Earlier today, I came across a sidebar ad on some website that was a before and after pic of Gabourey Sidibe “transformative” weight loss. The thing was, the “before” picture was of Sidibe, but the “after” wasn’t after a weight loss transformation; it was after she magically transformed into Jennifer Hudson. I wish I had screencapped the ad, as I’ll never be able to deliberately find it again in the wide sea of internet awfulness. But a similar item has unfortunately made its way to Sidibe herself, since this kind of shittiness always comes with friends.
A site called Time to Break tweeted out a listicle of celebrities’ weight losses, and they used Sidibe as their header image. Except they didn’t actually use her name, only that of her character Precious, and in the article itself, the after picture isn’t of her, but of Glee actress Amber Riley. On top of that, check out the gross as shit wording, implying that despite being a successful actress, an Oscar nominee, and a goddamn human being, she’s only “living up to her name” now that she’s lost weight.
She made her Hollywood debut in 2009 as Precious, but now 7 years on she is living up to her beautiful name. WOW! https://t.co/FBHS3EGZkn— Time To Break (@timetobreaknow) August 25, 2016
I don’t recommend wasting your time on looking through the site’s slideshow (or giving them the traffic that would come from that), but the entire article is so, so gross. Look, we all want all fellow humans to be healthy. But the assumption that thin = healthy is disgustingly misguided. Jonah Hill’s page has a before and after and later after picture, as they note that “sadly, his dedication to remaining slimmer didn’t work.” Miranda Lambert got “a little too comfortable in her skin” and put on weight. Mariah Carey, as they note, “hasn’t always been so irresistible and trim,” because of course those two things are interchangeable.
When Sidibe, who has now been removed from the slideshow, saw the way the site had used her image, she wasn’t having it.
1) My name is Gabourey Sidibe. Put some RESPEK on it! 2) Amber Riley and I are not the same person. 3) 🖕🏿 https://t.co/zuSUb6rs28— Gabby SidiBae (@GabbySidibe) August 26, 2016
Back when she was promoting Precious, Sidibe told Oprah about her long path to feeling comfortable with her own body.
“It’s something I’ve had to work at. My first diet started when I was six years old,” Gabby said. “I’ve never been a small girl. One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body.”
She said that she was 21 or 22 when she finally became comfortable in her own skin. “I got tired of feeling bad all the time. I got tired of hating myself.” [HuffPo]
So maybe we can cool it on the concern trolling and the assumptions that when a person meets our personal aesthetic, that’s the best version of them, let alone making celebrities interchangeable so they meet that aesthetic in whatever fiction our minds have created.
But no matter what nonsense gets thrown her way, just remember that Gabourey Sidibe is, once again, doing just fine.