Gabourey Sidibe is way more than just an actress. She is a fashion icon and an amazing role model for plus-size and straight-size people alike. Her unabashed self-love and body positivity, often delivered with a confident and sarcastic attitude, prove that Sidibe is a fat woman who doesn't just throw herself into the political side of being plus-size — she has fun while doing it.
I personally believe that declaring everything that a plus-size person does to be body positive detracts from the message of body positivity. When it comes to Gabourey Sidibe, not everything she does is going to have a body-positive intent. She should be able to speak about her life, her work, and everything else in the world without having to relate it to her size. In doing so, she can help humanize the people behind the body-positive movement, instead of making their existence seem to be solely about the movement. That said, by being herself and refusing to apologize for it, Sidibe reminds us that the body-positive community is made up of people, not just messages.
In her July 30 interview with The Chicago Tribune, Sidibe discussed her body alongside questions straight-size people usually get asked, normalizing both herself and the movement. Her words are truly inspirational as they preach fat acceptance alongside self love. Here are seven shining moments:
1. "All my family is dark-skinned. And we're all kind of bigger people. And I think that my mom is beautiful, and I think that my dad's skin color is beautiful."
Sidibe recognizes that if you find someone who looks similar to you to be beautiful, then you have no reason not to find yourself beautiful. This is a realization most body positive people find within themselves at some point. For example, my mom and I look incredibly similar, and through loving her appearance, I learned to love my own.
2. "I cannot look at the two of them and decide that I am not beautiful."
Building off of the first point, it seems that if we are a reflection of our parents — both metaphorically as well as physically — it doesn't make sense to adore them but not ourselves.
3. "I think you just have to be the one to decide what is beautiful."
Regardless of what society and the media define as beautiful, creating your own definition means that you will always feel beautiful, no matter what.
4. "[...] There has been a huge movement in the plus-size arena."
And I agree! The changes in the plus-size world since I was a kid (and since Sidibe was a kid) are no less than revolutionary — be it the variety of plus-size fashion we now have, or the myriad of plus-style bloggers. I can only hope it continues.
5. "[...] There's more of us with more style and more gumption."
I'm sure Sidibe is referring to the influx of plus-size fashion and beauty blogs surfacing over the last five years, and how they're changing the world. With better representation, it's easier to feel good about ourselves.
6. "I've learned that no matter what I wear, somebody will hate it."
This is such a truth, whether you're fat or thin. My personal style has caused issues with my friends and I'm sure it would no matter what body shape it was put on. Getting over other people's opinions on styling will change the way you dress yourself, though.
7. "So I decided that I just dress for me. I wear colors that I like, I wear prints that I like and I wear lengths that I like."
We could all learn something from this life lesson. Don't dress for others. Dress for yourself. Wear whatever the hell you want to wear each day, regardless of fashion "rules."
Gabourey Sidibe's disregard for the rules that fashion, society, and the media try to dictate is truly inspirational. Not caring about other people's opinions is hard, but once you overcome that, the worlds of body positivity and fatshion are truly yours for the taking.