“I Didn’t Get Good With Myself Until I Was Like 25”: Gabby Sidibe On What It Took To Love Herself
While appearing on Watch What Happens Live last night with Empire co-star Jussie Smollett, Gabourey Sidibe preached a word about the importance of self-love, and opened up about embracing herself when so many people have tried to tear her down.
After laughing it up with a pretty much inebriated Smollett, Sidibe fielded the question of a caller who inquired as to what advice she should give her daughter. The woman’s 12-year-old had been harassed at school because of her weight. She asked Sidibe how she deals with such negativity since the 33-year-old has always come off as bold and confident despite incessant comments about her body. (And yes, she has lost weight, if you were wondering.)
“What do I do about the haters? I gotta be honest with you, Sidibe said. “I went through school, and I didn’t realize how much it really prepared me for real life. I’m still dealing with the haters.”
After finding out how old the child is, Sidibe remembered her own time in middle school and shared what she had to realize in order to be happy.
“Look, it is rough. Junior high school is a battlefield,” she said. “Have her find something that she loves about herself. As long as she builds herself and has her own self-love, no matter what anyone says about her, it will hit her and fall right off of her. Tell her to hold strong. Junior high sucked for me. High school sucked for me. I didn’t get good with myself until I was like 25 years old. Tell her to hold on, but it will be worth it.”
Sidibe also shared that the thing she found that she loved about herself back then was her love of music.
“I knew every song on the radio so I sang a lot,” Sidibe said. “It was really weird. Older classes, like the senior girls, would come find me in school and have me sing their favorite song, which is weird. My mom’s a singer, and she’s an amazing singer. Her album is out now. So it’s not surprising that I have a voice. That’s what I found that I liked about myself. And I didn’t let people call me Gabby until I was in the seventh grade. I always went by my full name. There’s a weird thing that happened when I changed my name to Gabby — a personality came.”
Sidibe went on to reveal that she will release a book next May about how she figured out how to love herself. It’s a message that not only is beneficial for the caller’s 12-year-old daughter, but also for grown folks struggling to embrace themselves when other people don’t.
“How often do people tweet things at you that don’t make you feel great?” she asked host Andy Cohen. “The second you decide to feel great about yourself, you feel great. It’s not the fame. It’s not the money. What little money there is — I’m not rich. It can’t come from some outside source. I got a lot of therapy in my life. I champion for therapy. Therapy is everything. Really sit with yourself, no matter what age you are. You have to figure out what about yourself you love.”
Check out that moment below: