The number of diverse body types featured on the runways has more than doubled since last year—and while it’s still not enough, progress is being made. Actress Danielle Brooks, best known for her performances in The Color Purple on Broadway and on Orange is the New Black, is one of the women pushing the fashion industry towards more inclusivity.

Last May, Brooks walked the runway at the Christian Siriano for Lane Bryant show, and she was featured in Lane Bryant’s #ThisBody campaign toward the end of the year.

At the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards gala Thursday night, The Cut asked her about the reactions she’s received from her time modeling. She smiled—and then had the most uplifting reply.

“Only positivity,” she said. “I have not really come across too many trolls, which is nice. Women are seeing themselves and are feeling beautiful about their bodies because they’re having people who are bold enough to say that they’re fearless in their skin. It’s been cool to get their reaction and see women be proud to be in bathing suits and not be afraid of showing stretch marks or whatever.”

The idea that all women need accurate representations of themselves in the mainstream media and on the runway is finally gaining momentum. When asked what the entertainment industry can do to push that idea forward, Brooks replied: “I think they can continue to put people on the cover [of magazines]… making sure we are on the covers, on the backs, the fronts, the middle of the magazines, and on screens. All of it.”



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