Two weeks ago, my girl Gabourey Sidibe lit up Empire when she threw her very plus sized leg over new (and fine) boo #JPoppa in the midst of a roof top love scene. It was sexy and steamy and if those two would’ve had sex for real, I’m certain I would have learned a few new tricks because of their chemistry, magic and love for each other.
Like they always do (about everything), the social media-lites lost it once they realized that *gasp* fat Black women not only enjoy having sex, but they do it often, too. And if that weren’t enough, I laughed as I collected the tears of skinny bad bitches who realized that as fine as they are, big girls are still winning by leaps and bounds and unapologetically bagging men they want. Would it be blasphemy to know that those same fine men actually want those fat Black women, too?
The Rickey Smiley Morning Show has a bad habit of letting comedian Special K get away with bullying Gabby about her appearance daily. Special K basically makes a living off relentless “jokes” about Gabby’s size, shape, color and an obsessive love for greasy food that only he believes her to have. But like her character on Empire, Becky, her level of being unbothered about such jokes is unmatched and never stops her check! This kind of confidence, exuding both from Gabby and Becky, have helped me love me a bit more over the past two weeks…since that infamous sex scene.
When J Poppa propped Becky’s leg up as if it were a fresh piece of chicken from Pop Eye’s, moments before breaking her back in, I momentarily sat bug-eyed and finally squealed. Not because it was raunchy — the scene was actually fun and tasteful. My excitement came about because just as millions of people were reminded that we’re worthy of love and good sex, so was I. You see, I blogged about my being overweight last year; how it’d bridled my confidence and how I preferred burning pots instead of those ever-growing calories needed to get back to my high school weight. I talked about how I one day looked in a full length mirror and confidently said, “I’m fine as hell!” and dared someone to say otherwise. Those moments feel good, but I’d be lying if I said that they’re constant and plenty.
The truth is: I’m more interested in brunch than bathing suits, so when it comes to having sex I often feel…stuck, both mentally and physically. Will he find me attractive? Do I weigh too much? Bish, can I keep up? Shoot, can he keep up? Light on or light off? Why am I really trippin’? I drive myself crazy wondering all these things and here goes “fine ass Becky” getting bussed open and banged on a lavish rooftop while purring at the moon by a Hey Bae Collection worthy man.
J Poppa was happy to break Becky’s back in. The more excited she became for him, the more he wanted to pleasure her. (And you can tell he’s the type to spoon and cook breakfast the next morning.) How can that highly televised and often unseen Hollywood moment not inspire me to love me a little bit more? How can I not care just a bit less about the hoopla surrounding what sex should and shouldn’t be? How can I keep my needs and wants separate just because there’s a little more of me to love?
A few days after her now notorious love scene, Gabourey took to EW’s blog to share her thoughts on what that moment was for her:
Also, yes. 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. 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!
As weird as it was, I did enjoy the next week’s show, but not nearly as much as Becky’s winning episode. While it took a couple of weeks for me to realize how impactful those 3 minutes on-screen were for me (hence the lack of timeliness of this post), I’m surely glad for it and hope other plus size Black women are too. While some found it repulsive, I, and many others, found it freeing and empowering, just the elements that any woman needs to truly love herself. My body is a work in progress and not nearly as dainty as it once was, but damn it, I’m gonna continue to love the hell out of it, J Poppa look-alike or not.
Ariel C. Williams is the author of The Girl Talk Chronicles and Editor-in-Chief of Slay Culture. She’s on Twitter as @ArielSaysNow.