Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meet Precious


This week's issue of New York magazine introduces us to Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, the actress who plays Claireece "Precious" Jones in the new movie, Precious. Now, Sidibe, a NYC-born and raised, 26-year-old, African-American actress, happens to be fat. 350 pounds fat.

The film's director, Lee Daniels, speaks of Sidibe: "'She is unequivocally comfortable in her body, in a very bizarre way. Either she's in a state of denial or she's so elevated that she's on another level.'"

The magazine notes that when Sidibe was 11, her aunt offered to pay for a cruise if her niece lost 50 pounds. Similar pressures followed, but somewhere along the way, something clicked with Sidibe:
"I learned to love myself, because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning, and if I don't like myself there's no reason to even live the life. I love the way I look. I'm fine with it. And if my body changes, I'll be fine with that."
Precious words for us all. . .

14 comments:

Watching and Weighting said...

do you think she MEANS that though - 'i like the way i look' - not just a defense mechanism of being fat? I'm intrigued. Great post.

I Hate to Weight said...

i had the same question as watching and weighting. i also thought about when i was nearly 200 pounds and just how uncomfortable it was -- climbing stairs out of breath, big red marks where my thighs rubbed together as i walked, bras that dug into my shoulders, stomache rolls that hurt when i sat....

still, i hope she IS comfortable and content and cool with it all.

SuSuseriffic said...

I know and feel that how you feel about yourself can be totally different then how you know others feel about you. I can separate them. I think I am fine...but I know I look fat and deformed to some people. Sometimes I feel like it would be nice not to have those people think that of me, but Most of the time I'm OK with being 215 pounds 5' 6" and have a post belly 'pouch'.

I'm sure this lady means it and can compartmentalize it the way I mentioned.

SuSuseriffic said...

I mean-- post-BABY pouch--

JS said...

The first two comments here are really disturbing. How dare either of those people second-guess Sidibe's own statements about her body image? That's just part of the fat-shaming, body-shaming, misogynist mainstream culture that I thought this blog was critiquing.

i also thought about when i was nearly 200 pounds and just how uncomfortable it was -- climbing stairs out of breath...

Please check yourself. I weigh more than 200 pounds and climb mountains and run marathons. The fact that you were unhealthy at that weight is a fact about you, not a fact about weight; Ms. Sidibe may well be healthier at her current weight than you are at your current weight. There are 300-plus-pound triathletes, 300-plus-pound Olympic athletes, and 300-plus-pound people who bound upstairs easily and gracefully.

Deal with your own self-loathing and body shame on your own time--don't broadcast it to others.

Jackie said...

thank you JS, I was just thinking about how I have to be careful about linking here from the fat feed if comments like that will be the norm. yuck.

Jasie VanGesen said...

I just have to say, what a smart and level headed woman she is. And to have the director suggest that "She is unequivocally comfortable in her body... she's in a state of denial" is just kind of ridiculous. No, she's a smart woman who's got some things figured out that many "thinner" women do not.

Bravo!

Villamor family said...

I think it was just fine for the first 2 posts to write their feelings. That is what this blog is for. Dr. Stacey writes her entry and everyone gives their honest opinion.

I know in the South- African Americans are very curvy and that is OK in their culture. It seems almost expected...i wonderwhere as the white girls are expected to be thinner. I hate how hollywood influences so much in our lives(if we let it).

I was appalled at the director's comment too but loved, loved, loved what Precious said! What a great role model!

I Hate to Weight said...

my comments came from my own experience.

some of the responses were fierce.

after reading them, i thought, "i want my mother", but she wouldn't have understood how someone who weighed 130 pounds could be happy with her body, so there ya go.

Law School Drama Queen said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for this. I'm going to follow your blog!

MAMA P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ms. Finch said...

I'm glad she feels comfortable in her own skin, but if she truly loved herself, I think she'd take better care of herself. NOT that one has to be a certain weight, but lovng oneself includes: seeing a doctor on a regular basis, eating a variety of foods, exercising, sleeping 8 hours a night, getting plenty of fresh air, spending time with friends, taking calcium supplements, etc.

Being morbidly obese puts oneself at risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke, joint problems, and premature death. I do believe she is self-accepting, and that's great, but putting oneself into an early grave isn't really love at all. It's self-abuse.

Cherie/ Butterfly Dreamer said...

People are so judgmental about weight in our society. They cannot imagine a woman being comfortable living in a fat body.I have been so many sizes in my lifetime because of my own discomfort in my own skin at any weight.I admire anyone who can make that statement. God bless her.

SuSuseriffic said...

Ms finch said-
"I think she'd take better care of herself. NOT that one has to be a certain weight, but lovng oneself includes: seeing a doctor on a regular basis, eating a variety of foods, exercising, sleeping 8 hours a night, getting plenty of fresh air, spending time with friends, taking calcium supplements, etc."

How do know she does not do those things? Assuptions? Plenty of thin and other sizes of people do not do thease things.