Written by | Ray Cornelius

Check out these A-MAZ-ING new images of Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe for REFINERY29. The “Empire” star is giving us all types of dramatic poses in a new fashion spread featuring looks by Christian Siriano and more. The New York City native also talks about her journey so far as full-figured African-American woman in Hollywood and why Black girls truly rock!

“I think being a Black woman today is such a huge joy,” she gushes. “I’m so proud of myself and I have so many beautiful Black women friends who I’m so proud of and who are so joyous.”

Sidibe has just directed her first independent film, “The Tale of Four” and was inspired by Nina Simone‘s iconic tune, “Four Women.” She also opens up about rewriting her history after being told by her mother that she never wanted a daughter because girls have it hard.

“I know this sounds harsh and fucked up, but what it set up for me as a child was that being a Black woman was not going to be easy. That’s what my mom told me. She said she never wanted to have a daughter because girls have a really hard life. Those were the first lessons I got about being a Black woman. Today, as an adult, I would really like to erase that narrative from my life.”

Click here to read the entire interview and see more great images of Gabby!

Photo Credits: REFINERY29