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2020 13th Annual Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon - Red Carpet

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The responsibility of being a women is a badge of honor. For approximately 9-10 months, we watch our bodies expand into ways we couldn’t have imagined in order to bring life into this world. Our hormones are out of control, our bodies stretch in ways that can feel uncomfortable, and without hesitation, we birth, love, and nurture little humans.

Snapback culture has made it difficult for women who may struggle with getting a similar version of their pre-baby body. While women like Teyana Taylor and Eniko Hart should proudly show off their natural ability to return to their regular size, other women feel the pressures of losing their baby weight in a similar fashion. Now, in addition to being a constant resource to a baby, there’s a sometimes unhealthy focus on slimming down almost immediately.

In a touching, lengthy post, actress Danielle Brooks gave her fans a deeper look at how she’s been navigating her post-baby body.

“As someone who coined the phrase #voiceofthecurves I’ve 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 wasn’t 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 that’s not my story. Just like Lizzo, and so many other “fat” girls we should be allowed to make healthy choices publicly without being made to feel like frauds for trying to be healthy. I feel it’s important to share the journey, as a reminder that we are not alone, we ain’t always got it together, and that we are ALL works in progress.

So I’m sharing. I’m doing all kinds of diets, cleanses, making all kinds healthy choices. Not because I don’t love myself now, but because I DO love myself, my body and my mind. Bc I want to continue to feel strong and sexy without catching “the sugars” or any other disease. It’s okay showing the in between of growth. You ain’t always gotta have it all the way together. Just speaking from the heart.❤️ ~Danie.”

This honest moment likely helped a lot of women who are struggling to lose weight after having a baby. Ciara has been vocal about shedding her post-baby weight, and as a result, she’s joined the Weight Watchers family as an ambassador.

Danielle’s approach to a healthier lifestyle is something Lizzo spoke about this week. In a TikTok video, the singer defended her decision to do a 10-day cleanse. In the post, she reiterated that her goal is not to be skinny, but to be healthier.

Danielle’s post spoke to me. I don’t have any children so I can’t relate to the pregnancy weight, but I do know how it feels to struggle losing weight and feeling shame around it. Her honesty showed me the importance of giving myself grace, and loving myself through it all.


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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.