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Gabourey Sidibe Says Smart Things About Being Confident

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Last night, actress Gabourey Sidibe gave a speech at the Gloria Awards and Gala, held by the Ms. Foundation for Women. And what a speech it was. It’s a moving piece about strength, beauty, and feminism, and the whole thing is worth a read. If you’d just like the highlights, read on.

In her speech, Sidibe spoke candidly about the troubles she faced in school and at home, the role models who got her through it, and the value of dancing even if you’re not invited to the party. She began with the question she’s frequently asked in interviews: “How are you so confident?” The question, she says, is always asked with incredulity, the implication being that she shouldn’t be.

It’s not easy. It’s hard to get dressed up for award shows and red carpets when I know I will be made fun of because of my weight. There’s always a big chance if I wear purple, I will be compared to Barney. If I wear white, a frozen turkey. And if I wear red, that pitcher of Kool-Aid that says, “Oh, yeah!” Twitter will blow up with nasty comments about how the recent earthquake was caused by me running to a hot dog cart or something. And “Diet or Die?” [She gives the finger to that] This is what I deal with every time I put on a dress. This is what I deal with every time someone takes a picture of me.

Her response? Believe in yourself anyway, even if no one else does.

If [other people] hadn’t made me cry, I wouldn’t be able to cry on cue now. If I hadn’t been told I was garbage, I wouldn’t have learned how to show people I’m talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn’t have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn’t told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn’t tried to break me down, I wouldn’t know that I’m unbreakable.

Amen to that.

(via The Frisky)

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