"Orange Is The New Black" star Danielle Brooks is proud of her stretch marks and thinks more women should learn to embrace theirs, too.
Posing makeup free for People's 2017 'Most Beautiful Women' issue, Brooks opened up to the publication about her journey to body acceptance.
"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,'" she 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."
Danielle Brooks for People Magazine's World's Most Beautiful Issue pic.twitter.com/EtYDr82BEQ— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) April 20, 2017
But like many other celebrities, being in the public eye can elicit a lot of unwarranted scrutiny from Internet trolls. However, the actress told the magazine that while sometimes mean comments she receives can hurt, what matters most is how she feels about herself.
"I know for a fact that I am beautiful, and what I do know for a fact is that we are spirits, at the end of the day, regardless of how much melanin we have, or how many pimples we have, or how curly or straight our hair is," she explained. "It’s really about what we have inside of us, that makes us who we are."
The other 2 photos are stills from Danielle's interview with People Magazine's episode of World’s Most Beautiful: Not a Drop of Makeup pic.twitter.com/fPuk9rLDAL— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) April 21, 2017
This message was especially important for the 27-year-old to share as her photos were met with an onslaught of awful comments after online magazine MEFeater tweeted them out.
"This whole thing is ridiculous," one person tweeted. "There are plenty of curvier black women who are actually beautiful whom they could have chosen."
Others even said Brooks resembled Harambe, a gorilla who was shot back in 2016 after a child fell into his entrapment, which is not only rude, but also disgustingly racist.
Thankfully, others stood up for the star.
@mefeater y'all really can't let a black woman love herself and have others appreciate her beauty too smh— juniper ☁️ (@blckpaladin) April 21, 2017
Regardless, it seems as though Brooks is focused on the bigger picture.
"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," she shared with People during her photoshoot. "And that to me is what it’s all about."
She even had a special personal message for anyone, especially black women, who may have felt physically inadequate.
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. #electricmelanin On newsstands April 21.
"For the girls who never felt pretty enough or were made to feel less than because their beauty was unique, I was you once," she wrote last Thursday on Instagram. "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," she continued. "This one is especially for all the beautiful dark skin girls who are underrepresented. Majestic is our melanin."
What a queen!
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