Monique-Epitomizing “Larger than Life”
At fourteen years old, she told her best friend that they were going to be stars. He looked back, smiled, and said “You, first.” No truer words could have been spoken by her now husband to the woman we have watched over the years become larger than life, Mo’Nique. Being large is one of the things she prides herself in, and after her Oscar win, she is showing the world just how big she is.
Born in Woodlawn, Maryland, Mo’Nique graduated from Milford Mill High School and attended Morgan State University. Before pursuing her current life path, she was in charge of supervising phone sex operator’s calls. My, how times and life has changed for this iconic woman.
Part of her appeal is that she represents the “every woman”. There is some aspect of Mo’Nique that all women can relate to and she makes no apologies for herself on what other people perceive as flaws. At a post Oscar interview, she was asked what would happen to the other actors if they didn’t lose weight or shave their legs for the awards. She politely retorted, “They would win Oscars!” Ha! That’s our girl!
Mo’Nique refuses to call herself an actor because she is a stand up comedienne. After tonight? She is “a stand up comedienne who’s won an Oscar.” She’s been on the small screen from the Parkers, the Apollo, and many other venues, but she maintains that her goal is only to make her audience laugh. Her book, Skinny Bitches are Evil, is a best-seller and turned her into a triple threat, a hilarious force to be reckoned with.
She surprised us all with her sinister character, Mary Jones, on Precious. Always the funny lady performing Beyonce’s dance with one shoe on, Mo’Nique made us believe her evil character and had us all ducking our heads for frying pans. She stated that this role “was not about changing the course of her acting career, it was about changing her life.” You could not help but be emotional as she asked an interviewer if she had ever had a dark moment and needed to be loved through it. This role taught her to be more “forgiving”. And it made Mo’Nique even more tangible to her loyal audience.
She paid homage to Hattie McDaniel, the first Black woman to win in this category in the 1940s, by wearing the same color, royal blue, and the same gardenia in hair as her predecessor did. “I feel Hattie McDaniel’s presence all over me, and I think it’s time the world does also.” We do, Mo’Nique, and we thank you.
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