This is my opinion and I own it.

When I read the report that Gabby Sidibe was covering the 25th anniversary of Elle magazine’s October issue, I nearly jumped out of my office chair with utter excitement. To discover the Oscar-nominated uber talented actress would anchor an issue about Hollywood’s favorite 25 year-olds in celebration of Elle‘s quarter-life, well, this kind of made my still-fashionably tainted day.

But then I saw the cover. Sweet Jesus, be a fence! Who, what, when, and just why?

Gabby Sidibe’s hair has been flipped up and laid, particularly on her appearance on the “Oprah show.” We have also seen Gabby on a plethora of red carpets, giving it to em’; hands on hip, and that weave was just right. Now what happened at Elle? Gabby Sidibe is too poppin’ and Tinsletown buzzing to go out like that. The weave looks like an old used up brillo pad that has seen too many greasy pots and too many anti-humidity products.

I blame Gabby’s own team, her glam squad (she does have one right?), her BFF (you know every starlet has a sidekick on the set), and the entire Elle staff. I even blame the newly minted Black staffers, and the lone intern girl of color who likely giggled off on the side of the set, instead of quietly holding up a sign from the back of the room reading, “Gabby, girl, they got you looking wrong!”

Here we have yet another reason among a trillion why Black fashion, beauty, and creative directors are necessary. Clearly Elle dropped the cue or is on some demented hiring freeze.

The fashion industry is seemingly damned if they do, or damned if they don’t. We don’t want to come off ungrateful; we’d be the very ones complaining or dishing critical commentary on why no Black actresses are making glossy covers. We just ask one simple thing: always have an expert, weave/wig/Black hair specializing stylist on the set. Black women’s hair is sort of a serious matter.

Rant concluded. *turns and whips hair like Willow*

  • Wen

    This is hilarious and so true :)

  • Princess Di

    I am cracking up about the brillo pad comment. The author is right. I haven’t seen a wig that dry since Halle Berry’s wig in Gothika!

    Wigery aside, I’m just glad to see someone who is not a stick thin white woman or otherwise on the cover. I think Gabby looks great and I’m proud of her! Go head girl!

  • jamesfrmphilly

    this person is an obscenity. she needs to lose weight, right now.

  • Si

    It’s so true black hair is serious, it’s not just anyone who can make a black womens hair look good, it takes a certain kind of knowledge and skill!
    I was even thinking the colour of the dress was not that great either… Ah well, they tried! Lol

  • sophstaphunk

    You’re so right G! This is an abonimation!

  • SunnyDay

    I’m weak LOL….omg hilarious!!!!

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  • jkk28269

    Looks like she has a uniboob..just wrong…then they’re gonna complain and say black people dont sell magazines..well not with that kind of picture..helllo??????????????????????????????????????

  • Lavish

    Elle really messed her up with that nappy wig. Elle should have allowed a hairstylist that is familiar with African American weaves and styles to assist them with her.

  • minna k.

    Sorry, but this article reads like a projection of someone’s own personal hair insecurities, and the rest of us are supposed to fall in line with the sentiment.

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  • Jared C. Wood

    Oh dear. She looks like a Cabbage Patch Doll with a Garbage Pail Kids wig on. Why do the other cover chicks look all sensual and what-not, and they have Gabby dressed as Deaconess Jenkins at First Apostolic A.M.E.?

  • jamesfrmphilly

    um, that is because she weighs 300 lbs…….

  • onyxbebe

    you are so right this look is tore up! I am proud of Gabby doing her thing in an enviroment where you are expect to have a certian look. But um the hair is a mess! big puffy curly roots and ragged ends. They should have sewn in a new wave for this one. I agree to handle our hair you need a certian level of training that non white cosmotolegist just aren’t taught. Your right where was her overly honest friend telling her she could NOT be seen in public like that?? And true that dress and makeup isn’t do much for me either. oh well Gabby don’t let this one rock you too hard next time just make sure that the styling staff comes correct!

  • Anne

    Her weight has nothing to do with her hair, every one cannot style Blk. hair ,nor Blk. weave .I am sure the magazine is sitting back laughing their a__ off. If my girl donot have a stylist to travel with her,she had better get one. I would be mad as hell if I were her.Black Fashion Directors are NEEDED. Are you listening ESSENCE (viacom) or whoever in the H__ L owns you…………. Blessings and Peace………….

  • Jasmene

    This Emerald City Wizard of Oz dress doesn’t do her any justice. Lookin like a Davids Bridal reject. Shame on you Joe Zee you know damn well this wasn’t ok!

  • Sasha

    This was too funny!

  • Drew-Shane

    everyone was complaining – we need more covers with her on the cover, why wasn’t she in the young Hollywood shot.. my dears, this is why!

    I’m not sure who is to blame but I’m sure this cover went through a few hands, even Gabby’s too. I agree, I don’t like it one bit. her weight has nothing to do with it or even because she’ Black- the cover is just WRONG!

  • Monie

    I have never seen her on a red carpet serving anything. She ALWAYS looks bad. Her weaves are always terrible. Make-up is always awful. She can request make-up, hair and stylists herself, especially for a cover shoot. I’m also certain she got first look at these photos herself, so maybe she sees no problem.

    You can blame everyone else, but Gabby has reached a place where she can choose who does her and who doesn’t. She has final say on everthing. Trust.

  • BlackBetty

    Whew, the hair, her eyes, the dress. Just a mess. Her weight has nothing to do with how bad that cover is. How could anyone at Elle approve this? Wow.

  • Cash


  • Terri

    @Jamesfromphilly, you’ve made two comments about Gabby’s weight and Gabby’s cool with it so why don’t you get off her? Maybe the added weight of your insecure or phobic comment won’t add to a self-esteem problem you wish she had.

    Ignorance is not needed her. Go play in traffic or go spank your little monkey.

  • Erica B.

    THIS is for everyone that has EVER complained about only seeing skinny white girls gracing magazine covers. Here’s the antithesis!

  • Autumn Joi

    I definitely co-sign on this. They have the budget, so there really is no excuse at all as to why they have her looking like that.

  • Jason

    Can we be real, real like we used to be before all the PC Wranglers tried to impose their perspectives upon all our thoughts? I don’t care how talented an actor you might think she is she has NO business on a fashion magazine cover. A big woman can be fashionable but she ain’t and never has been a fashionista.

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  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    What I wanna know is…does anyone know the ‘race’ of the stylist, photographer, creative director, hairdresser etc. for this particular spread or their level of experience?

    The truth of the matter is Gabby has rarely looked well-put-together in spreads or on red carpets so I don’t know that this can be blamed on Elle. …either her face is greasy, wig/weave is horrendous, clothing is ill-fitting or unflattering, or she’s barefoot (I suppose there were problems finding attractive shoes to match that fit her wide feet).

    I agree with the comment about never being satisfied. When efforts are made, yet again slapped down, yes this contributes to spots growing reluctant to even bother at all.

  • Ebonylolita

    I agree…. we want to see our ppl on the cover. But don’t have them looking like Dammit!!! That wig doesn’t even deserve to be an ole dutty rag in somebody’s garage. The dress is nice, color WRONG. I have no more to say *Kissteeth*

  • Tonia

    I am laughing at your article right now. I thank you for competely explaining what I feel and yest I totally agree.

  • Mason

    Give it a REST! I think she looks GREAT! she gets the cover and all you can do is NITPICK this is WHY we can’t have nice stuff.

    You saw the negative, I see a woman with a wonderful smile.

  • binks

    I agree as well. I’ am so disappointed in the way they put her together but if you see the shots with Megan Fox, Lauren Conrad and the other girl (can’t remember her name) they look great while Gabby looks okay. I’ am so happy and glad that she landed the cover at the end of the day but I wish they would have put more work and effort in with her as they do their other women



  • Ivory

    People complain, get what they want, and still complain.

    I think she looks LOVELY here. I see so many women with messed up weaves, relaxers, texturisers and natural heads, but they don’t get bashed. I’d be interested in seeing the writer and other critical people’s fantastic heads of hair and fashion sense…Anyone posting their pictures? I didn’t think so.

  • Bernadette Bridges

    Why is the number 630 + by her face? Is this a reference to her weight? This phot o is all wrong…. set up..

  • Mason

    Thank you!! People act like this is the worst cover….THEY NEVER GET COVERS RIGHT! Yet our OWN magazine for BLACK WOMEN picks this woman apart for PAGE VIEWS…I want to support black media but this site makes it HARD!!!



  • Orange Star Happy Hunting

    WOW, it doesn’t matter if the commentors get covers or not, the fact of the matter is the hair, the clothing choice for autumn and the cheap accessories are NOT working on any level.
    Somebody ought to be fired and because Gabby is a big girl, not the typical cover girl, special attention ought have been paid to the hair, accessories and assemble on a dayum fashion magazine, WTH!!!!!

  • sloane

    ugh. if kirsten dunst can be on a fashion magazine cover, so can gabourey sidibe. they have all sorts of white women on the covers, what’s so wrong with gabourey that IN YOUR EYES that SHE can’t be on one?

  • sloane

    first of all, people are free to complain about whatever the hell they want. second, elle magazine MORE then has the financial resources to make sure that her hair and makeup looked right and they didn’t. so i don’t see what wrong with voicing the opinion that black women should look as put together as white women on fashion covers.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    this person weighs 300 lbs.
    that is not healthy. why enable?
    if she was a dope addict would you enable that?
    she is killing herself just as surely as if she were on dope.
    i come from a family of fat females. they all suffered and died.
    people, wake up!

  • sloane

    this looks horrible. shouldn’t it stand to reason that if they have black women on covers they look as put together as white women? why does her hair look that f**ked up? and i don’t give a damn if certain people think we’re “biting the hand that feeds us”. if they’re supposed to be a multicultural magazine then they should make sure all their covermodels look great no matter their race. if she looked good, no one would be complaining in the first damn place.

  • D_Nice

    Just wondering why you’re so concerned with her health? How do you know that the other three are healthy? Only fat people suffer and/or die?

  • D_Nice

    And by the way, I am sure she weighs well over 300 pounds.But that’s her issue. Not mine or yours. I hate when people try to disguise their dislike for fat people with empty concern about health.

  • Brina

    Maybe we’re looking through different screens because I DON’T see anything wrong. What I do see wrong though is the fact that we have one of our sisters on the cover, breaking beauty standards and looking good….

    but leave it up to black folks….complain that fashion mags don’t use black models then complain if they’re not up to YOUR standards.

    get a grip.

  • Alexandra

    Its the Hair and the top. All I see is a big woman on a cover. Her face is alright.
    Her hair is not nice, and too obvious. And her shirt/top looks like a drape/sheet she just covered herself with for the shoot.

    I think this is a step down from that great cover she had for Ebony Mag. That to me was a nice cover. This is cover is not great, but I’m happy for her.

  • hehe

    This article was posted on Jezebel and someone made one of the best comments regarding this topic. She stated ” My black ass needs to leave before I feel rage at all the people who are going to willfully miss the point. Yeah, the hair could’ve been better but the issue is representation. Because there are so few women of color on covers it matters how they’re styled and how they look and yes hair is a big part of that for black women. It’s not a black woman’s “obsession” with hair. Hair matters. Looks matter in our society and part of that for black women is hair. The natural way it comes out of most of our heads makes a statement. And on photoshoots it needs special care no matter what look you’re going for (natural, straight, curly, wavy) so it doesn’t look so damn unkempt. Is that too much to ask? Oh no, we should just be happy she got the cover in the first place.”

  • mina

    I don’t think she looks that bad…: / I am curious as to why they lit her up so much that she looks lighter than she usually does, and why oh why does she look like the light is blinding her. Also, why is she so… blown up on the magazine cover? They usually have full body shots of women on the cover.

  • kay

    The reason she looks bad, is because she is obese. It’s nice that she’s on the cover, of a white women’s magazine, but we really need to start creating more of our own publications. When we have more of our own magazines, and actually support those magazines, we can have more control of our own images.

  • Monie

    Her weight is a factor. That’s why it’s cropped so close, so you can’t see her body. I don’t really know how you could improve it. Even with a better weave the clothes and cropping would still be awful.

    Beth Ditto is a big girl (not as big as Gabby) and she serves it to the kids all the time.

    I still think it was a great move to put her on the cover, regardless of the problems. A 300 plus pound black woman in a fashion magazine is a big deal.

  • secret ninja

    i only have two questions. only two.

    1. why do they insist on putting that horrible, horrible, horrible weave/wig or what ever IT is on this girls head?

    2. why do she insist on CONTINUING to let them do that?

  • Interested

    I do agree that there needs to be a greater Black female presence in the world of fashion. But I think Gabby looks beautiful & glowing on this cover.

  • ChicTherapy

    this article is funny!I agree though, we need more black people in these places.However, Gabby had a choice, she probably saw a mirror and could have said NO

  • thewanderlustgrl

    she looks like someone’s middle-aged mom on that cover :l

    and yes…that weave. gaby girl…i’m so sorry. elle hates you.

  • anon

    They tried to be politically correct with putting an obese black woman on the cover and still couldnt get it right. They’d have been smarter to use Jurnee Smollett to fit the under 25 upcoming actress bill.

  • Alaina L Lewis

    SMDH! I don’t fault anyone but Gabby for this to be honest. If I was in her position, and someone wanted to put some bull shit like that on my head or body, there’d be an argument.

    You can point fingers, but you better be sure that if it were any other A- Lister, like a Mariah Carey or even Oprah herself, when they pulled out that wig and that stupid dress, and said “Wear this” they’d be reaching for some reeboks and vaseline.

    As a new actress, Gabby has to learn to assert herself so she doesn’t go out like a BOMB! Cause she just got “Nagasaki’d” and it ain’t cool!

  • Buttahp

    Gabby is not an A-lister and is young and Black so she is not trying to be a stereotype and start snake neckin’ at Elle. Also, they probably took so many pics and changed her hair so much that she had no idea which was going to be the money shot. However, I do fault her people for not letting her know and lets stop pretending that there was a real person of color on Elle’s staff looking out for Gabby at that shoot.

  • TSL

    I feel the commentary in this post but I don’t believe that the fashion director had to be black to know that the wig was DEAD WRONG. This reflects badly on Elle more than it does Gabby and her team (or lack thereof). Why would they want to put something other than the best hair on their cover model? SMH.

    However, unseemly wig aside – Gabby looks great!! The green dress looks beautiful on her!

  • Shia

    The dress is beautiful, the hair kind of synthetic but the most important part is buying the magazine so people know that black women covers (aside from Mrs. Obama) sell and that they should keep putting black women on mainstream mags. Black fashion directors are needed period but not only for the hair issue.

  • Why???

    I’m not buying this.

    They never represent other women in a poor light, but now all of a sudden, even with all other Black women actresses and starlets before her, they choose Gabby Sidibe to cover Elle.

    Wow . . . there is such a thing as beauty and Gabby doesn’t represent it to me. This disturbs me on so many levels.

  • Brie

    She s not pretty at all and that wig is a hot a** mess ..
    Just cuz she s dark n overweight people seem to feel almost obligated to
    praise her and find something positive in her looks like” her face is not ugly”
    she not a beauty that’s for sure so let’s stop being fake and try dondam hard to like someone just cuz they re black.

  • Quandetta E.


  • Quandetta Banks Etheridge

    i hav to agree with brie. this is not the form for beauty. There are different forms of beauty but this is not it. Whoever her manager is, should be fired.not to sound mean, but we all know obesity is not cute, regardless of how pretty your face is. They are simply making fun of her and i guess she’s taking it cuz she’s getting her 5 mins of fame which is sad. Elle rarely has women of color on, so why put gabby on…and looking a mess. soon they’re gonna have her posing nude saying, “this is the new nude.” It’s one thing to empower women and give them self esteem, but how high can it be when you’re obese?

  • Interested

    I think she is very pretty. It is very strange that on this site a full-figured White woman is called all kinds of beautiful and attractive, but yet there is no hesitation in calling a big sista unattractive and making reference to her dark skin. That disturbs me very much.

    Gabby is beautiful, dark skin, large frame and all.

  • Quandetta Banks Etheridge

    i meant “15 minutes of fame”

  • jamesfrmphilly

    i liked it better when it was 5……

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Brie wrote: “She’s not pretty at all …Just cuz she’s dark n overweight people seem to feel almost obligated to praise her and find something positive in her looks…she not a beauty that’s for sure so let’s stop being fake and trying so dam hard to like someone just cuz they re black.”

    Thank you and this has nothing to do with race. …and I’ll be d@mned if I live by PC lies and nonsense.

    Queen Latifah = physically beautiful
    Christina Hendricks = physically beautiful
    Tocarra = physically beautiful
    Gabby Sidibe = not but seems to have a nice spirit

    Chick needs to go on a d@mn diet, exercise and lose weight!!!

  • Leila Lee

    even if they had put beyonce/halle berry/ janet jackson, black women will still complain!!!1 talking about beauty as if there is just one plain standard!!!!
    u people have a nerve, no wonder these magazines and mainstream never bother with black women, you will complain regardless!!!!
    and this is all coming from a black woman!!!!

  • Roschelle

    no gaby isn’t what most of us have become accustomed to calling beautiful. no gaby isn’t the pencil size most of the chicks in hollywood fall in the category of…hell, she’s not even the average size 14 most claim is the “average” for most american women.

    but another thing she is not … ugly. i agree with the author. her glam team dropped the ball and the folks over at Elle should be flogged for these photos.

    gaby is a diamond in the rough. i never saw her movie. just didn’t have the heart to see what i heard was a tear jerker and a real hard hitting look at some serious issues.

    as far as gaby’s weight, the nurse and black woman in me want to drag her to the track and put jenny craig on speed dial. but i’ve been reading a lot about fat acceptance lately and have began to wonder if i’m biased about “fat” because it’s unhealthy (definitely up for discussion) or unsightly. i don’t know how healthy, happy or satisfied she is with her appearance. so, who am i to make that judgment call.

    still with all that being said i certainly feel Elle could have done a better job. Period!


    Oh no, that wig! (I doubt that’s a weave). Agreed that black hairstylists are necessary.

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  • sarah

    the theme of the cover story is Hollywood’s fave 25-yr-old actresses. has nothing to do with beauty at all. so, whether you think she is pretty or not, she fits the bill. she is a very talented actress (i’ve seen her work other than Precious) and she is under 25. it’s an honor that she made the cover, moreso for her acting creds than for her beauty. personally, i think the fact that she is a great actress without being standardly beautiful is what makes her coverworthy.

  • Emelyne

    Praise Jesus! I’m so damn tired of people being PC with this girl! Can a woman be dark and still be gorgeous? Yes. Can she be overweight and still be hot? Yes. Can she be both and still be beautiful? Yes. But Gabby is NOT beautiful and her face reminds me of a Cabbage Patch kid I once had. This is a GD joke! There are so many more experienced and beautiful black actresses and singers that have never had a Elle cover but this one-hit wonder did? WTF? If Elle wanted a heavy black chick, I’d have loved to se Mo’Nique on the cover; she’s beautiful and has certainly earned it! Hell, even an Asian chick (which they’ve never had). Instead, they put the ugliest semi-famous black chick they could find on the cover with a busted lace front because she’s not the least bit threatening to white women and their ideal of beauty hierarchy. I honestly don’t think they did anything to make her any uglier; have you seen what this chick wears on a daily basis? Elle, this was an epic fail!

  • Emelyne

    Thank you for your honesty! I refuse to be bullied and badgered into saying someone’s who’s fugly looks good just to make obese people feel better or simply because she happens to be black. F%ck that! As you said, big and beautiful can co-exist, they just don’t live here…

  • stacie-ann/vexed-v12

    i hate to say it, but all i see is FAT. like globs of fat all over her. idk. i think she looks decent in the cover picture. she looks…..presentable. but seriously, she’s far too young to be this darn heavy! somebody call f**cking Jenny already! or weight watchers, somebody get this girl a trainer & a diet plan.

    second, idk about the lace front. i think they chose this lace front b/c it resembles natural african american textured hair. it is just the right amount of coarse to look as though it is actually growing from her very own scalp. i don’t really see the big issue with the wig.

    she looks decent on this cover.

    but, she needs to cut the crap, cut the “I’m big & beautiful **CHEEEEESE**” crap and lose some damn weight. period.

  • Emelyne

    You know, I’m not a fan of the lace-front, but I agree with you, it isn’t as god awful as some are saying. I think people are just clinging to that rather than just come out and say that she looks bad. Also, you’re right about the weight; Gabby’s literally all over the cover.

  • zy

    while i don’t agree that Gabby’s “ugly” (her personality is far too sweet for her to be ugly), I do agree that they really did this girl WRONG with this shoot. I read a Q&A w/Joe Zee in which he states that she came to the shoot with that horrid hair. I mean seriously… where is her damn STYLIST?? and if she didn’t come with one, why in the hell couldn’t Elle have given her a dman stylist for the shoot? it’s obvious they probably just threw a bunch of crap together because she’s not a sample size 2 and they most likely had ZERO clue on how to dress her but this hair is UNACCEPTABLE. to have a full on frontal shot like this and have her head looking like a dry mop is NOT cute at all. We all know Gabby is obese and we all know how she dresses on a normal basis but damn, where was Leon Talley to give this girl some guidance?! this is pathetic.

  • Emelyne

    Since when was personality a physical trait?

  • Ms. V

    I actually think Gabby is pretty. I agree with most of the ladies on this post that she could have had better hair and clothing. I think we have to remember that the beauty is relative. In Gabby’s case, she is a conversation starter. Elle was smart to have her on the cover.. to truly market their magazine to incorpated all things beautiful fom conventational to conversational. I think Gabby’s career has the abilty to sustain within the entertainment business and her weight is always going to be in the mix.
    I hope she does lose weight because obesity is deadly but I hope she conutines to strike up conversation about beauty.. what ever that is.

  • zy

    personality is not a physical trait however, it’s my belief that personality plays a HUGE part in real beauty. one can be drop dead gorgeous however, if your personality is atrocious… trust me, beauty goes right out the window…beauty starts from within first.

  • Emelyne

    I agree with you. However, personality must be experienced; it can’t be seen. Those who know nothing about this girl (which is most people) only see an ugly girl. Now, if she’s actually physically appealing to someone, that’s one thing, but personality cannot make someone more or less beautiful. If that were the case, most fashion models would be deemed ugly, but they are not because they are pleasing to the eye, which is what beauty really is, how one looks to others.

  • deep.honey

    Face: Glowing skin, glowing from within.

    Attire and wig: Unfortunate, but likely not her fault. Is this the misguided handiwork of Joe Zee? BTW, he happens to be Asian.

    People should stop being so evil. Unless you are a major star, you aren’t getting any approval over which photo is selected for the cover.

    Gabby is grossly overweight, and I’m sure this isn’t news to her. I’m glad that ELLE decided to place her on the cover anyway. I didn’t see Precious (not a fan of pathology porn), but I bet that no other starlet in her age group had to take on such a demanding role. For this, she deserves a place on the cover along with her peers.

  • Hippie Bar

    I’m sorry but all I see is unhealthy on that cover. I dont see beauty all I see is a heart attack by 30. Its has nothing to do with her skin tone she just looks unhealthy I dont think there is much Elle could have done. I am sorry but I don’t think Elle would ever put a white woman that big on the cover of their magazine. Why is okay to put a black woman like that on the cover. When I buy a FASHION magazine its for entertainment and fantasy.

  • Lynn

    problem is most people don’t understand it’s fantasy. they gag themselves and starve themselves trying to look like the ppl on the cover who don’t look like that anyway.
    I have no problem with a fat person being on the cover – but they definitely could have done a better job with her hair. That’s awful.

  • Sharon Jefferson

    I don’t see anything wrong with the wig or weave or whatever it is. It looks like African-textured hair after it’s been straigtened. When I wore relaxers in my hair, I never wore it bone straight. It looked like the hair on Gabby. As a result, my hair was very healthy and grew past my shoulders. I thought it was beautiful and others thought so, too. The author of this blog comes across as very catty and silly with some self-hatred issues.

  • Boozone

    Gabby looks a hot damn mess! I agree 100% with author of this article.

  • omg

    i’m so sick of fat black women. i’m sorry but i am.

    being fat is not cute. instead of putting a beautiful dark-skinned, healthy looking black woman on the cover, they put this obese, unnattractive black girl who like others of her ilk go around talking about how being fat is so darned great.

    please black women stop being so fat. i’d rather elevate a healthy image of black women. i find this image of black women embarrassing and a disservice to us. i do not want gabby representing me as a black woman.

    gabby, in the state she’s currently in, is not attractive. jennifer hudson would have been better than this. at least she doesn’t act like being obese is so great.

  • Roschelle

    gabby isn’t a representation of black women. gabby is a representation of herself! i’ve read several comments about gabby not looking healthy on this cover. why doesn’t she look healthy? is it because she’s obese. because let me make it abundantly clear – OBESITY DOESN’T EQUAL UNHEALTHY! Let that marinate for a while….

    Now. as a nurse i’ve been trained to look for the causative factors in disease processes and other medical conditions. so, it has taken much self-reflection and re-learning to realize that being fat is not a bad thing. just as you’ve equated gabby’s weight with poor health…i presume you would equate the size 0 waifs we’re accustomed to seeing with optimal health.


    have you seen the statistics on the health of women in the modeling industry.

    it’s abhorrent! women literally starving to death! All for the sake of fitting into societal views about what is or is not acceptable.

    i would love to see gabby slim down. even though there’s no absolutely definitive proof that a “healthy” fat person is at any greater risk than i am (a non-fat) person for health problems…it’s still deeply rooted in my psyche that thin is better.

    my sister has been obese her entire adult life. she’s three years older than me and rarely ever exercises. i, on the other hand, exercise daily, eat a balanced diet, maintain my “ideal” weight (whatever in the hell that means).

    but guess who’s taking an anti-hypertensive medication daily – ME!

    so, bash the magazine for lightening gabby’s hue – because that should be more insulting to women of color than anything gabby could ever do!

    bash the magazine and gabby’s lackluster glam squad for the bad weave. bash the magazine for inadvertently making gabby appear even larger by cropping the shot and not exposing more of her body as they do with thinner models.

    but don’t speak like you know what this woman’s health status is.

  • ChangeOfVenue

    Roschelle, if “being fat (in this case, morbidly obese) is not a bad thing”, why FLOTUS’ ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative?

  • Roschelle

    there’s a link between obesity and health problems. there’s also a link between heredity and health problems. i’m not denying that. what i am saying is gabby being fat doesn’t equal unhealthy or it doesn’t have to equal unhealthy.

    like i said the nurse in me would much rather see her slimmer. but that’s not to say she’s unhealthy now.

    you can’t tell if someone’s healthy just by looking at them. God, I’ve known some cancer patients who looked fabulous and were dead within three months. You can’t even tell a person’s BMI by looking at them. But when we conflate fat and ill health, we do something that ill-serves thin people, too: we conflate thinness and good health. So maybe we aren’t looking for signs of pre-diabetes in thin people. Or maybe we’re not really concerned about what’s in school lunches as long as the kids don’t gain weight. Or maybe we don’t think about the distribution of resources or the way that farm subsidies distort food prices as long as it’s just poor people who are getting fat from eating crappy cheap food.

  • Emelyne

    @Rochelle: are you serious? right now, I’m seriously doubting that you are a nurse. Fat does not equal unhealthy, but obesity does! That’s why it’s classified as a disease. Please go re-read your textbooks or something. And don’t make an exception (your sister who is obese but not sick, that you know of…yet) into the rule. Most obese people are fighting a myriad of diseases ranging from hypertension to cancer and of course diabetes. Also, don’t assume any and all thin women are starving themselves. Not everyone can be thin, but obese is not a body type. And Gabby is FAR from starving. she obviously suffers from another eating disorder that’s rarely talked about, compulsive over-eating, which is just as dangerous as bulimia and anorexia. this girl si one cheeseburger away from a heart-attack, not to mention she’s completely distorted her body with layers upon layers of fat. Everyone doen’t need to be a size six, or even thin, but when your knees rub together and you are gasping with every step, there’s a problem!
    @omg: Fat can be very pretty (Sara Ramirez, Toccara Jones), but Gabby obviously stopped be fat and sailed to a deeper ocean a long time ago.

  • Za van Poetrypotion

    i don’t get it – what is with all the hate? the first thing i saw was Gabby’s beautiful smile. ok, maybe i’m not schooled in what good weaves are meant to look like so i can’t disagree on it looking bad.

    But dang what is the riot all about?

    can we speak about this woman without taking her weight like a personal insult? i often find that people are so vexed about how big she is. it’s as if it’s a direct insult on them – like “why is this fat girl being mentioned again”. like “she’s too fat to be seen” some people even go as far as to say so.

    she’s not the first or only overweight black woman that we know.

    if people’s ‘concern’ about her weight were genuine then it would not be drenched with so much hate.

    it’s amazing that she’s on the cover. yeah, the cover could be improved – and i’m not talking about her weave! and having a black stylist would not necessarily help anything if that stylist thinks like some of the comments i’ve seen every time Gabby is mentioned anywhere.

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  • D_Nice

    Methinks you protest too much. Are you fat and/or unattractive? You sure are touchy. Hmmmmm.

  • Roschelle

    @Emelyne – i’m quite serious. the obesity is a disease debate has raged for years. labeling it as a disease because of hereditary factors or a predisposition to being fat as opposed to categorizing it as something that’s a result of environmental factors regarding eating habits, socioeconomic status and lifestyles.

    i’m certainly not trying to make an exception by using myself and my sister as an example. just a talking point to further show that obese doesn’t have to equal unhealthy. you say my sister isn’t unhealthy that “we know of…yet”. and me on the other hand, non-obese with hypertension. no one knows what the future holds. so assuming that her “yet” will ever come is based on some preconceived notion that all fat people eventually get sick. this is just not true.

    don’t be so presumptive in claiming that “most” obese people are battling a myriad of health problems. how could you begin to know what most obese people are dealing with?

    furthermore, i never said that all thin women starve themselves or suffer from an eating disorder. i merely pointed out the health concerns that have been circulating for some time now regarding waif-like models in the industry.

    i’ve never seen gabby’s knees. nor have i noticed her having any respiratory difficulties. so, i can’t speak to that. as far as her being one cheeseburger away from a heart attack, i would be making an assumption based on her appearance without having any knowledge of her cardiovascular health.

    hell, you or i could be one cheeseburger away from a heart attack.

  • PLUSlife DIVA*

    I cant believe these people up here disrespecting people who are larger then the sick skinny world. There exist people who are larger then societies skinny & are ehalthy. My younger sister is thick & is healthy, more outgoing & active then others I know who are small. I am a big girl & tho yes I know I am not 100% healthy, I am very outgoing & besides one heredity feature I have issues with I am able to walk for long periods of time, go on rides in a theme park & etc. I think it just shows how insecure you others are that you are calling this young lady ugly & being utterly RUDE! The point of this article was to show how there is a need to have a black directore because Gabby doesn’t look her best, despite her being plus size. You may think skinny is GREAT, all the best to you. Others may think thick is GREAT, all the best to them. Some think GIANT over-sized is GREAT too, all the best with them. You cant tell people whose ugly & who isn’t like it is a fact. State your opinion & keep it moving. DONT HATE ON PEOPLE, Love yourself & RESPECT others.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    As a wife and daughter of a physician, I disagree that there are no increased risks associated with obesity.

    There are many options between the extremes of waif or stick-thin and overweight to grossly obese; no one insinuated that all should be thin and it serves no purpose to argue things no one even stated or act as if exceptions (the random obese person who might be healthy) change the rules.

    Instead of removing people’s personal responsibility and blaming things on heredity, environment, the fact of the matter is becoming overweight and obese is primarily caused by eating too daggone much of the wrong things and failure to exercise – point blank – and any physician worth their salt will state as much so let’s be real here; less than 1,000 Americans die per year as a result of eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia as opposed to the 365,000 Americans that die per year due to obesity related health problems, in addition to the multi-billions hogged up in medical costs. From USA Today:

    “…obesity will cost the USA about $344 billion in medical-related expenses by 2018, eating up about 21% of health-care spending… …Extra weight increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer. …The report adds to the growing body of evidence of obesity’s impact on medical costs. A study released in July showed that obese Americans cost the country about $147 billion in weight-related medical bills in 2008, double what it was a decade ago. It now accounts for about 9.1% of medical spending. …Overall, the United States spends about $1.8 trillion a year in medical costs associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and all three are linked to smoking and obesity, the nation’s two largest risk factors, according to the America’s Health Rankings report.”

    To be honest, Gabby Sidibe might be able to look ‘presentable’ on a cover or in a photo, but I doubt she’ll ever look attractive and one of the reasons is that her body is grossly misshapen by excess fat. This is self-induced, preventable and the girl is 25 years old and already has stretch marks on her upper arms – for goodness sakes – which is too much fat stretching her skin to it’s limits. I’ll stay away from name-calling the girl or calling her ugly, but I’ve no interest in flat-out lying and pretending to appease others and be PC!

    It’s not attractive from a physical standpoint nor is it attractive as a character trait as it speaks to sloth, laziness and a lack of discipline and control.

  • Lola

    Art directors and stylist are just that-not magicians!!!

  • alexaelle

    As much as I enjoy seeing a black woman on the cover of Elle, I must agree with some of the other comments that Gabby just doesn’t look good here. I’m sorry but Elle is a fashion magazine. People can pretend all they want that being obese is attractive and can be fashionable, but it is not either of those things. A girl who is 5’5 and 125 pounds is going to have a body that looks better than someone with that same height who is 325 pounds any day! Even if this is a representation of what most American women look like, it doesn’t make it any easier to look at. It looks like they had a hard time trying to fit her on the cover. Seriously! Personally I don’t like seeing things like this because it’s sends the message to young black girls that it is okay to be overweight. We need to stop embracing obesity and start teaching our girls how to be healthy. When I say healthy I don’t mean 97 pounds but I mean healthy by health standards.

  • QuothTheRaven

    What her weight, BMI, cholesterol level, or blood pressure rate has AT ALL to do with the styling on the cover of this magazine and the author’s opinion on her dry-looking weave, I don’t know.

    It seems to me that most people who have complaints about Gabby are less concerned for her health, the “unhealty image” she perpetuates by…EXISTING, or obesity as an epidemic in our society than they are upset that a woman that size walks around with her head held high, maintains an upbeat attitude, and accepts herself despite the fact that she doesn’t look the way you would prefer her to.

    Yes, she’s big. Yes, obesity is unhealthy, and logically, she is not at her healthiest weight. But why does it make people so angry that she gets recognized? Does she not deserve recognition for her accomplishments, talent, “it-girl” status, and yes, BEAUTY because she’s too big? We claim we want more racial diversity in Hollywood, more diverse Black stories told through film, more recognition for our stars. We get a little of it, and all we can focus on what size dress the starlet wears.

  • alexaelle

    I think she should be recognized for her talent, and she has been. She has become a celebrity. With that comes the criticism. I’m not going to hold back just because she is a black woman. That definitely doesn’t excuse the fact that she looks awful on this cover. I have to wonder as someone else said that it she were a white woman would they have allowed her on the cover? I think not…however I can’t really think of any 400 pound white women who are A list actresses. This is one of the reasons that thin black women get so much criticism, because some people feel that this is a more acceptable way of looking if you are black. If you look any different then you are conforming to European standards of beauty and therefore you must hate yourself. Well guess what, obesity is not something that we inherited from our ancestors. It’s something that certain people of every race do to themselves. The only people who get a pass are those with diseases that create the problem.

  • QuothTheRaven

    @alexaelle: I really disagree with that though. I don’t think anyone sees fat as good or sexy or attractive in the Black community. I see the “video vixen ideal” perpetuated in our community (large breasts, thin waist/flat belly, huge booty), a SELECTIVELY thick, hourglass shape which just isn’t attainable for everyone, naturally thin OR naturally thick….but there’s not this glorification of 350lb women as “right” and condemnation of ladies with slim physiques as european conformists. I never hear Black girls say they’re jealous of how big a girl is or Black men say they wish their lady would gain 30 pounds…

    And I don’t think her weight is “acceptable” because she’s Black. For instance, Beth Ditto, the lead singer of The Gossip is white, probably weighs about as much as Gabby and she’s been on the cover of more magazines than Gabby…NAKED no less! > < Granted, she's rock & roll and not as mainstream as Gabby, but it definitely happens across racial lines. And in both instances, the ladies are getting these magazine covers due to their talent, confidence, and relevance. Their weight issues are obvious, they're just not being made a federal case.

    No one says her weight is "acceptable" (whatever that means). I just don't see why it's the ONLY topic of discussion any time this woman is photographed, interviewed, or mentioned.

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  • Interested

    I am disturbed by all the hatred and venom displayed in the comments discussing the woman’s weight and appearance, and I am not going to be bullied into shutting up because it is PC to hate on Black women & girls.

  • hellifiknow

    Gabby is certainly an accomplished and beautiful black woman. But her HAIR looks atrocious on this cover and she should have said something her damn self. While I have seen some of the ridiculous things my sisters will put on their heads, this shouldn’t be the case on a major fashion magazine where they should have hired someone who knew better or took a better shot. As far as Gabby’s weight is concerned, I think people are absolutely correct to critique her WEIGHT, if not the person herself. When did we become OK with black women being morbidly obese? She is not “thick,” or “curvy” or “big-boned,” she is FAT. I see young women her size on a daily basis in my city and I’m concerned for their futures as mothers and as members of the community. If you are obese at 25, where will you be when the inevitable slowing of your metabolism happens? I think we need to stop feeling put upon as black women and tell the truth to each other about our unhealthy eating and exercising habits. I don’t think overweight black women should cower and feel ashamed but I do think it says something about what’s going on inside you if you are grossly overweight. You can’t shame people into change, but we need to start the awareness at home with our young girls that eating healthy and exercising are necessary lifelong habits. They couldn’t get us with slavery, Jim Crow or anything else, but obesity is killing us.

  • Interested

    Declerations of concern/so-called concern or not, I am not going to ignore the venom being hurled at this young sista who has done nothing to deserve it. Also, because of the long history of Black women & girls being ridiculed, hated, abused, mocked, shunned, etc for the “sin” of being female and having dark skin, kinky hair, wide noses, full lips and curvy bodies from too many sources, a treading lightly when it comes to discussing the problems/supposed problems of Obesity in the Black community or the apperance of Black women is not something to to be pooh-pooed. Young & teenage Black girls may be reading this blog. It is what it is.

  • Luvs

    It is pretty sad that you have the mentality that fat equates to being healthy. People have an automatic though that if your skinny, then you’re healthy, if you’re fat, then you are unhealthy. However, that is not always the case. What is more important is that the person is healthy. The concern should not always be about an individual’s weight.

  • Luvs

    Unhealthy*, thought*

  • Luvs

    Love the article, which points out that Elle magazine clearly lighten Gabby’s skin complexion. In addition, why didn’t they demonstrate her size rather then looking at only the upper portion of her body for the cover.

    People really have to think about these factors before purchasing/supporting a magazine that does not embrace differences.

  • Arobinson

    Tee hee hee- read through the comments. In terms of thought patterns, the usual suspects showed up. Some things did stick out and struck me as funny, interesting, or a mixture of both:

    1.) Akai states “As a wife and daughter of physicians…” LOL. Wait…did someone just send me back to the 1950s when women judged their own value and accomplishments by what those around them do. Evidently Akai believes that medical knowledge can somehow be obtained via some form of osmosis as a result of having continual sexual intercourse with one doctor and then sharing the same genetic pool with another–would that it were that easy, so many could save so much on med school loans! I assume that she feels that this tidbit gives her opinion greater weight(no pun intended). Hmm…so let’s see if this scenario would work: “I’m injured and I need a doctor quick— a doctor’s wife or daughter will do nicely as well”…nah, I don’t think it would work. Doesn’t work here either…I would care if she said she was a doctor.

    2.) Roschelle brings up an important point: many thin people are facing some of the same health issues that supposedly obesity is a precursor too. This is especially true in the African American community.

    As such the arguments of the others on the board that usually center around worries about the future health of an overweight individual are moot points. Are you worried about the thin woman that you see on the street? Goodness knows what she ate five minutes before you laid eyes on her. Your external view of her body certainly cannot tell you whether her arteries are clogged or the state of her pancreas.

    Which brings me to my final observation. America stop. Stop pretending as though you give a rat’s patoot about a fat person’s health. Just be honest that for those who are thin, bringing up a fat person’s weight serves to assure the status quo of the social pecking order while at the same time shoring up a bit of self congratulatory splendor for the detractor: “I might be an alcoholic child beater but at least I’m not fat like this poor slob”

    Deep down we’re all the same nasty mean self absorbed school children who once yelled out “fatty two by four” on the playground. We’ve just learned to hide it under the distracting sentiment of “worrying for their health”. Truth be told, we don’t give a damn that there are children starving in the world-not in any real day-to-day sense-we certainly don’t care about the joker next to us whose thighs rub together.

  • BrooklynShoeBabe

    I think hair falls under beauty editor not fashion director. Fashion doesn’t mess with hair and vice versa. So, I disagree on that point. However, the wig does look a little askew and her complexion was clearly lightned. Gabby is beautiful and has a wonderful personality that outshines her size. I don’t understand why people are so offended by her being fat. As long as you’re maintaining your size, why do you care? (Please don’t give me that crap about other people’s health problems cost the country money because fat people pay taxes too.) And, let us remember, people didn’t want to see black people at all on the cover on magazines because they didn’t represent what was typically thought as beautiful.

  • Emelyne

    Why are you equating something that can’t be controlled (like skin color) with something that can (morbid obesity)? Gabby is willfully obese. And people need to stop making this a race thing because if a morbidly obese white or Latina woman were on the cover of a fashion mag, heads would roll, and women of that ethnic group would be equally offended that a better looking, in shape woman of that race was overlooked for a woman that takes up literally the entire cover.

  • Obesity is a Disease


    Please stop lying. You’re transparent.

    Gabby Sidibe is obese and she’s unhealthy.

  • Obesity is a Disease



    When did people start equating being dark skinned with being obese?

    There are tons of beautiful dark skin women who could have graced this cover, tons of dark skinned models who would have looked fabulous, but no, no Elle chose Gabby Sidibe to cover model on the rare occasion that they use a black model.

    I get the cover is due to her being a “starlet” but come off it, Gabby Sidibe is not a starlet, she’s a one hit wonder. They should have just used Zoe Saldana because she more fits the “starlet” bill anyway.

  • Emelyne

    @ObesityIsADisease: Thank you. It’s so funny to me how in this society, we can call out anorexics and bulimics but an equally (if not more so) dangerous eating disorder like compulsive overeating is left untouched. If a 90 pound girl were on this cover, we’d have a fit, but throw a 400 pound girl on there and all of a sudden it’s ‘mean” to point out her unattractivness and unhealthiness? I am laughing all all these people that pretend to not understand why she’s considered unattractive or deflect and try to pull the race card when she receives any crtiticiam. News flash: Gabby was chosen for the role of Precious because she’s fat and unattractive! It was typical typecasting. As has been pointed out by many before, Gabby’s only done one movie and is no starlet. Her face and body, however they would look otherwise, are both distorted by layers of fat. We shouldn’t see this woman as an icon any more than the emaciated models of the 90s. There are just too many great black actresses, models and singers, light and dark, thick and thin, that Elle could have chosen from.

  • Interested

    Well, I prefer to error on the side of caution. My concern is what young Black girls reading this who resemble Gabby will think about some of these harsh comments about her. I prefer to support her.

    Heavy White & Latina women do not face the same predjudices as heavy Black women. That much I do know.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Arobinson wrote: “…did someone just send me back to the 1950s when women judged their own value and accomplishments by what those around them do. Evidently Akai believes that medical knowledge can somehow be obtained via some form of osmosis as a result of having continual sexual intercourse with one doctor and then sharing the same genetic pool with another…”

    Know what? You’re absolutely right, Arobinson, and my bad. I’m not a doctor, but I’m not too dumb either; when close to people it’s par for the course and only natural to hear about their day, talk and learn things over the years.

    Since I was 3, many times my father would hoist me on his back and take me to the hospital with him to do rounds and check on his patients on Sundays after Mass. He is a surgeon and, in the last 10-15 years, he began to suggest delaying necessary but non-life threatening surgeries to his obese patients to give them a chance to drop some weight. Now…I shouldn’t have to point-by-point lay out the reasons why but, if you can’t figure them out, I’d suggest cracking a book, consulting a physician, taking some classes or whatever you need to do.

    And could people please quit with the “They don’t care about obese people’s health!” line???

    I don’t know if people get together at a meeting and reach a consensus on which over-used bullet points to retort with…but it’s tired and straight bullsh!t. The fact is…many obese people don’t work, so taxpayer my @ss. Some of them live off taxpayers, have government-funded medical cards, and collect disability checks (oh and want to be accommodated for free on airlines when taking up more than one seat). Many of them that do work often cost employers in either increased premiums (hogging health care resources) or missed work due to frequent various illnesses.

    Regardless of weight, and especially for people of color, my belief is all should strive to eat right (healthily), control their portion sizes, exercise, exercise, exercise, bypass all fast food joints, get off dat @ss, never smoke, limit alcohol intake and use one’s own personal power to be as proactive as possible to increase the chances of living a lengthened life of quality.

    Maybe these conversations wouldn’t go to places that appear to aggravate were it not for people trying to guilt and ‘bully’ others into lying and proclaiming an individual they find unattractive as attractive, calling a morbidly fat person pretty, and pushing for society to change it’s idea of beautiful from a healthy weight and pretty face to 400 lbs., back fat and a double chin (which will never happen, thank goodness)!

  • Emelyne

    Yes, I also thought it was strange that ARobinson failed to quote all of the very valid statistics which you proceeded to state in that last comment…

  • hehe


    I think it’s the fact that when she mentioned her father and husband are doctors added no validity to her argument. It’s like she mentioned it to brag or make herself some kind of expert on obesity. Not that I necessarily disagree with her argument.

  • Timothy Nathan

    I AGREE. They need a beat down for sending our sister out for print looking like this. Their efforts, or lack thereof, tells a message. While seeming diverse, as if they are down for the cause(changing the mirrored images of beauty), but really they are saying ‘you get what you asked for.’

    But, get this… the bottom left corner reads: “TOP 5 HAIR & MAKEUP STYLES EVER”

    Who the hell would buy this?
    So, once sales are down, they have proof as to why they dont put Black beauties on the gloss covers.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Yep, Emelyne. I so appreciate you seeing right through that and you know how it goes. If an individual can’t disprove the facts stated — they resort to trying to talk about and/or personally ‘attack the messenger’ (kiddie sh!t).

    Often *some* will project their own issues and insecurities then look for one thing to nit-pick and this fact (projecting) was a dead-giveaway. Note how neither of them had any complaints/commentary over Roschelle ‘bragging’ about being a nurse and my statement had “validity” as a direct to her comment that “obesity doesn’t equal unhealthy.”

    It is what it is, I see it for what it is and (out of extreme respect for the owner) I try to keep it moving, stick to the topic and issues raised, and learn from others.

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  • Emelyne

    @Interested: The fact that Gabby, at 350+ pounds made the cover of a fashion magazine when no Latina or white woman of that size ever has and probably never will shows that they in fact suffer more dicrimination, at least in the fashion industry. It’s also a job that Elle sees Gabby as pretty or fashionable but has never even placed a black, Latina, or white plus size model on it’s covers.In fact, obese white women probably suffer more discrimination, especially in their own communities, because in Latino culture a woman with kids is “allowed” to be any weight she chooses and in the black community, we defend the enormous women and call them role models. That ish does not fly for most white men and obese white women are openly discriminated by their own; I see it every single day. This isn’t even a race issue, its a matter of extremes. Gabby shouldn’t be on the cover any more than an obviously anorexic girl; they are both horrible role models. Period.

  • Aja

    Maybe I’m alone here, but I like this cover. The green is gorgeous on her. So shoot me.

  • Jet

    I’m so sick of seeing her being interviewed on the telly and everyone constantly saying, “OMG, Gabby, You are soo beautiful”! We all know darn well they are avoiding the 500 lb elephant in the room. These same people wouldn’t give her the time of day if they saw her on the street. Gabby, please get some help, you might be a beautiful person on the outside and have a great personlity, but on the inside you are dying. One doesn’t have to be a doctor to see that.

  • Janice Brown

    I have something to say on this matter. I don’t think the photo was lightened- coming from a black woman, i was watching this story just now, and i realized,i had to add my opinion. Maybe it wasn’t retouched! I have so many pics’ taken of …me where in some i look really dark and in others i look really light, if i posted these same pics- side,by side, Folks would swear there’s been some retouching done….I’m just saying! Don’t be quick to judge, if there’s no proof or admission of wrong doing… think about what i just posted.FYI~ My skin color appears to change, in a lot of my photos, my guess is lighting conditions,location- whether taken indoors, or outdoors- I appear lighter at times when my pics are taken outside, and at other times i appear darker when my pics’ are taken outside, so i am not saying for certain it wasn’t done! Just offering a different point of view!

  • Emelyne

    I agree with you; lighting makes a huge difference and the difference is more noticeable on a person of color. I’m black (with whatg some would call high yellow complexion) and when I tan (yes, we black people can get tan), I look anywhere from a medium to very dark skin tone. that also makes a difference. when I actually where sunscreen and have a picture taken during the day, it’s a world of difference from a tan me photographed in the evening.

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  • Sikovit

    @Emelyne and ObesityIsADisease: Who are either of you to determine whether or not a woman who is fat can grace the cover of a magazine? I’m sick and tired of overly-critical/judgmental people who’ve never had a weight problem spewing out their rants about what is and is not acceptable for the rest of us. Yes, obesity is a problem, but so is bias toward others who don’t fit into this society’s ever-changing idea of “acceptability.” People need to be accepted for who they are and for what they bring to the table. Gabourey IS a talented young woman regardless of her size and we all should support her successes. Elle magazine should have done a much better job with preparing her for her photo shoot. There’s no excuse for a bad hair weave done by someone who obviously doesn’t know what they’re doing. If Gabourey were skinny with a bad weave, the results would be the same…it’s still a poorly-done magazine cover.

  • Emelyne

    As I have stated before in previous posts, I am not against a woman who is heavy or fat. I also said that I’d have LOVED to see Monique, Jill Scott, or Raven Symone on this cover. All 3 have years and even decades on Gabby as far as acting and Raven and Jill also have singing carrers. Are any of them thin? No. But the are not morbidly obese either. I may not have ever struggled with my weight, but I have friends who have and instead of just throwing up their hands and gorging themselves, they ate healthily and excersied. Gabby obviously suffers from compulsive overeating, but everyone’s dodging that to be PC. I personally struggle to keep weight on and so I go out of my way to strength train and build muscle and eat more so that I don’t look skeletal. Also, I do not find Gabby one bit pretty physically and the majority of Americans would agree, so regardless of anyone’s angle, I will not be bullied into saying that an unattractive, morbidly obese girl with a one-hit wonder acting “career” is a good role model for American teens (many of whom are overweight themselves) or deserving of a fashion cover over more fashionable and more deserving black actresses and singers.

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  • Lynwellyn


    This is going to be offensive, but you are ignorant. Willfully obese? Seriously? But all that aside, Why are you making an issue of equating race with obesity? They actually are really similar. Race, as a concept, did not exist prior to the 1900′s; similarly, obesity, as a concept, did not exist prior to the 1900′s. These are concepts introduced through prejudiced, a view you seem to understand pretty well. Difference is what guides the devaluation of black beauty and of those who are conceived as overweight.

    As for the weight issue and other races, White “overweight” and healthy weight models have been trying to break back into the fashion industry for years. We have not always had the same standards of beauty. Standards of beauty change and I think that is all that is being said. The only thing that you did with your comment Evelyn is reveal your ignorance and prejudice.

    Don’t hate, congratulate.

  • Emelyne

    @Lynwellyn: First off, hon, my name is Emelyne. Please read the name of the person you are attacking. Secondly, race as a concept may be relatively new but people of all the major races (black, caucasian, asian) have existed for thousands of years. The reason why obesity as a concept seems so new is because it IS new. There were virtually no obese people if any before the 1900′s. Do some research. the reason for this was the fact that all the different societies had one thing in common: work. people worked to keep their homes nice and labored to earn a living and provide for their children. Gluttony was also not considered an admirable attribute. We live in a society that has made it concievable to literally not even move and still earn a living and not even cook but still eat. Yes, Gabby is willfully obess. Read a biology book; color is not something one controls but even if a person has a predisposition for weight gain and might be fat, there is no excuse besides laziness and gluttony on that individual’s behalf to be obess. There is a big (pun intended) difference. From your skewed logic, one could also make an argument that we could also equate unintelligence, violence, and a host of other perfectly controllable things with race.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Lynwellyn wrote: “…you are ignorant. …Race, as a concept, did not exist prior to the 1900′s; similarly, obesity, as a concept, did not exist prior to the 1900′s.”

    It’s always funny when someone calls another “ignorant” then proceeds to spew ignorance.

    Outside of the “mongoloid,” “negroid,” and “caucasoid” boxes established in the 1800′s, you’re off by a couple of centuries as race (as a social construct) did exist prior to the 1900′s. It began in the 1600′s with the Transatlantic slave trade’s furthering of race-based slavery.

    “Race” emerged as a social classification that reflected this greatly expanded sense of human separateness and differences. Theodore Allen (1997) argues that the “invention” of the white race took place after an early, but unsuccessful, colonial revolt of servants and poor freedmen known as Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. Colonial leaders subsequently decided it would be useful to establish a division among the masses of poor to prevent their further collaboration against the governmental authorities. As African servants were vulnerable to policies that kept them in servitude indefinitely, and European servants had the protection of English law, colonial leaders developed a policy backed by new laws that separated African servants and freedmen from those of European background. Over the next half century, they passed numerous laws that provided resources and benefits to poor, white freedmen and other laws that restricted the rights of “Africans,” “mulattoes,” and “Indians.”

    Different words have been used to describe obesity, but you’re also dead wrong if you think the concept “did not exist prior to the 1900′s” as the ancient Chinese and Egyptians considered it a disease, Aztecs considered it a curse from the gods etc., and Emelyne is right. It’s an epidemic now and, in addition to the processed and fast foods of today that are laden with all kinds of unhealthy and fat-producing substances — you can’t compare today with the past without acknowledging the differences. There was a time that if people wanted to eat, they had to get out and work the land (exercise) to grow the food (healthier) in addition to other physical activities in and around the home. In other times kids used to go outside to play ball, ride bicycles and climb trees or – at least – had an hour of PE at school (which didn’t always have vending machines full of soda and junk), and if people weren’t walking to school, work, church or a friend’s home overall they were doing many other physical activities and getting way more exercise.

  • Jackie

    Whether they had a black fashion editor or a black beauty editor, I think they should hired a black hairstylist or someone with experience styling hair for women of color. I’ve been to a white salon before and they had absolutely no idea what to do with my hair. So it would have helped for them to hire a black hairstylist and even better to find out what Gabby’s beauty/styling needs would be before the photoshoot. We don’t wear our hair the same way and our skin needs different care as well. What looks hot on our fairer sister doesn’t always pull off on us.

  • Bumper

    I am sorry but this girl is obese and unattractive – I can’t think of one black woman who would want to look like her. I think most black young girls have enough self esteem not to look to her as a role model. I believe Elle portrayed her that way on purpose and they deserve all the criticism levelled at them, but what about Gabby herself? Is she blind? I know when I don’t look right in a photo and she should have had the sense to refuse permission for those awful pictures to be published. I feel she did herself a great dis-service.

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