Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe (Empire) has a new memoir and it is officially avail in bookstores everywhere!  Sidibe’s memoir titled This is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare is a humorous and fearless look into her life, and can be considered a beautiful explanation of fate.

Throughout the book, Sidibe shares the moments that have shaped her life, from her childhood fantasies to her own mental health struggles to a phone sex job to fame.  Sidibe currently stars as Becky on Empire, and in the book she noted that she actually went by that same alias when she auditioned for her first job as a phone sex operator.  She worked for the company for three years right up until her first big break as the star of the Academy Award-nominated film Precious.  Sidibe offers readers a very unique perspective and gives us a beautiful glimpse of her journey to fame.

Sidibe has faced criticism for her looks for years, but is known and loved for remaining resilient by simply loving and appreciating herself and her differences.  In an interview with NPR about her memoir, Sidibe revealed the rationale behind devoting an entire chapter of the book to “Mind your own body” (MYOB).

“I am plus-size, I have dark skin, and I am 100-percent beautiful, but I get a lot of flak,” Sidibe said. “‘Oh, you should lose weight.’ And now that I have lost weight, I lost weight for health reasons I get, ‘You look good, but don’t lose too much weight because your face is starting to sink in.'”

“People do this to me,” she said. “People staring at me. But also, this has been my body since I was five-ish, you know? It’s been a 30-year thing of other people putting their own stuff on my body. But it’s mine, so I will police it, thank you.”

With that bold exclamation of ownership, Sidibe is standing up for women like herself, and can be added to the list of women who defy the Hollywood norm of thin, white, tall, and blonde, and love themselves for that and more.

Author Roxanne Gay stated, “Gabourey Sidibe’s delightful memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare offers a memorable look into what happens when a black girl’s dreams come true, from the inside out. From her unique childhood as the daughter of a subway singer mother and polygamous father to struggling with depression to getting the role of Precious, Sidibe is fearless, incredibly funny and gorgeously open. What she offers of herself in these pages is a gift.”

You can purchase the book HERE – Check out the official summary below:

Gabourey Sidibe—“Gabby” to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels acclaimed movie Precious. In This is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story. Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”

Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face takes its place and fills a void on the shelf of writers from Mindy Kaling to David Sedaris to Lena Dunham.

Sidibe made her acting debut in the 2009 film Precious, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. From there, she went on to star in the Showtime series The Big C. Sidibe also co-starred in American Horror Story: Coven, American Horror Story: Freak Show and American Horror Story: Hotel.  She currently stars as Becky Williams in the Fox hit musical drama Empire.

If you haven’t already checked out her memoir, do yourself a favor and grab a copy today!

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About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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