Danielle Brooks Drops Real Talk We Need About The Gym & Loving Yourself

I had to check in with myself real quick. Hope someone out there feels me. 💪🏾#voiceofthecurves

A video posted by Danielle Brooks (@daniebb3) on

If you've ever given in to embarrassment in public locker rooms or let your self-esteem get knocked down a notch by looking enviously at people who seem to be in "perfect" shape, Danielle Brooks has an important message for you. "Don't compare yourself to nobody," the actress and activist smartly advises in a video posted to her Instagram this morning. "Just be a better you."

Brooks, who is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Taystee on Orange is the New Black, was inspired to share this self-proclaimed "check-in" after a run-in at the gym left her feeling badly about herself. The actress happily had her shirt off at the gym — a logical post-workout development — and was merrily sweating it out when an incredibly fit woman walked into the room. Bam. Just like that, Brooks recounts, her confidence, which had moments before been so plentiful, quickly began to plummet. So she asked herself: Why, just two minutes ago, I was feeling great, and now I'm not?

The answer, she realized, was because she was comparing herself to this other woman, instead of focusing on herself. When she focused on herself, her body, and her achievements, she felt strong. She felt proud. Because, "Today's Danielle is better than yesterday's." Ultimately, that's what matters most. Comparisons with others are a waste of time. Consider that a mic drop from this #VoiceOfTheCurves.

But this inspiring message is not the first time Brooks has used her place in the public eye to advocate for body positivity. The Tony-nominated actress has spoken out about the importance of including images of people of all sizes in the media as part of Refinery29's 67% Project. "Editors, we want to be seen. Designers, we want to be dressed. Retailers, we want options. Women, we must do this together," she wrote.

Taystee, you continue to speak the truth. And yes, we're feeling it.
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