The constant onslaught on women’s bodies is all too real. We’ve been conditioned to worry about everything, from our weight, to the size of our toes, to the state of our earlobes – and this pursuit for ‘perfection’ is, in all honesty, exhausting.
Which is why it’s always so embracing to see women in the public eye embracing the skin they’re in.
Danielle Brooks – aka Orange is the New Black’s Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson – recently opened up about her stretch marks, admitting that they used to dampen her self-confidence in a very big way.
It wasn’t until she began acknowledging them as an important part of her story that she truly felt happy in herself.
"Sometimes I'll look at myself and be like, 'Dang girl, you got a lot of stretch marks,’” she told People magazine.
Brooks continued: "But then I'm like, 'That's just the road map of my strength.’
“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."
Since the actress shot to fame in 2011 as the enigmatic and lovable Taystee, she said she’s had to learn to silence her critics as she embraces her beauty in the spotlight.
"Sometimes I can brush it off,” revealed Brooks, “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.”
The actress, who joins the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis and Empire star Taraji P. Henson on the magazine’s list of the 2017 ‘Most Beautiful’, has said that, regardless of where we come from or what we look like, beauty is always found within.
“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,” said Brooks.
“It's really about what we have inside of us that makes us who we are."
Here’s to a beauty mantra we can all get behind.