In "I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down," Jennifer Hudson recounts her journey from her humble beginnings to becoming an international, award-winning superstar. Here's an excerpt:
Jennifer! Over here!”
“Jennifer, look this way.”
“No, over here!”
“Jennifer, turn to the right!”
I always dreamed of someday walking the red carpet in Hollywood. Let’s be real. It’s fun. Everyone there is shouting out your name just to get a glimpse of what you’re wearing. The press asks you to pose, wave, and smile as they snap photo after photo, with flashes popping so bright you can hardly see. It’s a moment in time a girl feels truly beautiful. And on this particular night, I thought I was looking fierce.
It was one of my first red-carpet events. I was a contestant on American Idol, and was living my dream of singing for millions of people on the highest-rated show on television. I was a long way from singing in church and talent shows on the South Side of Chicago. I was excited, taking in the red-carpet finery for the first time. I felt on top of the world.
“Jennifer, are you insecure about being a ‘big girl’ in Hollywood?”
That is, until that question.
Oh, hell no. She didn’t just ask me that.
But she did.
It took me a minute to figure out who the reporter was actually talking to.
Who, me? I thought. Insecure?
Surely, she wasn’t addressing me that way. I had the height of a supermodel, breasts that were naturally big and real, and a God-given shape. Why would I feel insecure about that? I looked around hoping to spot another Jennifer— an insecure “big” girl, but there wasn’t anyone else there.
Like Randy Jackson said to me after my American Idol audition:
“Welcome to Hollywood, girl!”
PROLOGUE of I Got This by Jennifer Hudson © 2012. Reprinted with permission of Dutton, a member of Penguin Group U.S.A.