Last night, at the Gloria Awards and Gala hosted by the Ms. Foundation, Gabourey Sidibe gave a speech about self-confidence so fab that I vote “yes” to her presidency. Okay, I know that she isn’t currently running for president. It’s just that her points were so moving that, mid-way through, I got distracted and started mentally organizing a campaign and collecting donations. But, once I snapped back to reality, I was nothing short of impressed.
Among the group of speech-givers at the gala, which also included comedians Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer, Gabby stood out for calling out every person who asks her, “How are you so confident,” when they really mean to add to the end “…ya know, looking the way you do?” The full speech is sort of long and so worth the read. But, if you want the microwave recipe instead of the conventional oven one, here’s my favorite part:
“One of the first things people usually ask me is, “Gabourey, how are you so confident?” I hate that. I always wonder if that’s the first thing they ask Rihanna when they meet her. ‘RiRi! How are you so confident?’ Nope. No. No. But me? They ask me with that same incredulous disbelief every single time. ‘You seem so confident! How is that?”
Wow, talk about well-said. If I’m going to be shocked by anything, it’s how flawlessly she articulated a great many people’s tendency to discriminate against her, even when they aren’t trying to. Because, honestly, why should it be that Gabby’s confidence comes as a bigger surprise to us than that of a “conventionally attractive” person, like Rihanna? Actually, why should anyone’s confidence come as a surprise to us? We all deserve to feel confident in ourselves without the idea that other people didn’t initially expect us to.
Gabby continued, offering up the best damn explanation there is for why she dares to show up confidently.
“It’s my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. I show up because I’m an asshole, and I want to have a good time.”
Honestly, you guys. Does she deserve an eternal round of applause, or what?
(Photo: Adrianna M. Barazza/WENN)