Just Wondering: Can we please give the Gabourey Sidibe body scrutiny a rest?
By Melissa Hunter
Ever since the Oscars, Gabourey Sidibe has been a key topic of conversation in the media. And not because of her transformative role in "Precious." All that seems to be discussed is her weight.
Now TMZ reports that the CEO of a diet supplement company wrote Gabourey a letter imploring her to use their product, saying, "The only way you can reach your goal of someday winning that Oscar is by being active, fit and most of all, healthy!" You know, that's how I try to lead a healthy lifestyle: by taking diet pills. Right after my morning gallon of Diet Coke and midafternoon shame-spiral crying sesh.
Much of the media is questioning whether Gabourey has a future in Hollywood. Which would be fair as many Best Actress nominees have eventually fizzled into obscurity. But the focal point is solely her size. Howard Stern, in all his reprehensible glory, said on his show, "There's the most enormous, fat black chick I've ever seen. She is enormous. Everyone's pretending she's a part of show business and she's never going to be in another movie."
Adding, "She should have gotten the Best Actress award because she's never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in? ... Oprah's another liar, a filthy liar. She's telling an enormous woman the size of a planet that she's going to have a career."
Well, Howard, you've had a career in spite of looking like the lovechild of Gene Simmons and Sideshow Bob, so maybe you should be more optimistic.
But really, this kind of scrutiny would never be focused on a man. Was John Goodman being harassed by Jenny Craig in his '90s heyday? Will Jonah Hill ever have a future in film if he doesn't get his stomach stapled? Of course. Sex appeal isn't the sole criteria for the success of a male actor in Hollywood. There's a reason why there isn't a movie called "He's Out of Your League."
The overarching irony is that the movie that made Gabourey a breakout movie star was all about overcoming adversity and disproving people's expectations of someone deemed a lost cause.
Sure, everyone should be conscious of their dietary health. And yes, Gabourey might have had poor dietary habits and there presumably are legitimate concerns about her health. You know who else we should worry about? Kate Bosworth, Kristin Cavallari, AnnaLynne McCord and the other members of Hollywood's scary skinny club.
Gabourey is a talented actress, a sassy personality, and has the backing of Oprah friggin' Winfrey. I have faith that she, much like her character in "Precious," will prove all those naysayers wrong and have a baller career. Which will hopefully involve a few rounds in the Celebrity Death Match ring between her and Mr. Stern.
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