonize Vogue if they opt not to use Gabby for a cover shoot. Vogue is a business and they're in the business of selling beauty and fashion. They shouldn't have to alter that mission to accommodate one person and America's guilt.
Gabourey Sidibe Snapshots
© BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Actress Gabourey Sidibe totes her purchase from Victorinox then goes to Baltazar restaurant. NON-EXCLUSIVE March 14, 2010 Job: 100314M4 New York, New York www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com
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