Mind Your Own Body (with Gabourey Sidibe) – Episode 5 of Professional Troublemaker


This week on Professional Troublemaker, I’m talking to the brilliant, hilarious, take-no-shit-from-anyone actress and author Gabourey Sidibe.

Download Episode 5 Transcript

We all know Gabby from her acting debut as the title character in Lee Daniels’ Academy Award-nominated film, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” After winning and being nominated for all the awards for that performance, Gabby has gone on to create an amazing career as an actress and director in film and television.

Gabourey Sidibe and Luvvie Ajayi Jones

During our conversation, Gabby talks about how she went from being a shy and angry child to becoming an influential actress. She gets into the details of how she booked her debut role as Precious, and shares some details she doesn’t usually talk about (like how her mom was offered a role in the movie a few years earlier and turned it down). We talk about the brutal limelight of fame and how she combatted it with the powerful strength of vulnerability.

I don't need your advice. You can absolutely mind your own body. - Gabourey Sidibe


Gabby talks a bit about her childhood and some of the huge challenges she faced in a split culture home and how she overcame those challenges to stand on her own. That started with realizing she couldn’t satisfy everyone and learning to value her own comfort and mental health first.

Therapy is a place where my mind rests. We all deserve this bit of rest.

My favorite moment from this episode was letting Gabby know that I was in the audience and shared a video of a speech she gave that went viral. It was dope seeing how surprised she was, and then she turned around and surprised me when I learned what happened as a result of that clip going viral.


This Professional Troublemaker conversation with Gabby was so inspiring. I love talking to strong women who stick to their boundaries and insist that others to do the same. This episode was such a good reminder that saying “no” and valuing my own comfort above the comfort of others can be life-changing.

You can follow Gabby on Instagram at @gabby3shabby and check out her book. You can see her most recent work on-screen starring with Janelle Monae in Antebellum.

Key Points:

  • Gabourey’s original dream of becoming a psychologist
  • What childhood Gabourey looked like battling family difficulties and school
  • About the part her mom gave up that would one day make Gabourey’s name
  • The limelight and how she felt her own culture and people pulling her down
  • How she felt unable to accept anything but criticism and felt unable to feel disappointment
  • The courageous speech that gave her power through vulnerability and Luvvie’s surprise connection to that speech
  • Getting engaged and taking down beauty stereotypes in the face of opposition
  • How she learned that she couldn’t satisfy everyone
  • Simple and accessible self-care
  • A troublemaker knows when to say “no”

Shareable Moments:

  • “The easiest way to be a troublemaker is say, “Oh, no thank you.” Then I become a diva because I didn’t want to do the thing that you wanted me to do. I think it’s so easy to be a troublemaker if you value your own comfort above a stranger’s.”
  • “It’s stressful to be a Black woman no matter what you do. If you’re good at what you do there’s somebody to tell you to humble yourself. There’s someone to tell you that you need to take that down a notch.”
  • “All of the compliments I didn’t feel like I was allowed to take and so I didn’t. But if I’m not believing compliments, I’ve got to believe something so it was the criticisms that I believed. Because the criticisms were coming from faces that looked like mine”
  • “You only know who I am because I’m dope. And you also don’t even all the way know me. If you spent five minutes with me, you too would see I’m dope”
  • “I don’t need your advice. You can absolutely mind your own body. You can mind your own body if you like me big. If you like me at 700 pounds or 70, I don’t give a shit. Mind your own body.”
  • “Therapy is a place where my mind rests. We all deserve this bit of rest. We all deserve it.”
  • “I needed to learn that being vulnerable is not scary. It’s not like a weapon that I’m giving you to stab me with. It doesn’t have to be that. Going viral really taught me the power in my vulnerability and the power and freedom in being honest.”

Links and Resources:

Download Episode 5 Transcript

Links from the Episode:

You can listen to episodes of Professional Troublemaker on:

Make sure you’re subscribed and that you rate and review! Share on social media using the hashtag #ProfessionalTroublemaker. Also, follow the podcast on Instagram! Email podcast@aweluv.com with feedback or questions!

Previous post

Normalize Therapy - Episode 4 of Professional Troublemaker

Next post

It's Fear-Fighter February So I Have a Challenge For You!