March 18, 2010

Category: Real Talk

Gabby, Mo’Nique & Oscar

Sunday before last many of us watched as Mo’Nique took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. With a white gardenia in her hair and rocking a blue dress by Tadashi Shoji, Mo’s look was in tribute to Hattie McDaniel. Personally I was just watching to check the gowns and the entertainment. I could care less about the actual award because when it comes to Black films they usually don’t see the same beauty, skill and value of a performance that I do. When Denzel didn’t win for Malcolm X I knew fo’ sho the fix was in. I mean what does this award really mean in the long run for both Black and White actors anyway? Sandra Bullock wins but Meryl doesn’t. You think Meryl will be offered less meatier roles than Sands? Doubt it.

This morning I was so pleased to hear Mo’Nique on the Steve Harvey Show say that she appreciates winning the Oscar, but it by no means defines her. “I’m still a stand-up comedienne. THEY are putting ‘Oscar winning actress’ before my name. I just tell jokes and host a wonderful party on BET every night.” That’s the thing about the Oscars, Grammys and Tony’s– how often do they honor the best and brightest of Black art and talent? And when they do, what does this signify? Validation? I always learned not to take things personally, but after reading this book, I understood that not only means criticism, but that also, and especially, includes accolades and praise. I infuse that mindset into my awards-viewing mindset. Just because Sandra Bullock won for “Blind Side” means absolutely nothing to me. Vanessa Williams was right, I have no desire to see that movie. As many Image Awards as Tyler Perry has won, I’m not the least moved to ever watch Meet The Browns. By the same token, some of my favorite movies are classics and have never been nominated, yet I’m there opening weekend or soon thereafter. Know that at $12 a pop, it takes a lot more than a pretty face and awards buzz to get me into a movie theater. That’s not a Black or White, fat or thin thang. It’s a green, ends-meet thang.

Of course Howard Stern’s remedial behind is already taking shots at Gabourey Sidibe, saying she will never work in Hollyweird again because of her size. That’s a bit too harsh. Simplistic. If she doesn’t work again best believe me it’s probably more to do with her Blackness than her thickness. Sheesh Halle Berry won for Best Actress and what has she done since then? Cat Woman? Oh yes, Things We Lost In The Fire. No comment. Well just one… she was voted as being this. So skinny, beautiful Black chicks also get the shaft!

Gabby has taken a gang of punches and snaps during and even before this entire awards season and she handled them all with such sophistication and positivity:

I learned to love myself, because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning, and if I don’t like myself, there’s no reason to even live the life. I love the way I look. I’m fine with it. And if my body changes, I’ll be fine with that.

At the NAACP Image Awards Chris Rock was about to announce Gabby’s name as the winner, but instead said “Gaa..uh. Precious!” Yo Pookie, her name isn’t Precious, its Gabby!!! If that wasn’t bad enough, at a Pre-Oscar luncheon, Chris grabbed Gabby’s booty right in front of her pops. Gabby didn’t lose her cool, but she got New York on him. Later her dad grabbed Pookie’s derriere and ripped him a new one!

Gabby looked great at the Oscars and I celebrate who she is and how she looks. And no, before you all start with the rants, I’m not celebrating her obesity. That’s unhealthy. But I think seeing Gabby in all of her full-figured ebon glory is a wonderful change and is affirming to so many women that identify with being overweight. Seeing Gabrielle Union, Zoe Saldana and Kerry Washington as the only reps of Black women in movies is numbing, damaging and unrealistic. Many women I know have wide hips, major thighs and some of us even have that dag-nabbit muffin top. I’m trying to tone up and lose weight but meanwhile I feel good when I see other women that look more like me and the women in my fam on magazine covers. What’s good for the ego can only be good for the spirit!

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2 Responses to “Gabby, Mo’Nique & OscarComment RSS feed

  • Todd Wilson
    March 19th, 2010 11:19 am

    Precisely! I’m also sorry to tell Mr. Stern that Gabby has signed with UTA and has joined the cast of Showtime’s The Big C.

  • felice
    March 21st, 2010 11:06 am

    insightful. and am loving the “this book” website. thank for posting.