Danielle Brooks arrived at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Gala looking elegant in a perfectly fitted, dark-blue velvet gown. The versatile actress, who received acclaim for her turn in The Color Purple on Broadway and remains a fan favorite on Orange Is the New Black, has also added modeling to her résumé with a Lane Bryant campaign.
When the Cut asked Brooks about the reactions she’s received, she replied with a radiant smile. “Only positivity. I have not really come across too many trolls, which is nice. Women are seeing themselves and are feeling beautiful about their bodies because they’re having people who are bold enough to say that they’re fearless in their skin. It’s been cool to get their reaction and see women be proud to be in bathing suits and not be afraid of showing stretch marks or whatever.”
Asked what she thinks the entertainment industry can do to encourage this type of body positivity for women, Brooks said, “I think they can continue to put people on the cover [of magazines] … Making sure we are on the covers, on the backs, the fronts, the middle of the magazines, and on screens. All of it.”
The new season of Orange Is the New Black drops in early June.