It's been exactly one year since Empire star Gabourey Sidibe underwent laparoscopic bariatric surgery to essentially cut her stomach in half. Sidibe documents her weight loss journey in her new book, This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare.

Many former patients who had the weight loss procedure remain tight-lipped about their sudden weight loss. Sidibe is equally as guarded about her new body.

"I’m bored with it. I wrote about it because I don’t want to talk about it anymore," she told the NY Times.

18 publishers vied for the rights to publish Sidibe's memoirs. Her agent wisely held an auction because Sidibe could only meet with 10 publishers.

The auction netted Sidibe a $2.5 million bid from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for her book rights. “I was ready to sell the book for $70,000,” Ms. Sidibe said. "It was much more than I expected. I was very surprised."

In the lengthy Times article published on May 1, Sidibe discussed her morbidly obese childhood, and how she learned to distract her bullies by exuding supreme confidence and a little sarcasm.

Sidibe recounted a speech she gave at Gloria Steinem's 80th birthday party in 2014. The speech evolved from a childhood memory about baking cookies for a fourth-grade party and how she was shunned by her classmates.

She said she put her sarcastic wit and confidence to the test. She took herself by the hand and became the life of the party.

"I was like, ‘This is also my party, and I’m going to have a good time,'" she said. "I was really sarcastic and children don't understand sarcasm."

"People are always asking me why or how I'm so confident," Sidibe said. "But what they really mean is why are you so confident. They are not asking Rihanna. They are asking me, because they don’t think I should be. That’s what the cookie story was about, and that’s what started the book."

Photos by Getty Images, Backgrid/AKM-GSI

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    Glad she decided that she wanted to get healthy on her own. She was confident and talented and I hope this will weight loss will keep her around a lot longer! She always defied the odds but that weight can really catch up to you. Congrats to her for the money too! Hopefully she continues to be an inspiration.

  • Junkanoo

    Good luck with that one in image saturated America let alone Hollywood were she works as a actress, whatever, next

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    PS Gabby I like the dress !!!

  • dontgetblocked

    She wrote a book and sold it for 2.5 million dollars because she didn't want to talk about the issue anymore. Usually people write about things they want to share and discuss. I think she wants to stop talking about it because her weight loss has stalled. The surgery doesn't work if you don't change your diet. It's been a year and she should have lost more weight. She knows the world is watching and she's still eating poorly. I watch 600 Pound Life. It's a struggle and she put herself in the spotlight too soon.

  • KcoolMuziq

    Gabby's confidence is what is remaining her to CONTINUOUSLY work in a very fickled entertainment industry. She is working more than the beautiful Halle Berry & Meagon Goode. Next she'll get a Stedman and will be hated & envied by EVERY black woman who will ask HOW like Oprah use to be when she was obesed.

  • T Kenny

    i dont care enough to buy or even read the book but good luck to her and her journey into better health

  • Anunnaki

    Keep ya head up babygirl u got one life. So live it....

  • Malcom Flex

    She's phony. I never believed one word that she's confident I see the pain behind her squinty eyes. She's used in the industry as the obese dark skin mammy archetype and the sassy side kick.

  • Tammie Reed

    I know about 5 people that had the weight loss surgery, you are right some weight gets stalled. I see them still eating poorly and not working out. They eat especially when they are bored or something is bothering them.

    A close relative of mine was over 350lbs and she has gained a lot of her weight back. Not as big as before but she is up there again. It lasted for about 10yrs. Its a mental thing for sure and she is FOREVER sticking something in her mouth! Its a habit for sure.

  • leapyearpisces

    Good for her, but these obese women NEED to stop encouraging obesity with their faux self love, and when the faux self love doesn't quiet down the insecurity they run to the first knife blazing, and then use health problems as the reason as why. Obvious once your BMI gets to a certain point healthat issues will ensue, but that is not the reason they got get it. They were faux happy-faux pride. There is nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, keep it real though, because a lot of regular everyday people they encourage and influence with that faux big i's beautiful shtick, don't have the means / money to go get chopped and screwed when they get tired of looking at the fatime person in the mirror.Yes, I'm talking to you Gabby, Monique, and Jennifer H.

  • leapyearpisces

    Correct. Good for her taking the first step, but it's clear that some backsliding done went on, because like you said, she be further, I won't judge because it's a 360 process (like you basically you said). It has to be a change in the mental, emotional- it has to be a lifestyle change. Look how quick the mother of the Deacon board, EJ shed his weight. Now that I think about it, if I have to endure Gabby walking around looking like a hooker in training once she shed's all the weight, then she is fine as is.

  • Coffee1st

    I think that this book was maybe therapy for her as well as closure.... for those of you wondering why she wrote the book if she didn't want to discuss it. It's a process and she's taking the steps. She's doing what's right for her emotionally, psychologically, physically and yes, financially. If she wants to love herself and heal then as one human to another we should support her, even if just in word. So much negativity.... but hurt and broken can only administer hurt and brokedness, I guess.

  • Sexy CJ

    Gabourey recounted a speech she gave that evolved from a childhood memory about baking cookies for a fourth-grade party and how she was shunned by her classmates.

    “People are always asking me why or how I’m so confident........But what they really mean is...... why are you so confident........ because they don’t really think I should be."

    #Keep Doing U Gabourey.............

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a2da0ec062b7b57e7abd366ecb718dea51b6e94b5574fe92510b93b78e2bfe6.jpg

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    I am absolutely happy at a double digit clothing size ! I also know that I will not naturally be thin and I will not ever be on the normal perimeters and standards of what a healthy weight should be. That will not stop me from being happy, and I am not faking confidence either . It took awhile to get here though because people will try to place beauty industry standards and other body stereotypes on you too. Being healthy is my goal and I'm sure I will still be in double digits and considered a plus size woman when I reach my fitness goals. Yet I will be satisfied and my doctor said I will be off my prescription medications so he will be happy too. You can be cute, curvy, and confident!

  • Being bad is way more fun

    People hate on her because she is larger and made it .. I say do what makes you happy. I can be happy for anybody because I am a happy person so I dont go looking for the bad in people .. I just wish others would do the same and if you cant fake it they have pills that will help you !!!

  • Faithz

    Good for Her taking charge of her own body, and wanting to be healthy.

  • Faithz

    She sure can act, and is a smart Actress.

  • Faithz

    I have a Saying,,,Thin is in
    and, Fat is where it's at.

  • http://www.nicolaloves.com/ NicolaLoves

    Good for Gabby! I ordered an autographed copy weeks ago and received notification it was shipped today.

    I love that she's still working. I love that with every show she's booked, every time she appears on screen, Howard Sterns comments about her pending failure are proven wrong.

  • Shira Harding-James

    Love it

  • MsPam

    She needs to stay off of Wendy Willams show, her weight is all Wendy wanted to talk about. Did a segment on Gabourey former job as phone sex operator, they both looked like fools!

  • Shira Harding-James

    Are you saying that she isn't keeping it real with her audience and also herself because she had the surgery?

  • Shira Harding-James

    You do understand that everyone will lose differently right?

  • leapyearpisces

    It's not because she had the surgery. I am not mad at anybody who wants to better themselves. I'm good on that, what I am saying is don't speak all this big is beautiful talk etc. to the masses who rather we like it or not ,celebriries, even Gabourey, can influence people so like I said don't speak all this big is beautiful stuff and then when you get tired of the high blood pressure, when you get tired of the high cholesterol, and when you get tired of looking at the fat person in the mirror, you go run and have surgery because the people you have influenced with that big is beautiful talk (that could have been influenced by you having a more healthier your message, like yes, I am big, and as big people we still have value and can be beautiful, but we all should take steps to getting healthier so we can be the best version of ourselves) may not have the option to go get sliced and diced like she did.

  • NicoleZee

    Cosign. I get confused. One minute a person is happy with their weight, then they lose the weight and say they're still happy. I don't get it. Obesity is not a fad nor is it cute. You can die from heart disease, stroke, etc. Some people that are morbidly obese do need bariatric surgery. However, why lie and say you like being big or you love yourself that way??? WTF??? No one can like being obese and risking their lives each day like that. My focus is on being healthier and not gaining any unnecessary weight. I'm curvy, but nowhere near obese. It's harder to maintain weight after having a baby, but I am trying, and it will not include any cosmetic or weight loss surgery! I'd rather do the hard work the natural way BEFORE the weight becomes a problem.

  • NicoleZee

    I'm wondering how people allow themselves to get this large. And I'm wondering why parents don't do something about obesity in childhood. I don't even like it now when my son overeats but he's a boy and I don't want him to be hungry. He's only 18 months and he's doing great with his weight, but I worry and don't want him to face obesity during his childhood. He probably won't, but it is a concern that many parents have. It's okay to let kids indulge a little, but damn, no child should have to deal with obesity being so young.

  • leapyearpisces

    Exactly! Thank you!!! That's all I am saying is don't encourage unhealthy behavior / habits and when (for whatever reason -usually vanity and THAT'S OK) you don't want to be THAT you use your options. What about the people you influenced that don't havery THOSE options. I am not hating on anyone bettering themselves, we should ALL do whatever we want /can afford to make us feel good about us. That's luke a crackhead screaming they proud to be a crackhead and crackheads rock, crackheads rule, and you should be a proud crackhead, but as soon as they crackhead get an offer to go to rehab and get clean, they like dueces!!!! What about the other crackheads that might of went to rehab, but they listen to your cracking is beaut spill.

  • Guess Who

    Her makeup is atrocious

  • Faux Gibbler

    I remember when she was on Wendy Williams a couple years back and you could just tell Wendy was looking at her like, "you're a funny girl, but you need to lose weight" it was the episode where she and Wendy did a script of Sheree and Kim z fighting. If anyone saw the episode then you'll know what I'm talking about.

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    Usually when someone is morbidly obese there is some trauma going on. They were severely hurt, used, someone took advantage of them as children, they lost a loved one, abuse, etc. But there is always SOMETHING ELSE going on. Until Gabby addresses that, I won't believe her and all the "I'm confident and comfortable in my own skin" thing. Unless she comes with what has been eating away at her, which is causing her to eat away at everything she sees, then I won't believe she is really loving herself as much as she says. I'm just not buying that she is happy, I think she feels safe in her weight. Maybe she was assaulted and when she gained weight she felt like she would not be desirable anymore, so she is safe. It really is a mental thing so hopefully she is handling that part behind the scenes. Just like Monique was this "I'm Ms. Confident" and skinny women are evil spill at first, but then you found out Monique's older brother was raping her as a child. There is something else that happened to this young woman in her childhood and maybe she's just not ready to talk about it yet.

  • INDUSTRY GURU

    I think what you have said will help others, it was very nice of you to share.

  • Thismessismessy

    Her parents are large

  • Ro

    She looks beautiful!

  • shun king

    I knew a girl big like that she died mid 40s

  • shun king

    I totally agree

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    I agree. I think the whole "I'm confident" thing is probably a self-protective front she puts up. Most morbidly obese people are screaming on the inside.

  • Junkanoo

    She's using food as a drug to mask some emotional issue is my arm chair analysis.I do like her so I can see past her weight but we all should strive to confront our personal demons or they end up undermining us

  • bemetoo

    Doesn't look like she had surgery maybe she should sue ..Look at her arms

  • Yardgirl

    She was on Wendy yesterday and she said she has been big since she was a child.I have been a huge fan of hers for a long time and that chick keeps working steadily, unlike most of black Hollywood. My friend is model thin and so is her daughter. Her daughter's child is 9 and huge! It is startling because she was average sized up to about 7 and then she just started gaining weight. I think she over eats a lot, but she is also active. I worry for her and her future because I don't want her to end up with health issues like juvenile diabetes which is on the rise.

  • KIm

    ??

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Glad she took steps to be healthy. That is a blessing. Wise.
    Greasy face.
    Looks like Aunt Jemima.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    "But there is always SOMETHING ELSE going on."

    Agreed.
    I learned through Over-Eaters Anonymous that compulsive eating is due to abandonment issues.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Or she is talking abt it in private.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Wendy can't talk about anyone else's body.at.all!!

  • KIm

    Dont really care about Gabby losing weight because I have had a first hand experience working with her at a talent agency and lets just say she wasnt a very pleasant person to be around...That "sarcasm" she talks about may be a defense mechanism and helpful for her, but to other on the receiving end what she says to people and that snarky attitude can come across as condescending and offensive.

  • Thismessismessy

    I abhor you and Malcolm Flex for the constant use of the mammy image as an insult to black women. Second time I've seen you do it. He does it often. But you reppin a black sorority. Do better sis.

  • ShWa

    She sure cannot looking like the letter P.

  • ShWa

    Monique did it for years, always downing skinny people, I knew it was a act.

  • ShWa

    Wishing her continued success with her career and her weight loss goals!

  • ShWa

    They realize now that they were kidding themselves u see they are trying to get smaller and healthier.

  • Mbailey

    SHE has the strength and courage that is a hallmark of black unity and black power. Wonder where it all went in this current generation's rush to worship entertainers for their nword rhymes and their false, air-brushed images?

  • Torae

    Saw her on Wendy yesterday and she seems like so much fun to be around.

  • Mbailey

    HOW F'd up is it that "Aunt Jemima" is doing better than you ever will?

  • Ryan

    I just read that and was like where the fvck did that come from? People have some serious issues, dang.

  • SpiceGirl

    love this chick...keep up the good work hun

  • Doink_Ahanahue

    Good job, keep your head up. Even if you never reach a "Hollywood weight", just make sure you are healthy!

  • AllAroundTheWorldSameSong

    There are a lot of hateFILLED folks on this blog today.

    Damn, she was big, for reasons unknown- could have been poor eating, genetics, etc- and she used surgery to lose the weight. She didn't lie and try to portray that she lost it through other means....and she didn't owe anybody any explanation for it- her money, her body, her choice.

    Why can't folks just celebrate the young woman and her accomplishments and be good with that.

    Oh and for those calling her fat, greasy, Aunt Jemima........put up a picture!!!

  • 100milesperhour

    Every interview I've seen her in she's snarky & obnoxious. People find her cute & bubbly...I saw @sshole. Maybe it is a defense mechanism.

  • Tynamight

    I'm glad she lost the weight. I have oily skin too. I wonder what's her trick...

  • Guess Who

    I too have noticed her snarky sarcasm and yeah, it's a defense mechanism. She probably was an overweight, very unattractive child to classmates and was bullied or laughed at daily. I will say I am glad she didn't let that defeat her though.,

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    They all look like Cindy Crawford and Halle berry girl lol

  • Renee26

    Good for her!! People need to leave her alone...not everyone is built the same

  • Sid

    After i wash my face and to sleep I wake up will oil so thick around my nose I can its like a glob underneath my finger nail. My trick is to wear primer even if you are not wearing makeup if works for me. Also rinsing your face with cold water after washing it with hot water.

  • Quitedeliteful

    Good for Gabby!!! She's losing weight, she's chronicled her life by writing her memoirs and she's done talking about her physical appearance. There is truly more to her than her face or her body. Folks think it's all about looks yet Gabby is on a hit television show, got millions for her book, starred in a movie and who knows what else she's doing... Looks aren't everything because 99% of the people bashing her don't have 1/10th of the charisma, grace, personality and bank account of this young woman. Go Gabby!!!

  • Quitedeliteful

    Ladies, Ladies, Ladies... say a prayer everyday that you have oily skin. This will keep you looking younger in your later years...

  • Sid

    My mother says that all the time. Its true because my mother looks very youthful. Looking like a glazed donut everyday O guess its ok.

  • NY_Chick

    I love Gabby!

  • Yardgirl

    ITA! I have always loved her bubbly personality and also her sarcastic wit. Yesterday on the show Wendy was going on and on about her weight loss. She said with a smile and light tone "I don't like focusing on my weight and we have already spent way too long talking about it" You could see it threw Wendy off guard but she had no choice but to change the subject, LOL!! The delivery was so good I said "I got it, this chick knows how to get things done with sugar!!"

  • Quitedeliteful

    Good for her!!! Wendy has a lot of nerve!!! I bet she would not like to spend an entire conversation talking about when she used to be a crackhead or when Puffy got her banned from radio in NYC...

  • Quitedeliteful

    LOLLOLLOL!!!! A glazed donut!!! Still... You will be VERY happy when you get older and your peers are looking haggard and busted and you still look good. Trust me!!!

  • Tynamight

    Thank you for that! Oily skin is a curse and a blessing.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    I caught her on Wendy yesterday. I LOVED the way she steered the interview away from being totally about her weight loss. She didn't give Wendy, the Queen of Shade, any opportunity to low key insult her. Like she does Tiny or other guests who are either new celebs, soft or younger. That wasn't media training, that was NYC training.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    Or when Judge Mathis got on that azz. Kmsl

  • Yardgirl

    Exactly!

  • AllAroundTheWorldSameSong

    Right....clearly!!

  • Yardgirl

    Right!! I was shocked at how rude she was to Tiny and she took it!! Unless they are friends IRL and she was just letting it slide but I was like "daayum"

  • Cheese eggs

    She didn't lie...unlike *coughs* Jennifer Hudson*coughs again*

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    I kinda first noticed how Wendy chooses who she shades when Ruben Studdard(?) was on her show, but then when Draya was on her show I really noticed how nasty she can be.

  • Connie

    I loved when she said "In this segment"
    That's when messy Wendy got it.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
    This is a fun board. Let us keep it that way.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
    This is a fun board. Let us keep it that way.

  • Connie

    Wait....what??!! Puffy got her banned from radio in NYC? damn!

  • KEMI

    Her personality is awesome!!

  • Connie

    Hell they're the ones who most often than not look busted, then try to feel better about their miserable selves by blasting other people

  • yallcrazy

    I like her too but she should keep some powder in her purse to touch up her makeup for shine. She be so shiney

  • Quitedeliteful

    Yuup... This was when she had her radio show back in the day and was spilling the tea on everybody -- especially how Puffy really was gay... for a while she was on the radio in Philly, i think...

  • BlueHousen

    For years I've been wishing she would lose the weight for her heart's sake. I got my wish, so I'm happy for her.

  • Yardgirl

    Yes to all of this!! SMH

  • Yardgirl

    Yep it was awesome!!

  • Legacy

    That's like half the population in the south though......(morbidly obese). She has talked about her depression and bulimia. What more do you want from her? Smh.....she owes us nothing btw.

  • http://ivyleaguelove.tumblr.com/ Applebootay

    Ummmm....Wendy didn't try it because Gabby is smart and would read the ish outta of Wendy....Wendy is no fool, she know who to try...

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    Same here! She is wonderful and I wanted her to be healthier and live a long time.

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    Wendell is something real nasty and she should not be considering she look like she been tossed face first on a cinder block. UGH!

  • Smith Jane

    I love her outlook on life. I can only hope to raise a child who has such a strong sense of self and confidence.

  • Shira Harding-James

    Yes ok I see what you're saying and I totally agree ?

  • Kelly Variste

    Wow! This woman is awesome I can't even describe how excited I am for her this girl has been through so much for being in her skin this is a win for not just her but for overweight dark skin women everywhere now we can realize our full potential because she dared to succeed despite those barriers put in her way so you go girl!

  • Malcom Flex

    Yes, she's a fat beach. Thats no secret cause she talks like a white she has just as stank an attitude as some stank light skin girls. Stank tude is stank tude.

  • Malcom Flex

    THANK YOU. Somebody molested that girl but she'll never tell.

  • Malcom Flex

    The south is FREAKY and they be molesting and abusing kids and incest isn't uncommon.

  • BrittBrat2005

    I know several people that had the same surgery, they lost everything but them arms. I guess they have to work them out their selves. My aunt was size 28, now a size 16 still have her size 28 arms tho.. so I guess thats how the surgery do.

  • Evillene

    Gabby needs a reality check. You don't overeat yourself into an early grave because you are "confident." Carrying all that weight around is like wearing a placard that says "I HATE MYSELF" in bright, bold letters. Now that she's had surgery she needs to exercise and change her diet like she wants to reverse the effects 30yrs of morbid obesity have on the human body.

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    Glad too ....

  • Mrs Mary

    She getting her money. HOWEVER I dont applaud folk who have weight loss surgery its the easy way out. Let me know when you been on an exercise regiment & cutting back on food portions then Ill clap for you. Ms Sidebe tired of talking about the very thing that made her famous AND the reason for her book???!!! Yea OK MISSY!!!! I wont be purchaing this book!

  • Mrs Mary

    I agree. I think she meant confident in her abilities to act as far as her skills and inner character more so than anything, however no fat person like the way they look.

  • Wayup!

    ????

  • Faux Gibbler

    And sugar. For people who are over weight and drink lots of soda, I promise you will lose weight just by cutting sugar. I was 140 lbs and went down to 120 by cutting out sugar. I was miserable heffa tho.

  • Faux Gibbler

    Wait until she loses more, that skin is gonna hang.

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Exactly

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Hey girl sorry for the late post been busy

  • Tammie Reed

    After reading this, it reminded me of Loni Love, she acts the same on The Real and I'm sure its deeper and an act. Im not buying it. I wish they fix her makeup and wigs they do her so dirty on that show and her clothes omg! Don't get me started!

  • Enoughsaid2020

    She is a smart young lady, and I love her acting, and personality. Let the haters, hate, and get that money!

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    Or she'll tell on her second book when her therapist assures her it is safe to talk about it. It has always been said that people put on extreme weight as a shield, to hide pain, etc. I don't know if she was molested, but something happened. I remember the singer from the Eurithmics. Not sure if I spelled it correctly, but the white girl with the blonde short hair before short was cool, said she cut all of her hair off to look undesirable because she had been raped. The hair cut made her feel safe because she didn't think she looked as appealing or attractive. It was a way to protect herself emotionally.

  • leapyearpisces

    Hey Tammie, I am curious, I don't want to "out" my REAL persona, but since you are from ATL, are you familiar with my REAL LIFE BFF that reside in ATL that is married to a former NFL player, that now is a motivational speaker that wrote a book? She also has a breast cancer foundation. She is really doing positive work our here in these streets.

  • CH

    So did you take the easy way out with your fake eyelashes? Let ppl do what they want. If Gabby isn't hurting you or anybody else just let it go She's a talented, brave young woman who deserves her time to shine!

  • B.Loveitt

    You need to speak to folks who's had the surgery and doctors who perform the procedure. That is no easy way out! If she doesn't cut back workout and start to stretch that pouch again she'll gain it back.

    We don't know her medical history, she may have had other health concerns, she needed to lose weight asap. My friend, ex co-workers and fam who took this route and all WOMEN say the same thing. You're dragged by over weight people who don't want to lose weight and by women who's weight is socially acceptable. It's like they're mad because you're losing weight and it become a issue for them.

    My God all smaller aren't like this ?and thank God!

  • Tammie Reed

    There is 10 million people that live in ATL LOL, sorry no I don't know this person and you never said a name. I live an hour away from Atlanta, don't live nowhere near the inner city. That could be anybody walking around here lol. I also am not from here, I've only lived here for 12 yrs I'm originally from Cleveland, Ohio.

  • B.Loveitt

    Well maybe that's something she had to learn through counseling and she may have started having triggers and remembering things that happened to her that she shoved back into the corners of her mind. All we see is weight, we know and can see that one health issue, she can't hide it. That's it, all we know. So again WE DON'T KNOW HER MEDICAL HISTORY. MENTAL OR WTF EVER BROUGHT HER TO THIS CHOICE.

  • leapyearpisces

    Oh. Ok. Gotcha.

  • cheechee1x1

    Speak the truth!!!!!

  • Chuck

    Those humongous arms, though!

  • Kayke

    I'm tired of hearing about it for years, but she's still fat.....won't be reading about it. Win win.

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    I didn't even read the story. I couldn't get bad the bad makeup lawd have mercy smh

  • Maxima

    She needs to lose 100 more lbs for it not to be an issue. She was chosen for that role because of her weight. She can't be acting like her weight is the elephant in the room.