Gabourey Sidibe: 'It's really hard to get dressed up for awards shows'

For Gabourey Sidibe, getting dressed for red carpets and awards shows is really hard when she knows that she’ll be made fun of because of her weight.

“There’s always a big chance that if I wear purple, somebody will call me Barney. If I wear white, a frozen turkey. If I wear red, a pitcher of Kool Aid,” she admitted during a monologue at The 2018 MAKERS Conference on Monday evening. And yes, those are actual tweets she’s received critiquing her looks.

“Twitter will blow up with nasty comments about how a recent earthquake was caused by me running to a hot dog park,” she said. “Diet or die, they say.” Every time Sidibe, 33, who underwent laproscopic bariatric surgery in May of 2016 after years of struggling to lose weight naturally, puts on a dress, she also has to face trolls.

But that’s not all: “It’s what I deal with every time someone takes a picture with me. Sometimes when I’m being interviewed by a fashion reporter, I can just hear their inner dialogue, ‘How is she getting away with it? Why is she so confident? How does she deal with that body? Oh my god that body! Holy s*** I’m going to catch fat!‘”

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Gabourey Sidibe out and about
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 11: Actor Gabourey Sidibe attends 'The Female Lens: Creating Change Beyond the Bubbley' during 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 11, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Nicola Gell/Getty Images for SXSW)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Actress Gabourey Sidibe attends the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Actress Gabourey Sidibe attends 2016 the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards in Hollywood, California, on November 14, 2016. / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Actress/writer Lena Dunham, actress Gabourey Sidibe, and host Tracee Ellis Ross pose in the green room at Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Glamour)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Gabourey Sidibe attends the 54th New York Film Festival - Opening Night Party at Tavern On The Green on September 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Andy Cohen and Gabourey Sidibe -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: Harry Connick Jr. and Gabourey Sidibe participate in a tricycle race for 'Harry' show taping September 20, 2016 in New York City. The show will air Tuesday, September 27th, 2016. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for 'Harry')
EMPIRE: Gabourey Sidibe in the 'Chimes at Midnight' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 9 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: (L-R) Shakina Nayfack, Cole Escola, Derrick Baskin, Amy Poehler, Julie Klausner, Billy Eichner, Andrea Martin, Gabourey Sidibe, and Scott King attend the 'Difficult People' New York premiere at The Metrograph on July 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Gabourey Sidibe attends Refinery29's NewFronts presentation on May 02, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Refinery 29)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 28: Actress Gabourey Sidibe attends the 1st Annual Alliance of Women Directors awards and benefit at the Paley Center for Media on April 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images)
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However, even though she’s a victim of incessant trolling, the Precious star has unparalleled levels of confidence and has since she was a kid. So where does it all come from? Mostly, she admitted, she was born a boss with an advanced degree in shade, but her aunt Dorothy Pitman Hughes played a major part in developing her sense of self-worth and resilience as well.

Hughes, a feminist, activist, and co-founder of Ms. Magazine, posed for a photograph with her friend of Gloria Steinem in 1971 issue for Esquire magazine. As Sidibe explained, that framed image, now iconic, hung in her childhood home and served as major inspiration:

“Every day, I had to get up and go to school where everyone made fun of me and then I had to go home where everyone made fun of me. And every day it was really hard to get going no matter which direction I was going. But on my way out of the house I found strength. In the morning, on my way out into the world, I passed a portrait of my aunt and Gloria together. Side-by-side they stood, one with long beautiful hair and the other with the roundest Afro I’ve ever seen. They both held their fists really high in the air, powerful, confident, and every day I’d leave the room my brother, my mother and I shared and I’d give that photo the fist right back and I’d march off into battle. And at the end of the day, when I walked back up the stairs, I’d give that photo the fist again and I’d continue my march back into more battle. And I didn’t really know at the time what I was being inspired with but I was I mean if they could be that cool and that strong then maybe I could too.”

But there’s more to Sidibe’s positivity than a picture, it’s also her optimistic outlook: “It’s my good time and it’s my good life despite what you think of me. I live my life. I live my life because I’m here, I dare to show up still when anyone else might hide their face and their entire body in shame, I show up because I want to have a good time.”

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