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“Precious” Actress Discusses Hollywood Beauty Bias

Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe discovers that physical appearance matters more than ability when it comes to landing movie roles


September 25, 2020

Two actresses were nominated for an Oscar in 2010. Neither won. 

Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for the Best Actress award for her debut role in “Precious.” Getting nominated for the top acting award for a debut role is a rare feat only ever accomplished by fewer than two dozen people each year. 

Anna Kendrick, meanwhile, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Up in the Air.” Although still early in her career, Kendrick had other acting credits under her belt. 

One of these actresses – Kendrick – has gone on to become a sought-after A-lister known for the Pitch Perfect series and the animated Trolls movies, while Sidibe says that Hollywood has not given her the same opportunities. 

There’s an obvious difference between the actresses and their level of physical appearance, demonstrating what everyone already knows: Hollywood is shallow. Physical attractiveness almost always matters more than acting talent.

Quoting Casablanca: “I am shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on here.”

RELATED: The Oscars institute racial, gender, sexual orientation quotas for “Best Picture” award

Sidibe spoke with entertainment outlet Collider about her career trajectory: “The Hollywood seas didn’t part for me in the same way that it might have for maybe Anna Kendrick who was nominated for the first time that year as well, who then went on to star in films and television and the whole thing. The seas did not part that same way for me and I assume that there are a few factors that made that so,” Sidibe said. 

Despite challenges landing major movies, the actress is still working. She’s had recurring roles on TV shows American Horror Story and Empire and is in the new horror film “Antebellum.” Sidibe maintains a positive attitude: “I have agency. I am comfortable with who I am. I know my voice. I know what I want to say to the world. I know what I want to give to the world and what I want to give to myself. I know my artistry. And so, you know, starring in things or being on the covers of magazines, all of these things that say that I’ve ‘made it,’ everything that solidifies my position on the A-list, whatever that means, doesn’t actually mean anything to my self-worth and my sense of artistry.”

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