Danielle Brooks never imagined that she’d be viewed as an advocate for body positivity, but the actress says that’s exactly what happened after her first few red carpet appearances.
“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,” the “Orange Is The New Black” star told Shape in a recent interview. “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!'”
The mom-to-be got emotional when admitting that embracing her body was not always easy, which is why appearing on the fitness magazine’s digital cover was an important accomplishment for her.
“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,” she said.
The 29-year-old South Carolina native went on to say that it’s especially important to her that her child learns self-love and self-acceptance.
“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,” said Brooks.
Speaking of self-acceptance, the Julliard graduate discussed the constant changes her body has been going through since becoming pregnant and how self-love is crucial during this time.
“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,” said the actress.
Brooks announced her pregnancy back in July just a few weeks shy of the series finale of “Orange Is The New Black.”