Gabourey Sidibe “Mistaken” For Amber Riley To Push A Bogus Weight Loss Story
Last night, during my daily—almost hourly— Facebook perusing, I saw that Gabourey Sidibe’s name was one of the top trending topics. Curious to see what happened, I clicked to find out what she’d done that had the internet blowing up.
It was a weight loss story. Headlines were claiming that I wouldn’t believe what Sidibe looked like now.
Apparently, she’d done a complete 180 and would shock the world. But I’d seen this headline one too many times to believe it. Plus, I follow Sidibe on Instagram and I hadn’t seen any evidence of this so-called-miraculous weight loss.
Eur Web did post a picture of her rocking a Biggie shirt and she did look smaller but that wasn’t the image that had the internet ablaze.
Instead, it was Time To Break’s 43 page slideshow.
When the outlet tweeted about their story, they wrote the headline read, “Precious is Skinny Now and Will Make Your Jaw Drop.”
(Note: Please don’t do what I did and click through all 43 pages.)
Naturally, the woman we came to see, Sidibe, was featured as the 43rd celebrity. Unlike the other stars, whose photos were taken from red carpets. Sidibe’s was taken from a scene in Precious. And what made a bad situation even worse, was the fact that her after picture was one of Amber Riley.
Gabourey Sidibe lost so much weight she morphed into Amber Riley.
Not only was the story and the headline deceptive, it speaks to the very stereotypical and incorrect notion that all minorities, anyone who’s not White, look alike. You don’t have to know or followed Sidibe or Riley’s career to understand that these two women aren’t the same people. Furthermore, weight loss and the preoccupation—borderline obsession—with it make these stories so annoying. I mentioned this before when we wrote about the Ghanaian bride-to-be and her engagement pictures. The image of her fiancé lifting her went viral. But it wasn’t long before someone tried to insinuate that their transformative love made her better and eventually caused her to lose weight. I said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s a shame that we can’t celebrate people, women for who they are right now. They have to be smaller, thinner, skinnier for us to be happy for them. It sends that message that Gabby, as she exists now, is not enough. And that’s just not true. Her personhood is more than her weight and it’s so much bigger than the Hollywood aesthetic we’ve been force-fed. Furthermore, her contributions to society, even outside of the entertainment realm, are largely due to her physical appearance we observe today.
If you ask me, the best thing she’s ever done was deliver that speech at the Ms. Foundation Gala. You can read the entire speech here but the gist of it is that Sidibe said that she got to the point where she learned to think so highly of herself because no one else did. And while it’s sad, it’s also inspirational. All of us have to get to this place in our lives, no matter what size we wear.
In another interview with Huffington Post, she told Oprah that she started her first diet when she was six years old. “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. I got tired of feeling bad all the time. I got tired of hating myself.”
Honestly, I wish the media would get to that point too. The point where they stop trying to profit off of a bogus story; but more importantly to the point where we’re able to see the worth and value in people before they undergo some miraculous weight loss journey.
In case you’re wondering, Gabby did catch wind of the Time to Break story, with the mismatching before and after photo.
She had this to say in response.