Will Gabourey Sidibe really need to lose weight to work again?

82nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Howard Stern, the eternal sniffling wisecracking creep who sits in the back of the class, recently attacked Gabourey Sidibe for being too fat for Hollywood. Not only that, but he ridiculed Oprah for “lying to her” by telling her she has a promising career ahead of her. Stern and his pal Robin Quivers had a good old back and forth mocking the idea that Gabourey has any chance of landing another role. Never mind that she already has two lined up, and appearance on the Showtime  show The Big C and starring as a school bully and queen bee in Yelling to the Sky, which is in post-production.

The truth is that Gabourey has a firecracker personality, an enormous talent, and a more than healthy dose of self-esteem. Mix all that with the fact that those in industry who meet her fall in love with her, and there is a very strong possibility that Gabourey Sidibe will have a long and fruitful career at her current size.

Not only did newcomer Gabourey take to her role as the tortured girl Precious with startling depth and humor, but she was equally adept at playing the publicity circuit with aplomb. She was ready for the designer clothes, the photo-shoots, and the interviews, where she again and again iterated that she’s struggled with her weight all her life, but decided to stop hating herself about five years ago and now she feels beautiful as she is. She’s giggling, confident, effervesecent, and charming during filmed interviews, and comes off strong and confident in print. She’s sending a message that women everywhere so desperately need to hear: Love yourself, no matter what you look like. Never count yourself out in life.

Despite Gabourey’s confidence, she is still sensitive about her weight. In several interviews, including one with New York Magazine, she’s told a story about a friend who gave her a death stare when she was eating a potato chip and then told her to think about all the designer dresses she wouldn’t fit in with every time she “put something disgusting” into her mouth. Gabby hasn’t had any trouble finding designers to dress her, she’s a breakout It girl, and she didn’t like someone dictating what she puts in her body. She’s also been staying away from the internet because of the vicious commenting that goes on there.

But Gabourey is too fat. There is no denying it. She isn’t carrying a little extra weight, she is obese, more obese than most obese people, in fact. This isn’t a little extra Kelly Clarkson chunk, this is actually a serious medical condition. If Gabourey doesn’t lose weight, her health might prevent her from having a long and productive career.

Gabourey has expressed just a little bit of hope that someday she’ll shed some pounds saying, “If my body changes, I’m fine with that.” Hopefully, for your own sake, your body will change. You are already beautiful, and you don’t have to ever be stick-thin to be healthy, but for your own sake and for the sake of all the women and girls who now look up to you: take care of yourself, lose weight, be healthy. The world needs more healthy role-models. Just please, whatever you do, don’t promote Trim Spa or Quick Trim.