Friday, May 21, 2010

The Debate: Ms Sidibe and Why she is a Star

Well, this one is tricky because at this point, the majority of us have all been brainwashed to believe a certain standard of appearance is required to call a woman attractive. Actresses in particular have been held up as the ultimate standards of what is beautiful for a woman according to the white supremacist ideal. In comes a young woman called Gabby Sidibe who is a runaway star mostly because she is an incredible actress and stole the show in a powerful movie we have yet to see anything the likes of since maybe, The Colour Purple.

If anything, the criticism she receives from insular individuals is as a result of our collective conscious not being used to seeing larger-sized women being held up in high esteem in the world of cinema. This is given evidence for why it is so important for our value system to change. Instead of praising actresses and actors for their good looks alone, we should be rewarding them for their dedication to the craft. Gabby is a wonderful actress. I think it takes away from her genuine talent when one imagines that Hollywood is only giving her a platform not to appear racist or prejudices. Do you think if Hollywood was so into not appearing racist, they would still continue to write so few decent roles for people who are not white? How silly that people find reason to complain about a woman of colour who is not skinny being put on a pedestal (which defines for me a subconscious racism) and at the same time, call Hollywood out for being racist and trying to avoid the guilt-trip that goes along with it by forcing matters. Again, it's a case of not realising the bigotry in one's own mind and fooling yourself into thinking that your comments are in fact, liberal.

Yes, for a very long time - the world of popular cinema has been white-male dominated. I think it is outstanding that a black homosexual man was able to make a movie so moving in its content and that this movie would, instead of becoming a flop, would generate superb box office sales, make Gabby an instant star, give Mo'nique an Oscar for crying out so damn loud and start making people realise that it is time we began to remove ourselves from the comfort zone of always wanting to see what has commonly been defined as lovely, immaculate and pure. There are "stories of the world, I wonder if y'all hear?" (Jay-Z in "As Real as it Gets") As always, people prefer the fantasy when cinema should really be the place where one can learn empathy through the identification of similarity in the lives of those one always believed to be so different - in the lives of the so-called "other".

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