Gabourey Sidibe proved that Drizzy isn’t the only one who likes his women BBW when her character “Becky” got some good loving on last Wednesday’s episode of Empire.
But some fans weren’t as hot as much as they were bothered by the scene that the actress described as “that fine ass Becky on a rooftop in the afterglow of doin’ it all romantic-like with some mostly naked dude,” in a blog she wrote for Entertainment Weekly. The internet instantly made a mockery out of Becky’s love-making with memes that featured captions like:
“Damn, some of you people can’t even get a text back.”
“When the rent is due.”
All of the jokes implied that “Becky” was less deserving of sexual satisfaction because she wasn’t a size six or some Brazilian bombshell emerging from the pool in a Trey Songz video. Despite the criticism, the actress told Entertainment Weekly that she felt sexy doing the scene, whether fans were turned on or not:
“I, a plus-sized, dark-skinned woman, had a love scene on primetime television. I had the most fun ever filming that scene even though I was nervous. But I felt sexy and beautiful and I felt like I was doing a good job. I’m very proud of the work we all did to make that scene a great opening for the episode.”
She also added in an interview with People, that the scene was ground-breaking for primetime television:
"After we were shooting it, the camera guy came over, and he said, 'I've never shot a scene like this. And I've never seen a scene like this. I was really happy to be part of something that's never been seen on primetime television before. And you don't notice it because you don't have to notice it, but there's never been someone of my skin color, my size, with somebody else of the same skin color in a love scene on primetime television."
"It's never happened," she added, laughing again. "Just go through the books, it's never happened. And I'm not sure why it hasn't happened, but I hope there's more to come."
That’s right, Gabby. Shut the haters down. Despite popular belief, a lot of people have sex every single day and we all don’t look fresh from a Skin-e-max set every single damn time. At the end of the day, what really makes the best sex scene is chemistry and confidence. Sidibe clearly brought both to the screen flawlessly, and thinks you all have too much time on your hands to be finding the flaws in love:
“I keep hearing that people are “hating” on it. I’m not sure how anyone could hate on love, but that’s okay. You may have your memes. Honestly, I’m at work too busy to check Twitter anyway. #Booked. Hope you enjoy next week’s show!”
OK??? Gabby makes a great point.
How many of us have been so busy being self-conscious during our own sexual encounters that we forget to actually enjoy ourselves?
We’re too busy making sure our track isn’t showing, taking our body shapers off in the bathroom or getting undressed under the covers to actually allow ourselves to feel good. Shoot, I’ve even found myself reaching for a runaway satin bonnet before my husband stops to remind me that he’s not worried about my new growth as much as he’s worried about being intimate with me in that moment. I can’t help but wonder if the hate that some harbor for Gabby’s appearance isn’t just a projection of their own insecurities. Co-star Jussie Smollett recently shared his thoughts on the scene and says the one of the sexiest things about Gabby is that she “owns it”:
“She owns herself and she’s sexy and fearless and it was dope. I thought it was beautiful to see her on screen in that way. “
As for the haters, Mr. Smollett reminds us that they always have the option to look away if they’re offended:
“Well they should close their eyes and shut off the TV then. I wanted to see it and millions of other people wanted to see it.”
Unfortunately with the same images being presented to us repeatedly with the narrow idea of what sex is supposed to look like, many of us forgot that what it actually looks like: Elderly people have sex.
Plus-sized people have sex. Men who are two weeks overdue for a shape-up have sex. Women have sex in stocking caps with their wigs lying next to them. And we need to get over this myth that we need Beyoncé’s body, Nicki Minaj’s attitude topped with a Serena Williams’ split to look sexy doing so.
Besides, who decided that you shouldn’t be having sex on the big screen if you’re over 110 lbs.? Creators of the show Mike and Molly starring Melissa McCarthy faced similar criticism when the show premiered in 2010. Blogger Maura Kelly posted an article called "Should Fatties Get a Room (Even on TV)?" in which she slammed the show’s title couple saying:
“I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other...because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room…”
You’ve got to be kidding me. Kelly attempted to spin the article into a statement against the promotion and celebration of obesity, but fans were not having it and the publication quickly posted an apology. Because it’s OK if we have to see Kerry Washington get it popping with the President every week, but when someone who doesn’t fit the description of a Sports Illustrated model gets some action, we suddenly become so concerned about living healthy and tackling America’s obesity problem?
Don’t get me wrong, I get that sex is about attraction as much as anything else, and Gabby may not be everyone’s dream girl, but one man’s Precious is another man’s Pam Grier and sometimes I think we forget that although Sidibe is playing a part, there’s a real person behind the character. The fact is whether you’re in your bedroom or basking in afterglow with some naked dude on a rooftop, if you feel sexy and beautiful, that’s no one’s business but your own, and we need to stop allowing others to define what sexy is and limiting pleasure only to those that fit the media’s narrow definition desirable. Besides if you’re leaving your bed with your wig straight and perfectly winged eyeliner, someone isn't doing it right.
Maybe we need more scenes like these to remind us that sex doesn’t have to be all six-packs and perfectly placed beads of sweat to be enjoyable.
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