Family

Gabourey Sidibe's reaction to seeing herself on a subway poster is awesome.

The ad campaign challenges traditional beauty norms.

Gabourey Sidibe's reaction to seeing herself on a subway poster is awesome.

Last month, actress Gabourey Sidibe debuted her first-ever fashion campaign, Lane Bryant's #ThisBody.

Sure, the Oscar-nominated actress and "Empire" star has landed her share of magazine covers and feature spreads in the past, but the Lane Bryant campaign — which also included "Orange Is the New Black" actress Danielle Brooks and models Ashley Graham, Candice Huffine, and Alessandra Garcia — marked a bold new step in her career.

Sidibe recently shared a photo from the campaign on Twitter, which perfectly explains why it means so much to her — and hopefully to others as well.

"I'm STILL not over this," she wrote, accompanied by a picture of her ad plastered across a subway station wall. "Who knows how many subway posters I walked by hoping to one day feel as beautiful as the faces I passed."


In a 2009 interview with Oprah, Sidibe opened up about the difficult process of accepting herself for who she is and for what she looks like.

"My first diet started when I was 6 years old. I've never been a small girl," she said. "One day, I had to sit down with myself and deiced that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body. ... I got tired of feeling bad all the time. I got tired of hating myself."

#ThisBody shines everywhere, all day. #BTS #WCW @gabby3shabby

A photo posted by Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) on

She's not alone, either. New York City's Girls Project reports that more than 80% of 10-year-old girls worry about being fat, and by middle school, between 40% and 70% of girls feel dissatisfied with two or more aspects of their bodies.

In a world filled with bullies and unrealistic beauty standards, girls have it rough. Campaigns like #ThisBody can help change that by showing girls everywhere that beauty doesn't have a size. This sort of representation matters.

One of the core aspects of the campaign centers on is pushing back against bullies — especially on social media.

The anonymity of social media mixed with the cruelty of society makes for a dangerous combination when it comes to the self-esteem of young women and girls. #ThisBody pushes back on weight-related insults flung by strangers.

In one of the campaign's videos, Sidibe reads a common message she receives: "I hope I never let myself get that big!" She also shares her response: "By 'big' you mean amazing and beautiful and fabulous, right?"

One thing that’s not up for debate. #ThisBody @gabby3shabby

A video posted by Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) on

The reality is that most women aren't a size 2. Somewhere around 65% of U.S. women are a size 14 or larger.

Despite the actual average size being somewhere between a 16 and 18, clothes 12 and above are usually labeled "plus-size" and in many cases aren't even available for purchase in stores.

These sorts of messages are damaging to girls, boys, women, men, and well, all of us. They warp our view of what's "average," and they demolish the self-confidence of impressionable minds. Seeing women like Sidibe, Graham, Brooks, Huffine, and Garcia not only embrace their bodies, but push back on the haters is a nice counterbalance to some of the bad in the world.

Yassssssssssssssssssssssss @gabby3shabby #ThisBody

A video posted by Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) on

Growing up, Sidibe looked at the subway posters but didn't see anyone who looked like her. Thanks to her, a future generation might not have to.

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

Keep Reading Show less

'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
Keep Reading Show less