Gabourey Sidibe just became my favorite person on the Internet. Keep on reading, she's about to become yours too. On May 1 in New York City, the American Horror Story actress gave the most awesomest of awesome speeches on the topic of confidence.
First things first -- don't ask her how she's so confident. "I hate that," she mused. "I always wonder if that's the first thing they ask Rihanna when they meet her. 'RiRi! How are you so confident?' Nope. No. No. But me? They ask me with that same incredulous disbelief every single time. 'You seem so confident! How is that?'"
The 30-year-old told the crowd about her challenges growing up; about schoolmates who didn't like her, a brother who hated her, a father who didn't understand her, and a mother "who had been a fat girl at my age herself [and] understood me perfectly … but she berated me because she was so afraid of what she knew was to come for me."
As she talked about gaining inspiration from her aunt Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a lifelong friend of Gloria Steinem's, and a particular photograph hanging in the house of the two of them pumping their fists in the air.
In the morning on the way out to the world, I passed by a portrait of my aunt and Gloria [Steinem] together. Side by side they stood, one with long beautiful hair and one with the most beautiful, round, Afro hair I had ever seen, both with their fists held high in the air. Powerful. Confident. And every day as I would leave the house… I would give that photo a fist right back. And I’d march off into battle. [She starts crying] I didn’t know that I was being inspired then. On my way home, I’d walk back up those stairs, I’d give that photo the fist again, and continue my march back in for more battle. [She pulls a tissue from her cleavage and dabs her eyes] That’s what boobs are for! I didn’t know I was being inspired then, but I was. If they could feel like that, maybe I could! I just wanted to look that cool. But it made me feel that strong.
I love a woman that knows the true magic of great cleavage -- smuggling necessities when you have to get dressed up. But the best part is how she closed her speech, returning to the question of confidence.
"How are you so confident?" "I'm an asshole!" Okay? It's my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. I show up because I'm an asshole, and I want to have a good time. And my mother and my father love me. They wanted the best life for me, and they didn't know how to verbalize it. And I get it. I really do. They were better parents to me than they had themselves. I'm grateful to them, and to my fifth grade class, because if they hadn't made me cry, I wouldn't be able to cry on cue now. [Dabs tears] If I hadn't been told I was garbage, I wouldn't have learned how to show people I'm talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn't have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn't told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn't tried to break me down, I wouldn't know that I'm unbreakable. [Dabs tears] So when you ask me how I'm so confident, I know what you're really asking me: how could someone like me be confident? Go ask Rihanna, asshole!
Oh my gosh. Is that beyond perfect or what? What an awesome concept -- daring to live life, taking the ugly things that happen to us and making them beautiful, and just really appreciating every moment. If that makes you an asshole, then you might as well call me one too.
Are you inspired by Gabourey's speech?
Image via SplashNews.com