“This Is Just My Face” is Gabourey Sidibe’s unique story of her unusual life so far. She discusses her childhood, where her father was a polygamist and her mother sang in the subway. Gabourey talks candidly about her celebrity, self-image, and more, in an unapologetic and funny voice. She uses the book to let us in on what it is like to be a black, plus-size woman in the competitive, looks driven entertainment industry.
While many of her stories are fun, Sidibe tackles both her struggle over her body image and trying to blend in with the Hollywood crowd. For example, her first red carpet event was for Precious. She bought her dress for the event at the mall, not dressed by a designer like everyone else. She told the story to NPR Books.
“We’re at Cannes; we’re in the south of France. I’m wearing this dress that I bought from Torrid or something, and I’m also wearing jeans underneath. … I was also wearing a headband because there was a very real point in my career where I thought, Oh, headbands will be my thing. Like, I really thought that. I was like, Ya gotta have a gimmick. … And like these brown wedges that I truly bought from Payless. My whole outfit cost maybe $37, but I still had to stand in between Paula Patton — as gorgeous as she is, as stylish as she is — and Mariah Carey. I don’t think I need to tell you how gorgeous and stylish and fancy Mariah is. That is real pressure.”
– Gabourney Sidibe
In the book, she is brutally honest about people who see her weight first, as well as her own critical thoughts about it. Gabourey also discusses her bulimia issues and dealing with obesity. She talks about her weight loss surgery and learning to love her body just as it is.
She writes, “This is my body. It’s going to be with me forever. For all the ways it’s failed me, it’s come through for me a million times more. I’ll never be skinny and don’t really want to be. I want to be smaller and I want to be healthier. My body will get me there. Every day I have to remind myself to be good to my body and allow it to be good to me. I’m also trying to stop my urge to make the joke first. I know my body is not funny. I choose me and my body over my fear of someone making a joke of it.”
From a phone sex operator to award winning actress, Gabourey shares her accomplishments, while being brutally frank about the challenges she has endured. This Is Just My Face is an intimate look into this witty and talented woman’s life, and it is an enjoyable read. Hopefully, it won’t be her last.
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