Danielle Brooks has always been open about her love for her body. She has proudly crowned herself “the voice of the curves,” posed confidently in little clothing in magazines and proclaimed that she wouldn’t hide her body. But after welcoming her daughter Freeya a year ago, she admitted to followers on Instagram this week that she has been less confident because shedding the weight after giving birth didn’t go as planned. Being a public figure and watching other stars and their snapback magnified that reality for the 31-year-old.
“As someone who coined the phrase #voiceofthecurves I’ve muted my voice for a few months now out of shame. I felt shameful of gaining weight,” she wrote alongside a presumably throwback picture of her posing in the nude. “Even though I brought a whole human into the world, I still felt shameful because I wasn’t able to maintain my normal body weight post- pregnancy. And a year later i have only lost roughly 20lbs of a 60lb weight gain. I was quiet in hopes to post that snatch back photo like so many celebrities miraculously do. But that’s not my story.”
But after the backlash Lizzo received for doing a simple detox to help cleanse her system this week, Brooks felt compelled to use her voice to remind people “fat” women don’t owe anyone explanations about what they do, did or haven’t done to their bodies.
“Just like Lizzo, and so many other ‘fat’ girls we should be allowed to make healthy choices publicly without being made to feel like frauds for trying to be healthy. I feel it’s important to share the journey, as a reminder that we are not alone, we ain’t always got it together, and that we are ALL works in progress,” she added. “So I’m sharing. I’m doing all kinds of diets, cleanses, making all kinds healthy choices. Not because I don’t love myself now, but because I DO love myself, my body and my mind. Bc I want to continue to feel strong and sexy without catching ‘the sugars’ or any other disease. It’s okay showing the in between of growth. You ain’t always gotta have it all the way together. Just speaking from the heart.”
She is not alone in feeling the postpartum snapback pressure, and it’s refreshing that the Orange Is the New Black alum chose to be honest about that as someone in the public eye. We’re sure she’ll get back to feeling like her old self, but she’ll just have to do it at a pace that works for her — no matter how long it takes. We need more examples from not only celebrities but everyday people of them on the journey rather than just at the finish line.
Brooks gave birth to her first child with partner Dennis Gellin back in November 2019. She and Gellin became engaged in January. They’ve been an item since 2017.