Jason Merritt/Getty Images
"Gabourey, how are you so confident?"
That's the question Gabourey Sidibe is often asked, and she eloquently answered last night at the Ms. Foundation for Women's Gloria Awards and Gala, which also served as an 80th birthday party for feminist extraordinaire Gloria Steinem.
"I'm an a—hole! Okay?" Sidibe playfully declared more than once during her heartfelt outpouring after wondering aloud if Rihanna is ever subject to the same inquiry. "It's my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame..."
"I show up because I'm an a—hole, and I want to have a good time."
The American Horror Story star revealed that she has never let what other people think interfere with her enjoyment of life, recalling a fifth-grade holiday party in which she baked cookies for her entire class, but wound up eating them happily alone while dancing on her desk because the other kids didn't like her.
"Why didn't they like me? I was fat, yes. I had darker skin and weird hair, yes. But the truth is; this isn't a story about bullying, or color, or weight. They hated me because... I was an a—hole!"
She continued to explain why she was persona non grata from the fourth to the sixth grade: "I was a snob. I thought I was better than the kids in my class, and I let them know it. That's why they didn't like me."
But she cites those former classmates and her parents who loved her, but never outright told her she was smart or beautiful, as the reasons she's confident and successful today.
"I'm grateful to them, and to my fifth-grade class, because if they hadn't made me cry, I wouldn't be able to cry on cue now [Dabs tears]."
The 30-year-old actress pressed on, "If I hadn't been told I was garbage, I wouldn't have learned how to show people I'm talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn't have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn't told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn't tried to break me down, I wouldn't know that I'm unbreakable," she said, still dabbing at tears.
"So when you ask me how I'm so confident, I know what you're really asking me: How could someone like me be confident?"
"Go ask Rihanna, a—hole," she hilariously concluded as she wrapped up her girl power pep talk.