Genre: adult, biography
Trigger Warnings: eating disorders (specifically bulimia), child abuse, racism, sex
Gabby, if you didn’t know, was the star in Precious and she was also a member of the cast in American Horror Story. Although I loved her in both of these, I didn’t know the actress well enough to know her name, and so I went into this not knowing who she was. I just wanted to know more about being a black, fat woman in the media industry and how she became to be the person that she is now. It was a lovely surprise!
This biography talks about really dark things, with humour, throughout basically every chapter. She talks about her childhood with her abusive dad and her African roots, how she used to be a Muslim, the depression she developed in her school years and her eating disorder, the jobs she used to work in, how she became to be the star in Precious and how she is the confident woman she is today.
The way it’s set up is a bit scattered, so the timeline sort of jumps from the past to the present quite a lot. It is in some sort of chronological order but the way it’s done is just really…strange. Also, because the topics are quite heavy, both of these put together make it a difficult thing to get through.
There are some problematic aspects that don’t really wash well with me, though. For example, she calls disabled people “differently abled” multiple times. Disabled people are very vocal about wanting to be called disabled and although some of us are okay with differently abled, a vast majority of us prefer disabled. She also jokes later that she “handicapped” her family by providing for them when she earned more money.
She also vocalizes her support of Lena Dunham, and how she admires her and her fashion style. She also calls Lena “a fucking BOSS!” when Lena sexually abused her sister and she’s also a white feminist, so…very problematic, and should absolutely not be supported.
At another point in the book, she uses the slur used against Roma people – I hope I spelt that right! The slur was gyp*y. She phrased it like a joke and said she wanted to post it on Twitter, but people wouldn’t understand her sense of humour. Hmph.
For the problematic content and the weird order of the book, I took off a star and gave it four out of five stars. I thought it was very honest, raw and emotional. I also really liked the areas where she talked about her weight, because I could really relate to that being fat too.
Until next time,