And “Does anyone ask Rihanna this question as much as they ask me!?!? She does have a point. 30 year-old Gabby recently hosted the Gloria Awards and Gala. Gloria as in Gloria Steinem, you know the face of the feminism movement (Google her!). Anyway, Gabby delivered a fantastic speech about her confidence and where it comes from. She said this about the question that no one asks Rihanna
One of the first things people usually ask me is, “Gabourey, how are you so confident?” I hate that. I always wonder if that’s the first thing they ask Rihanna when they meet her. “RiRi! How are you so confident?” Nope. No. No. But me? They ask me with that same incredulous disbelief every single time. “You seem so confident! How is that?”
She began to explain her confidence by telling this hilarious story about a Christmas party they had in elementary school. Everyone was supposed to bring something and while most kids would just buy something and bring it in, Gabby wanted to be different so she made cookies for the first time. She says they were horrible but she walked in that classroom full of confidence, proud that she made extra effort…
I walk around the class, proudly offering cookies to everyone. No one took a cookie. No one. No one except Nicholas, who was the first person I offered one to. But after a few of our other classmates set him straight, he actually caught up with me as I walked around the class, and gave the cookie back. I walked around the class trying to hand out cookies to my class, until I ended up back at my desk with the same amount of cookies that I started with. I sat at my desk alone, eating those gross gingerbread cookies that took hours to make, all by myself. I put chocolate chips in them, that’s why they were gross. I wasn’t surprised. I just forgot for a moment that my entire class hated me. I had zero friends from the fourth grade to the sixth grade. Who the hell was I baking cookies for? I really got so excited to bake that I had forgotten that everyone hated my guts. 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 how big of an a**hole she was as a child…
“Yep. I was a bossy, bossy asshole. See, remember when I said that I thought I was more clever than everyone else? Well, I did! And I told them that — every single day! Those kids couldn’t get a word in edgewise, without me cutting them off to remind them that I was smarter, funnier, and all around wittier than them. I was always sarcastic — I called it my birth defect. And let’s face it, kids don’t get sarcasm. They don’t appreciate it. They never knew what I was talking about. And when they would say, “Wait… huh?” I would say, “My God, Alicia, read a book!” I know. I spoke differently than them, I just did. I sounded more like a Valley Girl than a Brooklyn girl. My classmates always asked me if I was adopted by white people. I’d say, “No. Both my parents went to college.” <lol
She continued explaining that most of her classmates were born to much younger parents while her parents were 30 when they had her.
But her point in telling this story was..
“The point is, 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. I think the reason I thought so highly of myself all the time was because no one else ever did. I figured out I was smart because my mother would yell at my older brother. She’d say, “Your little sister is going to pass you in school. You’re going to get left behind and she’s going to graduate before you.” But she never said to me, “You are smart.” What she did say was, “You are too fat.”
Other things I learned about Gabourey from this speech:
1. She comes from West African money. Her father was born in Senegal. His father was the mayor of the capital city, Dakar.
2. Her mom went from being a teacher to singing in the subway and the subway gig paid way more.
Amazing speech! To read it in full go HERE