33-year-old actress Gabourey Sidibe rose to the top in her Academy-Award nominating performance in the cinematic drama, Precious. The 2009 film told the story of a young girl – Precious – who grew up in the ghetto of Harlem, grappling with the ramifications of mental, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of her own father. Sidibe starred opposite comedian Mo’Nique who played her downtrodden and also abusive mother. The movie racked in over $63 million at the box office and earned Sidibe much Hollywood recognition for her breakout role.
All of this was well and good, but it did not stop critics from pointing out the obvious…Sidibe’s morbidly obese figure. Many begin to openly discuss their views on the actress’s weight and most did not spare her feelings or slightly attempt to save face. This did not stop her from moving forward in her pursuits. Sidibe went on to land roles in the popular television series Empire and American Horror Story. For all accounts, she appeared to be on top of things. Her size may not have been slimming down, but neither was her bank statements. Sidibe continued to climb up the Hollywood ladder, but last year she decided she would make some lifestyle changes while doing so.
The Empire actress purchased her first home, began finishing up her memoir, This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, and proceeded to have laparoscopic bariatric surgery. She admits she has struggled with her weight since childhood and diets just weren’t working. Sidibe realized she needed the surgery upon being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
“There’s nothing ugly about me. Anyone trying to convince me that I am — and it’s usually me — is wasting her time,” she wrote in People Magazine. “I was in a war with my body for a long time. If I’d started treating it better sooner, I wouldn’t have spent so many years hating myself. But I love my body now.”
The actress continues working towards her body image. These days she is eating healthier meals and has begun to workout weekly.