By Macaela Mackenzie. Photos: Getty Images.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt bad about yourself at the gym. (Same.) No matter how much body positivity we preach, we’re still human. That's why Danielle Brooks's gym struggles are so incredibly relatable. Even if most days you feel like the strongest person in the room, when you see someone with a six-pack taking a mirror selfie while you’re struggling to hold a plank, you might feel defeated. Enter Brooks, body-positivity activist, self-proclaimed #VoiceOfTheCurves, and all-around badass (who nevertheless isn’t immune to the kind of gym comparisons that put a swift moratorium on confidence).
This week, the Orange Is the New Black actress got real in a sweaty Instagram video. Brooks—who has been working out only in a sports bra because it makes her feel more confident—discussed that awful thing that happens when you’re totally feelin’ yourself and then someone walks in the room who you think is hotter and your confidence crashes. Brooks describes how she felt great until she saw another woman walk in with her shirt off and how a floodgate of negative comparisons started coming.
"So I realized I'm comparing myself to this woman," she said in her post. "And I'm like, why just two minutes ago I was feeling great and now I'm not? And I realized the reason I was feeling so great is because I was comparing myself to yesterday's Danielle. And today's Danielle is better than yesterday's. And that's why I felt so good.”
First of all, Brooks is our hero for opening up about this. Feeling confident with your shirt off during a sweat session is not a right reserved for those who are a size 0. Secondly, Brooks’s speech is not only a major preach moment for body positivity, but she also brings up a great point about internal motivation and self-love. Next time you set a goal, whether it’s toning up, committing to acquiring a taste for kale, or even finally mastering the perfect winged liner, remember who you’re really doing it for. “Ladies, I'm just saying…don't compare yourself to nobody," Brooks added. "Just be a better you." Amen to that.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
*More from Allure: