How This Orange Is The New Black Star Learned To Love Her Body

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Orange Is the New Black's Dascha Polanco has an empowering attitude toward her body. She simply refuses to buy clothes by designers who turn down her requests because of her size. "I try to work with...people who love my curves and embrace them as much as I do," she told Vogue earlier this year. It took a lot of growth for her to get to that point, though. "To tell you the truth, when I first arrived at this year's New York Fashion Week wearing a tight bodysuit that completely revealed my thighs, I was a little nervous. I kept on covering myself up with my jacket and I just didn't feel ready," she recently told Today. "There's a lot of insecurity within every person — woman or man. But the only one in charge of changing that is you. It's all in your way of thinking." She then shared how she shifted the way she thought about her own insecurities. "I used to be made fun of for having a big butt (a "watermelon ass," they'd call it!) and big legs," she explained. But since then, she's realized, "This is mass. This is volume. This is strength. This is what makes me Dascha and what makes me unique from anyone else." Her journey toward body positivity included a powerful realization. "I used to try to fit into everything. Now, I realize that there's no point on focusing on something that might not fit. Instead, why not change what's not fitting as opposed to what's not fitting into it?" In a society that tells us our bodies are a problem, Polanco's words are an important reminder that the real problem is beauty standards.

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