Gabourey Sidibe & The Plus Size Community… Thoughts???

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I’m hoping we can have a conversation about Gabourey Sidibe’s fashion/styling without making judgement on her health. You girls already know I’m passionate about plus size fitness and we all know that healthy living is a process that doesnt happen over night but don’t you think we all deserve to look good wherever we are on our health journey? None of us should “wait on our weight” in order to start dressing like the knockouts that we are.

That being said… why can’t won’t they let Gabourey Sidibe be great??

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Seeing the photos of Gabourey on the red carpet, followed by the photos of her original dress really broke my heart which leads me to a few questions that I’m hoping you can help me with. Watch the video and catch more of my thoughts below:

Most of us have gone through some sort of teasing and bullying as a Plus Size Princess (I know I have!) so I understand the instinct to protect and defend her. Hearing people tear down her fashion sense might feel like picking on the fat girl all over again and I get it, the +size community has come too far to let that slide. But there is a huge difference between a fashion/styling issue and a body politics issue. This is a fashion issue and I think its totally fair to encourage plus size celebrities to look their best.

I also think its important to question why she’s constantly being styled in a way that overshadows her talent and beauty. I mean, if she walked the red carpet in a slam-dunk fabulous dress with perfect hair and makeup we’d be so busy talking about how great she looks and then we probably wouldn’t even have time to discuss her weight… hmmm wouldn’t that be awesome!

…Thoughts???

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  • Ginny

    Thank you for this! I agree! Saying we shouldn’t criticize her for picking a bad dress is like saying, put her in a corner and don’t look at her. You are right; it is possible to properly style a plus size woman. Though they occasionally stumble, look how awesome Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson usually look! Or how about Octavia Spencer and her turn down the red carpet?

    Having a good body image is knowing what looks good on you and wearing that. Not saying, “Eff it; I’m fat. I’m just going to wear this and everyone should be ok with it.” No. That’s not how it works.

    • nicthommi

      I don’t think Melissa McCarthy or Rebel Wilson consistently have great looks. Melissa McCarthy has definitely had some stinkers, and situations where the alterations made to her dresses were obvious and shoddy.. I think in general, the stylists either don’t want to work with them, aren’t used to working with women who wear double digit sizes and have shapes that they aren’t used to working with, let alone plus sizes, and we know how many designers don’t want “fat” money.
      Gabourey Sidibe’s shape does pose a challenge but she’s high profile enough that someone should be hired to dress her well. I don’t know what size she wears, but she might be beyond the 24 or 26 which is where most plus sized brands end.
      However, no one is stepping up too often to make nice options for her, or as we see, someone made a nice custom dress and for some reason it was turned into something way less elegant. I don’ tknow how the original design would have looked on her, but the dress was definitely better before. I mean, designers beat down the door to make original dresses for Michelle Obama. It’s a shame that more designers don’t do the same for womeon who can’t just go to the store and buy a dress although again, we see a designer did try (I really am dying to know why they did this to the dress b/c the designer didn’t seem pleased).
      Maybe this poses a good opportunitiy for a stylist who knows how to style women who wear 20 or bigger to break through and become the go to for some of those women.
      I know some people have mentioned people like Queen Latifah but aside from being tall, Latifah is at best on the small end of plus and more likely just a straight size 12 or 14. Totally different body types. The regular stylists in Hollywood can do her b/c she’s not dissimilar to the women who do “plus-sized modeling.” And Octavia Spencer is also not that large so it makes a difference (since they can start with something off the rack and then tailor it).
      I think the whole issue of fashion for women who aren’t just plus sized but who are bigger than what you find in most plus departments is one that isn’t discussed much. But there have to be a not insignificant number of women who have this fashion challenge, and I think Gaborey Sidibe might be one of them.

      • MaggieSnarkface

        I feel like this would have been a great opportunity to use an unknown fashion designer, who wants the exposure and would have created a gown for her from scratch.

  • kate

    I think that it’s often upsetting when we see plus size women styled badly, because we know there HAVE to be better options. Again, if she hit it out of the park, there might be a little less talk on her weight. But, I also know that stylists and designers don’t always work well with a larger body. When you then consider that she’s younger also, and still figuring out what looks best on her, it’s especially sad. I wish that all the plus size beauties could find what suits them and makes them look fabulous! I hate seeing black, boring or ill fitting dresses!

  • http://www.modishmaracas.com/ Sophie

    There’s been a lot of discourse about her and I wasn’t really forming any opinions or thoughts about it myself. But I watched your video and what you had to say does make a lot of sense to me. I don’t particularly hate the dress she’s wearing, but I’m curious to see her in different styles and see her “put her best foot forward”.

    • http://www.modishmaracas.com/ Sophie

      Also, I just searched her on google images and I think a lot of her outfits to awards shows/premieres have been great. Her outfits seem to be more “hit and miss” rather than consistently questionable.

  • Mznia

    This dress would have been better if it had been tailored and draped to her, as it is on the manican. I think all us, PHAT girls should dress that way Pretty, Hot, And Tempting!!

  • Danika

    I definitely agree with you when it comes to a lot of Gabby’s outfits.

    I tend to stress a little when I see a lot of lovely, curvaceous ladies wearing something completely wrong for their figure, especially in the spotlight – and then they get attacked by the media and people that don’t understand. It’s not just feeling protective towards another PSP, but it’s also the fact that they’re somewhat our poster pin-ups for large girls/women in a media-based industry and it doesn’t hurt just *their* image, but it hurts us as well.

    She’s a gorgeous lady, but I wish you could drag her along to one of your shopping trips with the adorable Amanda, hang out and shop until you drop. Haha!

  • Sarah Clark

    I kind of feel bad for saying that I didn’t like the dress. but I didn’t. It doesn’t mean I want to launch into a discussion on body acceptance, her health or whether fat women should have to cover up. I love Gaby. I just don’t like that dress, in the same way that I sometimes see pics of slim actresses in odd outfits that really don’t flatter them when they have media-perfect figures to wear them on. Most of the time she looks fabulous. In that dress…not so much. But if she liked how she looked in it, I guess who are we to judge?

  • vanessa jackson

    Great discussion. I’m not sure how to respond without knowing what Gaby said about her dress. I can’t see her just wearing anything because someone said it flatters her or looks good on her without her agreeing that it did. Her personality and self-confidence is too strong for her not to strongly oppose wearing something she’s not happy with. So … I guess I’m saying if she’s cool about it and it covers her like a young lady should be then woohoo Gaby, strut. I would also say that some of the other plus size celebs that probably had to go through this same ridicule should sista up with her and give her some advice. Hugs to her for the tweet too!!!

  • AF

    Oh Hollywood you b*tch! I think the media in general is harsh on woman and their fashion sense, choice of partners and all matters that are personal. Let’s be honest, anyone who is in Hollywood or posts their pics on FB or IG etc etc are immediate targets for all to judge. They go hand in hand.

    We see it with the “average size” starlets, look at Christina Aguilera (when she put on a few pounds) or the cover of the magazines at the check out counters that blast “Who wore this hideous outfit”!!! and “Why is she wearing this”? Etc

    It seems the media is hellbent on making woman feel “bad about themselves”, as if we needed help with that or if we are feeling good about ourselves then they like to remind us that perhaps we could feel/look a little better if they only did (insert procedure, brand of clothing) etc etc.

    I think Ms. Gabourey has a unique body to dress and deserves someone who can showcase it so she feels hot, confident and fabulous while on the shark infested red carpet. I don’t know her or claim to understand how she felt in that dress however, in my opinion it was NOT flattering. We have awesome plus size stylist, there are pages and pages on FB for plus size woman. WHY can’t they draw inspiration from those sites and professionals??

    I can’t imagine Gab going home and surfing the net to find all these horrific comments.I don’t care how secure you are…it’s hurtful.

    Get this girl a stylist who cares and understands us.GAWD! Happy Friday lovelies.

  • http://austinstf.tumblr.com slavetofashion

    Everything you said it spot on. Everyone makes a misstep on the red carpet, and it’s usually because some stylist told them what to wear. Her dress was awful. It started out beautifully, and then someone stepped it and gave it a “safe” makeover, without taking into consideration what it would look like on her. It doesn’t take away from her beauty or talent. Do we debate Jennifer Aniston’s beauty or talent when she wears an ugly dress on a red carpet? Nope, we say “man, that dress sucks” and move on. Sadly, lots of people are just looking for an opening to insult a plus size woman. But you are so right. You can’t say “She’s big and therefore I love her and condone everything she wears and does!” She wows me with her talent and confidence; I wish she’d wow me with her wardrobe.

  • http://thejenesaisquoi.blogspot.com/ Jeniese Hosey

    CeCe I completely agree with you. I love Gabby! I think she is brave, bold, and so talented! But I hate her wardrobe, and I am not going to stop saying it. I haven’t seen her look great on a red carpet since she wore Marchesa years ago. I want her wardrobe to reflect her personality. I hated the dress and I am not backing down from my opinion. I too want more for her. I also think we have to stop being sensitive. I don’t care who the person is, if their outfit was bad, then it was bad. Size doesn’t matter to me in the face of style. I’m glad you did this post! It is such an important conversation to have!

  • http://JustJaVonna.wordpress.com/ JaVonna

    I can say that her GG dress this year was not my favorite and I have seen her in some much better choices. It may be time to start working with some different stylists.

  • Atmikha

    Maybe it’s her! It looks like this dress isn’t even the right size. Maybe she made the designer change it because she isn’t comfortable wearing something as low cut and with all the volume and draping a the hip of this dress. It really looks like they took a neckline and put it on a sack. Even the sleeves are different. Can’t imagine a designer being OK with such a complete hatchet job.

  • HSG

    I hear what you’re saying… but why do we have to be constantly (as a culture) criticising what women in the the public eye are wearing, regardless of their size. As someone who’s interested in clothes, I see fashion, style and beauty as a fun thing that I use for enjoyment and self expression – not to to use for criticising other women. I totally get what you’re saying about Gabby not being styled as fabulously as she deserves, but do we need to fill the conversational space with those opinions? Let her choose and wear her clothes without us adding to the voices sending her negativity about her appearance. If she wants to choose other clothes or get a better stylist, then yay for her. In the meantime, let’s focus on her wit and charisma and talent and beauty and accomplishments and ease up on the negative talk about her looks. Tough love is not needed here.

  • c2268

    I just don’t get it. I really don’t. Gabby has never looked better than she did at the Globes. Her hair and make-up were incredible. I thought the color and material of the dress looked great against her beautiful skin. I like how it was both fitted and flowy at the same time. I give Gabby 2 enthusiastic thumbs up on this look. I’m not sure what people expect from Gabby. There are many people who will dislike whatever Gabby wears because they dislike her body (and skin color). I just feel like the fat community is hating on Gabby too. I could see if she wore some hefty bag looking gown (like she’s done in the past), but this is a huge step in the right direction.

  • Kadri Vahtra

    I feel, that the dress does not look so bad on her. Maybe it doesnt matter what the dress would look on a slim body? Also, there comes a point, when because of the weight, not much will look good on you anymore. She has to put on something! Then again, how do you define beauty? I really dont think the dress looked that bad. Quite the opposite, if I look at it again…. :)