Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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December 08, 2016 10:30 AM

Multi-hyphenate Gabourey Sidibe is adding another title to her already impressive résumé: author.

The Empire actress, 33, will release her first memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, in May 2017 — and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the autobiography’s cover and the photo shoot from which the image was taken.

“I’m writing a book about me; it’s what I was like before I was an actress, what my life is like now that I am now, and if it even matters,” the Oscar nominee — who rose to fame for her turn in the 2009 drama Precious said in a 2016 PaleyFest interview in L.A. “I write about hair, I write about clothing, I write about marriage and divorce and relationships … I write about a lot of things I’ve experienced.”

In an exclusive video from a recent photo shoot for the book, Sidibe shows off a slimmed-down figure. The American Horror Story alum first showed off her weight loss in an Instagram selfie she posted in September, on which fans and followers congratulated her for the new look.

Sidibe has said she’s struggled for years with both her weight and embracing body-positivity.

“It’s something I had to work at,” Sidibe said on a 2009 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

“My first diet started when I was 6 years old. I’ve never been a small girl, and one day, I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and no matter what other people thought of my body. I had to love myself. I was something like — I was like 21-ish, 22-ish — when I decided. I had just got tired of feeling bad all the time; I got tired of hating myself. I really, really had to have a conversation with myself and find what I love about myself.”

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