Style and Savings Reads: This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe
This may not be the typical type of book you think of for a book discussion, as it’s been marketed as a humorous celebrity memoir, but keep in mind – there’s something to learn from everyone’s story!
The following is not a book review or synopsis, just a list of book discussion questions inspired by what I read:
1. Growing up, Gabby used to be teased, but look how successful and accomplished she is now! What is something that you’ve achieved that would surprise your teenage self?
2. Should Alice (Gabby’s mom) have known that her green card marriage would fail?
3. Tola (Gabby’s dad’s new wife) is a psychic, do you believe in psychics and their ability to know things about others and predict their future?
4. Gabby went to therapy sessions when she was suffering from depression. How do you handle life’s obstacles?
5. Gabby describes her love/hate relationship with Twitter: she often checks it in the morning and posts funny updates on her account but says “it’s vain to think people want to know everything you’re thinking all the time, Twitter is for saying dumb stuff as soon as it pops in your head”. What do you love or hate about social media?
6. Gabourey Sidibe is a Senegalese name, many have struggled to say correctly. “Americans are lazy, kind and condescending….they only want to say names they can pronounce.” If you could change your name would you? If so, what would your name be?
7. Gabby was prescribed an appetite suppressant, but it didn’t work because she ate in response to her feelings, not only when she was hungry. What’s your favorite comfort food or celebratory dinner & drink?
8. For a celebrity, Gabby seems surprisingly introverted. She doesn’t like talking to strangers and she says she’d prefer not to be famous, just rich. Which would you choose – either, both, or neither & why?
9. On the day of her audition for Precious, Gabby was literally at a crossroads as she walked out of her front door – she could cross the street one direction to school or cross the street the other way towards the audition. A film crew had blocked off some of the sidewalk outside of her building and directed her where to cross the street, which happened to be in the direction of the audition. Do you believe this was coincidence or fate?
10. Gabby had the opportunity to visit the White House and was recognized and greeted warmly by the Obamas. What public figure or celebrity do you dream of meeting?
I enjoyed reading this memoir. It was funny, but also had sad and serious moments — such is life! I’m glad Gabourey was brave enough to share her ups and downs. In a world where many women feel pressure to appear perfect, it’s refreshing to see someone share darker times in her past and how she currently faces her challenges.