Can We Talk About Gabourey Sidibe’s Harper’s Bazaar Shoot?

August 7, 2013  |  

Can we talk about Gabourey Sidibe’s Harper’s Bazaar shoot? I know our news writer Jazmine Denise wrote about it earlier today saying that Sidibe shined in the photo but I, like many of our readers, have to disagree.

I appreciate the intention here. The shoot was mean to celebrate the diversity of women. And that’s something that we black women should be able to get behind…in theory.

But for whatever reason, while every other model or actress looked high fashion and fabulous, Gabourey– or Harper’s Bazaar or both, seemed to be making a mockery out of the whole thing.

In the photo, Gabourey is literally standing with what appears to be a tasseled rug on her head, an ill-fitted black t-shirt that flares out awkwardly at the bottom and then some ashen leggings worn as pant and a red leather coat covering all of that. To top it all off, the outfit is “pulled together” by some plain, black show choir shoes.
Our readers had some hilarious commentary about Gabby’s photo when we posted it on Facebook and Twitter this morning.
I wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened but I’d argue it’s one of two things.

Scenario One: Harper’s Bazaar didn’t know what the hell to do with Gabourey. I wouldn’t be surprised if the employees at Harper’s Bazaar didn’t have Sidibe’s sizes in stock and perhaps struggled to find something suitable for her. And that showed in the ultimate outfit they eventually chose for her.

Scenario Two: Rumor has it that Gabby doesn’t take these fashion spreads too seriously. That she actually likes to make a mockery of it all. So, the getup she wore was intentionally out of place.

Now, two issues I have with either one of these scenarios. If Harper’s Bazaar was attempting to really feature Gabby in the same fashion as the other women, then they’ve failed. The intent of the issue was to celebrate diverse women but it doesn’t seem like Gabby was being celebrated in this photo. It seems like she was included as some type of joke.

If, however, Gabby doesn’t take this whole seriously and wants to defy this whole “high fashion” life I don’t know if she should have agreed to participate. There are so many plus sized women who would love to be draped in high fashion but will never have the opportunity because they don’t have the platform Sidibe does. Gabby had an opportunity to represent and even pave the way for other plus sized women to appear in the pages of Harper’s and other magazines.

But that’s just me. What do you think about Gabby’s photo? Do you appreciate the look?

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