Back in January, Precious star and American Horror Story queen Gabourey Sidibe made the "bold" move of appearing at the Golden Globes. You might wonder why her appearance was so "bold." After all, this is an actress, whose role as Precious Jones in 2009 solidified her talent in all of our minds. Why wouldn't she show up at an award ceremony that celebrates excellence in film and television? The "why," of course, is that Gabourey is a plus-size woman. And not necessarily the prototypical hourglass version of plus-size we're accustomed to seeing when it comes to representations of fat women in the media. People couldn't wait to attack her appearance — to laugh at her "fashion faux pas," manifested in wearing white when one is larger than a size 10. But the reality is that Gabourey killed it. She looked perfect, and in the months since, Gabourey Sidibe's fashion has proven time and time again that she is a woman worthy of hero status.
In one of the many inspirational Gabourey Sidibe quotes to surface since this beauty of a human being hit our screens, she says, "Sometimes when I’m being interviewed by a fashion reporter, I can see it in her eyes, 'How is she getting away with this? Why is she so confident? How does she deal with that body? Oh my God, I’m going to catch fat!'" It's still so shocking to people, so revolutionary, to see a larger woman unafraid of being seen — unafraid of showing off her talents. To encounter a woman of size who is ready to fire back at the haters just about makes the world blow up.
Let's take a look at another one of her spot-on observations: "So when you ask me how I’m so confident, I know what you’re really asking me: how could someone like me be confident?" And this goes back to the "bold" thing. It shouldn't be brave to go out wearing a dress; to put on a bikini for the beach; to wear short-shorts in the summer. But when you're a fat woman, it simply is. One is either presented with the fat shaming trolls, who don't hesitate to tell you that your body is ugly and wrong and broken. Or one is presented with the people who love what you're doing, and tell you how brave and inspirational you are. Because daring to be confident or to feel beautiful at a larger size is still so controversial. Hopefully one day this won't be the case. Hopefully one day every woman and man, of every size, can wear an itsy bitsy swimsuit to the beach and not have it be newsworthy. But that level of acceptance is far from realized, and in the meantime, it's celebrities like Gabourey who help us get a little closer to it.
As well as Gabourey's take on issues of body image being in perfect synchronicity with the fat acceptance movement and the body positive endeavor, she is also something of a fashion icon, as proved by her personal Twitter page all year. No matter the fact that "haters gonna hate," she seems to stay true to herself. The sense of playfulness, of fierceness, of joy and of wonderment that captivate us on screen also captivate us off it. When we look at Gabourey's easy but wonderful style, we just want more of it. We want more of her — and I, for one, hope we see that in 2015. In the meantime, check out some of her Twitter fashion highlights:
1. THE TIME SHE PERFECTED THE POWER TIARA
Helping make power tiaras 2015's biggest trend. I'm ready.
2. THE TIME HER HAIR WAS PERFECT RETRO GLORY
I'm feeling another rendition of Hairspray, only this time it's actually going to be the ultimate form of genius.
3. THE TIME SHE SHOPPED AT TORRID
Isn't it exciting when celebs shop at the same places we do? Obviously it is, judging by how thrilled people get when Queen Bey goes to Topshop. Gabourey's "Biggie" tee not only proved she can get down with the plus retail so many of us turn to. She also gave kudos to a vastly under-discussed but central figure to New York's hip hop scene.
4. THE TIME SHE WAS SNOW WHITE
Not only does she seem to love Halloween (as everyone should) but in dressing like a princess she showed, once again, that women of any size deserve to feel and look like royalty.
5. THE TIME SHE WAS STYLED BY MARCY GUEVARA
When formed "Big Girl in a Skinny World" columnist and body positive blogger Marcy Guevara styled the ever-radient Gabourey, magic happened. Bold print; don't care.
6. THE TIME SHE WORE A HANDBAG WITH LIGHTS ON THE INSIDE
A little crazy with a little quirky made for a pretty ideal accessory.
7. THE TIME SHE WASN'T SCARED OF BEING PHOTOGRAPHED IN A SWIMSUIT
Because she shouldn't be. Because she's stunning. Because beauty and sex appeal and glam exist at any size. But also, because #freedom (no dramatics intended).
8. THE TIME SHE PROVED SHE'S ALWAYS BEEN FLAWLESS
What to say about this? The dress, eyeshadow, pocket book and cell phone just about make for one of those audible squealing-in-delight-and-awww moments.
9. THE TIME SHE GOT MARRIED
Well, not really. But she did wear a gorgeous bodycon gown that broke two major "plus-size fashion no-nos" in one (the tight-fitting thing and the white thing) and looked impeccable whilst doing it.
10. THE TIME THESE SUNGLASSES HAPPENED
Who needs Ray Bans when you can have perfect plastic heart-shaped sunglasses? Proving that weird is just about always wondrous.
11. THE TIME SHE EXPERIMENTED
Not being afraid of looking like a total hot mess equates to instant fashion icon status in my book. I think it's safe to say the hair and eyeshadow were a little far out, but don't you just love that? Experimentation in your style = a must.
12. THE TIME SHE PERFECTED THE RED LIP
Taylor Swift may have made red lipstick an even bigger, brighter thing in 2014. But Gabourey wore the red lippy to the aforementioned Golden Globes, and a strong lip always goes hand in hand with a strong woman.
13. THE TIME SHE WAS A CABBAGE PATCH KID
Maybe not quite. But that wit and charm of hers are just as much part of her lovability as her acting or her beauty. This is a woman who is funny, intelligent, talented, stunning and wise. She wants to see a change in the way things are done and perceived, and she isn't afraid of being part of that change. Here's hoping for a Gabby Sidibe-filled New Year. We all need it.
Images: Getty; Twitter; Giphy