When Gabourey Sidibe graced the red carpet at the 82nd Academy Awards in a stunning royal blue gown, the cameras couldn’t focus on anyone else. However, that was not the only reason she became the main focus of the March 2010 event.

Before she graced the red carpet, people were whispering about the 26-year-old who had stolen the screen in the 2009 movie Precious. She played a young girl in a poor community who is raped by her father, resulting in two pregnancies.

The harrowing storyline and the fact that she’d never acted before didn’t deter Sidibe from delivering a breakthrough performance.

So it was no surprise when the New York native was nominated for the Best Actress Award at the Oscars that year, alongside Hollywood veterans like Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and Carey Mulligan.

 

While she may not have won the highly-coveted gong (Sandra Bullock did for her performance in The Blind Side), Sidibe did become solidified as a star that night.

However, the majority of the attention that Sidibe received was not for her standout debut performance, but for her weight.

 

The young actress became a victim of fat shaming online as cruel comments began to flood in against the talented star. Sidibe recalled a particularly painful story in which Joan Cusack told her that she should “quit” the business because “it’s so image-conscious.”

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