The actor, singer, and body-positivity promoter is using her platform for some much-needed real talk.

By Mirel Zaman
August 13, 2019

You may know Danielle Brooks from her beloved role in Orange Is the New Black—but she's inciting change and sparking a revolution of her own off-screen, as well. (See: Danielle Brooks Says Her New Lane Bryant Ad Taught Her to Embrace Her Bloat and "Love Handles")

Embracing Advocacy:

"I began to realize the impact of my voice when the first season of Orange Is the New Black dropped. I started to see girls use my red-carpet looks as inspiration for their prom dresses. I began to see my interview quotes on social media. I realized that I could be what I wished for as a young girl, for someone else. I wanted someone in the industry, who I felt was a reflection of me, to scream from the mountaintops, ‘I love my body! I can accomplish whatever I want in the exact body God created me to be in!' As I met people along the way, I began to understand the importance of not shying away from being an advocate for body positivity, but running toward it full throttle." (Related: Barbie Ferreira Explained Her "Complicated Relationship with Body Positivity")

Activating a Powerful Ripple Effect:

"When you let your light shine, it not only gives others the permission to do the same but opens up a world of unknown opportunities and joys for you as well.” (Related: How OITNB Star Danielle Brooks Learned to Like Burpees)

Why This Success Is Extra Sweet:

"This opportunity to be on [the digital cover of ] Shape is a pretty big deal to me. I feel like the world has built these invisible bullets to bully us in telling us who we’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to look like. And I’ve always had this desire to prove people wrong—to say that this body that I’m in is enough. Now that I’m about to be a mother, it means even more—to make sure that this human being I’m going to bring into the world knows that they are enough." (Read more about Brooks' trainer, Morit Summers, who has a pretty inspiring presence of her own.)

On Pregnancy Real-Talk:

"I’m really having to practice what I preach, about loving yourself at whatever stage you're at because my body has been going through quite the transition. I don’t feel like we talk enough about the in-between that a woman’s body goes through when having a child. I think we talk about how cute that bump looks and how amazing the snap-back was, but who’s talking about the swollen feet, the heartburn, and the new stretch marks? There’s so much beauty in my body taking new shape every week, and it’s been quite a joy to know that I get to bring another life into this world."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0XVnb5Dqzs/

Shape Magazine, September 2019 issue
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