One year ago, OITNB star Danielle Brooks gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Freeya.
While Brooks has ample amounts of body positivity, she has been struggling with accepting her postpartum body. She has been watching her Hollywood peers 'snap back' to their pre-baby bods, and it has left her feeling 'shame.'
She opened up about the 'shame' she has felt, in an intimate post on Instagram:
"As someone who coined the phrase #voiceofthecurves Iâve muted my voice for a few months now out of shame. I felt shameful of gaining weight. Even though I brought a whole human into the world, I still felt shameful because I wasnât able to maintain my normal body weight post- pregnancy. And a year later i have only lost roughly 20lbs of a 60lb weight gain. I was quiet in hopes to post that snatch back photo like so many celebrities miraculously do. But thatâs not my story."
She went on to talk about how she is working on becoming healthier. She also said that "it's okay to show the in between of growth. You ain't always gotta have it all the way together."
Girl, I felt that. I've struggled with weight my entire life, and when I became pregnant with my son, I was not looking forward to the weight gain. I gained 40lbs with my son, and I didn't 'snap back' right away. It took me over 5 months to lose 40lbs, and another 3-4 months to lose an additional 22lbs. I got down to the lowest weight I have ever been, and I was a size 4. I kept it off for nearly a year.
âThen, the pandemic happened. I gained 20lbs back.
I digress. I remember feeling 'shame' for not snapping back to my pre-pregnancy weight right away. I have friends who had gotten right back to their pre-pregnancy weight within a month after giving birth. I saw celebrities like Khloe Kardashian who bounced back within a few months after giving birth. It took a long time to turn off that voice inside of me that was overly self-critical. After I gained 20lbs back, I heard that overly self-critical voice. I shut that motherfucker up quickly. I thought about all of my good qualities and focused on that. I'm not in competition with anyone. I won't allow competition to silence my inner peace.
NeNe Leakes had an opening phrase during her time on 'Real Housewives of Atlanta,' "I'm not keeping up with the Joneses, I AM the Joneses." We are not in competition with anyone. There is no one we need to keep up with. Life is not a sprint. It's a marathon. There is no rush. Keep it going, keep it movin, and enjoy the babies!
Danielle Brooks, you are fucking fabulous babe!
#OITNB #DanielleBrooks #babyweight #weightloss #postpartumlife #pregnancy #momlife
With coronavirus surging across the globe, violence against women and children is also surging. *Trigger Warning*
*Trigger Warning: The following post discusses sexual and domestic violence against women and children.*
2020 will go down in history for many reasons: coronavirus, the American president questioning democracy, stay-at-home orders, virtual schools, working from home, and more. Another reason why 2020 will go down in history is because of the surge in domestic violence cases.
It is being called the invisible, or shadow, pandemic: domestic violence against women and children. Rarely is it ever talked about by mainstream media, but that does not mean the problem doesn't exist. Even before the pandemic began, 1 in 3 women on this planet experienced physical or sexual abuse, mainly by an intimate partner. These numbers have surged in nearly every country, including the United States.
Since the dawn of the pandemic, domestic violence hotlines have seen an increase in phone calls. Sexual violence, and other forms of violence, has only increased in intensity in public, behind closed doors, and online.
Sexual violence and domestic violence survivors are running into another problem: limited access for support. In many countries, officials have put more effort into combating coronavirus, and less on services needed for victims of abuse.
Without support, women and children are dying by the hands of a loved one. Home is not a safe place. While combating coronavirus is important, we cannot ignore the devastating statistics of women and children that are victims of domestic and sexual violence. Officials need to do more to save these women and children. Feminist groups, women's rights groups, children advocates, domestic violence support groups, everyone, needs to pitch in and save these women and children.
Every kind soul deserves a safe space. Women and children should not be sheltering-in-place with their abuser.
When I was a young child, I was physically and emotionally abused by my mother, and physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by her boyfriends. I wasn't safe at home, and when you're a kid, there aren't that many places to go. I was stuck and in fear of the world around me.
To this day, I have flashbacks from the most violent aspects of my childhood. When I was 6 or 7, I witnessed my mom's boyfriend beat the hell out of her pregnant stomach. I was frozen in fear, and eventually blacked out. This is perhaps my biggest PTSD moment.
When I think about women and kids being abused during this pandemic, I can feel how small their home must be to them. I can feel the pain, the fear, the stress, and the depression they are feeling right now. These victims are feeling incredibly trapped, to the point they cannot breathe. It physically makes me ache for these women and children. As a survivor, I want to raise awareness about this.
We need to do our part to raise awareness about this shadow pandemic. Join me!