Academy Award-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe has one message for her fans and critics alike: stop celebrating her recent change in body size.
Since catapulting to stardom after her role in 2009 film Precious, the thirty-four year old actress has found herself on the receiving end of much unwanted physical scrutiny, especially now since undergoing bariatric surgery in May and the resulting weight loss.
While discussing her memoir This Is My Face on Robin Robert's podcast Everybody's Got Something earlier this week, Sibide addressed the undesired attention she's been receiving and noted the latent sexism in people's congratulatory comments.
'People want to feel like they have some sort of ownership over your body, even though you're a stranger,' she said. 'And it's even worse when you're recognizable like me.'
The Precious star noted that she understands 'that people are coming from a good place,' but she still finds the compliments to be 'so misogynistic.'
'We tell women what they need to look like, and what they don't need to look like,' she explained. 'There are plenty of like fat guys or whatever, and no one has ever written think pieces about why they need to lose weight. No one's ever going to accuse them while they were, you know, on a show promoting their film, that they're actually promoting an unhealthy diet.'
Sibide explained how her weight loss was an inherently personal and health motivated pursuit.
Her reaction raises an important point. People often suffer from health conditions that can be ameliorated through weight loss, and are not driven to lose weight for aesthetic reasons alone.
When we congratulate people for losing weight, we are brazenly suggesting that they have become a better or more beautiful version of themselves, further fuelling fat-shaming and sizeism.
'You don't need to congratulate me on [my weight loss]. You don't congratulate me every time I blow my nose, I needed to … It's in my body' she stated.
You go girl.