Gabourey Sidibe’s speech might make you cry, too
By Ann Oldenburg May 2, 2014 5:06 pm
Gabourey Sidibe’s not shy about speaking her mind. And in a speech the actress gave at Thursday’s Ms. Foundation gala, she brought herself to tears recalling her childhood and what shaped her, reports Vulture.
It wasn’t so much about being fat. It was something else.
The Oscar-nominated actress recalled a fifth-grade party that meant a lot to her. She baked cookies for it and hoped to share them with the class. But none of the kids would eat any.
Why didn’t they like me? I was fat, yes. I had darker skin and weird hair, yes. But the truth is, this isn’t a story about … color, or weight. They hated me because… I was an a–hole!
And a “bossy” one at that.
Those kids couldn’t get a word in edgewise without me cutting them off to remind them that I was smarter, funnier, and all around wittier than them.
As she struggled to make friends, she recalled, she would pass every day by a photo in her home of her aunt, Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a feminist and activist, standing side-by-side with her lifelong friend, Gloria Steinem, their fists held high in the air.
And every day as I would leave the house … I would give that photo a fist right back. And I’d march off into battle.
The lesson she learned:
I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. … If I hadn’t been told I was garbage, I wouldn’t have learned how to show people I’m talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn’t have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn’t told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn’t tried to break me down, I wouldn’t know that I’m unbreakable.