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Gabourey Sidibe‘s path to fame and journey of self discovery were not easy tasks, according to the Precious actress. In an emotional speech delivered last week in New York, Sidibe addressed questions regarding her confidence and threw a jab at herself for not being especially kind to others in the past.

Sidibe was at the Gloria Awards and Gala in New York last Thursday, celebrating the life of feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Sidibe’s time at the podium opened with the actress immediately addressing the matter of reporters asking how she can be so confident. Framing her speech around the theme of self-love, Sidibe goes in even deeper.

From Vulture, who transcribed the speech:

“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?'”

“’Gabourey, how are you so confident?'” It’s not easy. It’s hard to get dressed up for award shows and red carpets when I know I will be made fun of because of my weight. There’s always a big chance if I wear purple, I will be compared to Barney. If I wear white, a frozen turkey. And if I wear red, that pitcher of Kool-Aid that says, “Oh, yeah!” Twitter will blow up with nasty comments about how the recent earthquake was caused by me running to a hot dog cart or something.”

Sidibe goes on to say that part of her unwavering self-confidence came by way of her aunt, who was a friend of Steinem. She admits that while children in school growing up in New York were cruel to her, she too wasn’t kind as well and constantly referred to herself as an assh-le. Sidibe broke down a few times during her speech, but it served as a powerful testimony to her resilience.

Photo: FayesVision/WENN