Inevitably, receiving an Oscar nomination has raised Gabourey Sidibe's profile. Unfortunately for the plus-size star of Precious, the result has been unflattering chatter about her career prospects, public offers of dubious weight loss treatments, and an opportunity to be fêted by a "fat pride" lobby group. While Sidibe is undoubtedly a fine actress, her weight has overshadowed her conspicuous talent. Can she succeed the way she is, or will she need to shed pounds? (Watch an Inside Edition report about Gabourey Sidibe's weight.)
Sidibe needs to confront the truth: The "hard fact," says entertainment columnist Jeffrey Wells, quoted on CNN, is that Sidibe is "way, way too fat" for show business. If she stays the way she is, she'll end up being typecast as "down-market moms" or "hard-luck girls working at Wal-Mart." For the sake of her career—not to mention her health—she needs to lose some weight.
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The fact is she's succeeding just the way she is: It's obvious from Sidibe's red-carpet interviews that she's "more comfortable in her skin than most supermodels," says Jeneé Osterheldt in The Kansas City Star. Besides, she's already "scored" roles since completing Precious (including one opposite Laura Linney in the upcoming cancer-themed TV series, "The Big C"). "Stop focusing on the size of her waist and look at the depth of her talent."
Her weight is not the biggest obstacle facing her: The real issue here is not a dearth of roles for fat women, says Kate Harding in Salon, but the lack of good roles for "women in general," and "African-American women in particular." Even if Sidibe "starved" herself to a "size 0," it wouldn't change the fact that only one black woman has won a Best Actress Oscar in "82 years." Why is that "data point" being ignored? Because it's easier to "criticize" Sidibe herself.
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