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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Everybody’s got something.

Maybe it’s something you were born with, maybe something that happened to you, maybe something you did to yourself through bad habits or neglect. But everybody’s got something, some physical or emotional blemish measuring the distance from you to perfection.

Maybe you’re a short guy or a gawky woman. Maybe you’re ugly. Maybe you’ve got cellulite, depression, anorexia, alcoholism, gingivitis, psoriasis or a big nose. Maybe you’re fat.

Gabourey Sidibe is fat. Morbidly obese, to be exact.

One doubts this comes as news to the 30-year-old actress, best known for her starring role in 2009’s Precious. Everybody’s got something. More to the point, everybody is dealing with something. That’s what makes us human.

But although Sidibe surely knows this, once in a while someone — who apparently struggles with nothing — will take it upon themselves to remind her of her weight, usually in the coarsest and cruelest manner they can.

In 2009, for instance, some individual online dubbed her a “gorilla.” Sidibe was photographed last week at the Golden Globes and sure enough, here they came again: jibes via Twitter to tell her, in case she has forgotten, that she is fat. One called her “the GLOBE.” Another said she missed the “hour-glass look” by 10 hours. And et cetera.

To which Sidibe shot back that she cried about those comments “on that private jet on my way to my dream job.” Obviously, the lady doesn’t need me to defend her. So this is not a defense, but simply a question: How did this kind of cruelty — meaning not the occasional fat joke on Letterman, but this sort of truly sadistic and personal meanness — become acceptable? Indeed, commonplace?