Gabourey Sidibe recently opened up about how Hollywood screenwriters often treat overweight characters in their scripts, and it’s not pretty.
“I get a lot of scripts and offers where someone has to make mention of my body immediately. Someone wrote a script with me in mind and the first time someone other than my character was talking about my character, they say ‘this hippo’ or ‘this elephant,’” she said at a SxSW event this past weekend.
“I’m like, ‘Are you serious? You wrote something for me and you’re calling me a hippo.’ This is my body. This has been my body my entire life, and in my life my friends and my colleagues are not constantly talking about my body. But in most of my roles, somebody has to make mention of it.”
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The 33-year-old actress hasn’t been shy talking about her weight, a topic she delves into further in her upcoming memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. She chose to undergo bariatric surgery last year after she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. She has also undergone a full lifestyle change.
“I did not get this surgery to be beautiful,” she writes in her book. “I did it so I can walk around comfortably in heels. I want to do a cartwheel. I want not to be in pain every time I walk up a flight of stairs.”
“My surgeon said they’d cut my stomach in half,” she continued. “This would limit my hunger and capacity to eat. My brain chemistry would change and I’d want to eat healthier. I’ll take it! My lifelong relationship with food had to change.”