My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humor, Coming of Age, Body Image, Mental Health, Celebrity
Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face takes its place and fills a void on the shelf of writers from Mindy Kaling to David Sedaris to Lena Dunham.
Gabourey Sidibe is the kind of celebrity who doesn’t care about being a celebrity. Of course, she appreciates the opportunities and having followers who encourage her (when they’re not fat-shaming her and criticizing her wigs), but she wasn’t born famous and she knows what it’s like to be poor, judged, depressed, uncomfortable in her own skin, and not knowing what to do with her life.
I found her coming of age story thoroughly engrossing. I was fascinated by her dysfunctional family and her former job which consisted of dirty talking people over the phone (though sometimes those people only wanted to talk, period). She’s not only entertaining, but serious and smart, too.
I constantly promote education, because it IS the best way to break the cycle of poverty, so her dropping out of college twice didn’t bode well with me, but Gabourey saw an opportunity (playing Precious in the movie of the same name) and she took it. Smart woman that she is, she waited until she knew she got the part to drop off. I’m glad she wrote this book and shared so much with us.
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