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The Gloria Awards and Gala, hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women took place at Cipriani 42nd Street here in New York last night. The event also served as an 80th birthday party for Gloria Steinem and featured Gabourey Sidibe as one of the guest speakers. She gave a touching, emotional and at times, just plain funny speech on feminism, self-confidence and cookies. She also addresses a question she is often asked.
I’m so excited to be here. Really, really excited. Okay, I’ll get to it. Hi. One of the first things people usually ask me is, “Gabourey, how are you so confident?” I hate that. 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?”
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!
On a side note, her speech taught me that feminist, activist, child welfare advocate, co-founder of Ms. Magazine and good lifelong friend of Gloria Steinem Doroth Pitman Hughes is Gabourey Sidibe’s aunt. Now wonder she’s so cool.
Read the entire speech at Vulture. If Gabourey Sidibe wrote a book, I’d be first in line to buy it.