The Oscars are over, award hooplah has died down and everyone is on to the next sensationalized news. Well, not exactly everyone. Howard Stern
, Sirius radio shock jock, seems to still have his eye on one particular nominee, and not in a good way. On his show Monday, Stern and co-host Robin Quivers
had mouthful to say about 'Precious' star and Best Actress Oscar nominee Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibie
's future in Hollywood.
"There's the most enormous, fat black chick I've ever seen. She is enormous. Everyone's pretending she's a part of show business and she's never going to be in another movie," Stern said. "She should have gotten the Best Actress award, because she's never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in?"
Although Sidibe, 26, does have a new Showtime series 'The C Word' and a big-screen appearance opposite Zoe Kravitz
in the drama 'Yelling to the Sky,' lined up, there is truth in Stern's words. This might get a lot women upset, but if we're honest, the source of anger isn't really from what Stern said, but how he said it.
Sidibe despite all her acting prowess, pleasant demeanor and unapologetic confidence, is still an estimated 350 pounds, which is a very disturbing weight for someone her age and height. Last November, Sidibe opened up to Oprah Winfrey
, who has struggled with weight herself, saying that her own personal struggle began at very early age.
"It's something I've had to work at. My first diet started when I was six years old," she told the talk show queen. "I've never been a small girl. One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body."
That was before the Oscar nomination, and the fact that everyone in Hollywood now knows her name. Granted, self-love and self-esteem are imperative no matter what size you are, but with African American women having the highest rates of obesity compared to other groups in the U.S., there is something to be said for reexamining how accepting we are of being obesity in our community.
According to the American Obesity Association, 78 percent of black women are overweight, and 50.8 percent are obese. The terms "phat vs fat," "size sexy," and "big and beautiful" all do a good job of masking, instead of fixing, the epidemic that has four out five black women overweight (and sometimes proud of it). It is one thing to be healthy, curvy and voluptuous, but it becomes problematic when we become complacent about being an unhealthy weight.
Obesity among women in our culture increases health risks for heart disease, hypertension, and sleep apnea, just to name a few health conditions. Compared to whites, the health consequences of extra weight in African Americans leads to twice the rate of untimely deaths.
As the bright light continues to shine on Oscar-nominated Sidibe, we appreciate her braggadocio and swagger, but her jokes about being allergic to exercise hurt more than they help. It would benefit us all more if she spoke out about the harmful and damaging effects of obesity and subsequently did something about her own health.
Gabby told Ebony magazine in its March issue, "I learned to love myself, because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning.... I love the way I look. I'm fine with it. And if my body changes, I'll be fine with that."
Without question in time her body will change, whether forced by Hollywood or not, and hopefully so will our views on the "bigger" picture.