Being a woman ain’t easy. Now imagine being a woman under the constant bright lights of Hollywood, where everything down to the frizz in your hair is subject to critique. For many women, the pressure to be ‘perfect’ can be overwhelming, and can make you ashamed of even the most natural ‘flaws.’
Fortunately for ‘OITNB’ actress Danielle Brooks, the self proclaimed ‘Voice of the Curves,’ Hollywood’s definition of perfection doesn’t apply to her. Brooks is notoriously vocal about loving her body in all of its imperfectly perfect glory, and recently opened up about an area of her body that many women tend to hide.
During her makeup-free photo shoot for People Magazine’s 2017 Most Beautiful Woman issue, the 28-year-old actress told the magazine about the journey she proudly wears on her body.
“Sometimes I’ll look at myself and be like, ‘Dang girl, you got a lot of stretch marks.’ But then I’m like, ‘That’s just the road map of my strength,’” Brooks said. “They remind me of things that I’ve gone through. I need to just embrace them and celebrate them. For the most part, I find ways to embrace my body,” she adds.
Brooks, who is no stranger to criticism from total strangers, encourages all women to have the confidence to embrace their bodies, ignore negative comments and instead focus on their love of self.
“Sometimes I can brush it off. You know, tha haters,” Brooks says, “And sometimes it’s not always easy to do. But for me, I think it all starts with self, and how you feel about yourself that really matters. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you.”
Brooks also recently shared photos from her People shoot, where she went make-up free and explained why she chose to go barefaced in an empowering Instagram post.
For the girls who never felt pretty enough or were made to feel less than because their beauty was unique, I was you once. One day you will realize your B•E•A•U•T•Y. Outer beauty is fleeting, but lasting beauty comes from within. Thank you @people for including me in your #MostBeautiful issue, specifically in the #nomakeup section. This one is especially for all the beautiful dark skin girls who are underrepresented. Majestic is our melanin. On newsstands April 21.
“I knew that this moment was going to empower a lot of people, and a lot of people were going to feel like they could see themselves in me, and they could discover their own beauty. And that to me is what it’s all about,” she says. “We all have to find our way to leave a mark in this world, and if I could help one person know that they are beautiful, I’ve done my job.”
Looks like she’s not just the voice of the curves, but for all women who just need a reminder that no matter what, they are always beautiful.