Danielle Brooks wrote a powerful letter to her teenage self. Her advice is a must-read.

Actress Danielle Brooks recently penned a remarkable essay to her teenage self with spot-on advice for the young and young at heart.

In her must-read essay for Refinery 29, the fun-loving "Orange Is the New Black" and "Master of None" star covers everything from the getting over crushes to the importance of family.

Brooks gets fizzy at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Perrier-Jouet.


Her most powerful words of wisdom center on self-love and knowing your worth.

Like this sage advice that belongs on every dressing room mirror, bathroom scale, and machine at the gym:

"Love your stretch marks Danie. They are the roadmap of your strength."

Brooks walks the red carpet at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Or the way Brooks assures her teenage self she will find clothes that fit, flatter all of her curves, and inspire others to rock theirs too:

"One day you will shock yourself by how many women you inspire through your fashion and your willingness to be open about your journey with your body. Continue to show people how to live unapologetically in their magic."

Brooks (right) and a guest snap a selfie at the Empowering Women Summit at the United Nations in New York City. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Lane Bryant.

And her beautiful reminder to herself — and all of us — to stay strong, patient, and compassionate, even when it would be easier not to:

"You are different, Danielle. You are not an ordinary 15 year old, and that is okay. That doesn’t make you better or less than anyone. But what you must not do is dim your light. You have a lot of love to give and believe it or not, it is not as easily accessible for others to give the same. People have a lot of hang ups that will make them guarded, but continue to operate out of love. It will always win."

Brooks looking flawless at the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium. Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TNT.

A longtime advocate for body positivity and self-love, Brooks offers encouragement and inspiration on her Instagram too.

In 2015, she shared a badass workout selfie wearing capris and a sports bra, something Brooks never thought she'd have the confidence to do.

"Today my inner being told me to turn up the notch on my self-love. I should not be ashamed of my body. I'm not a walking imperfection! I'm a Goddess," she wrote.

Hey 💜rs, Today I decided to do something I've never done before: Go to the gym with my SHIRT OFF!! 🙊 I thought I'd share why this is significant for me. I've always wanted to do this but have felt shameful and have told myself "until my body is perfect I'm forbidden." Today my inner being told me to turn up the notch on my self-love. I should not be ashamed of my body. I'm not a walking imperfection! I'm a Goddess. Secondly, I'm a confident woman! That doesn't stop once I take off my spanx. Lol Sometimes it's a struggle. Sometimes I don't like what I see, but I have the power to change the way in which I relate to my body both physically and mentally. Today I woke up feeling beautiful and motivated to love myself and take care of the ONE body that I've been given. I'm not saying World take your shirt off, twist it round your head, spin it like a helicopter🎶, (lol) I'm saying everyone live in your confidence. One Life. One Body. Take Care of It. With 💜, DanieB #voiceofthecurves #yesmythighstouch #lovethyself #beautyinandout #goddess #imabadshutyomouth #ivebeeneatingmygreens #thickathanasnika

A post shared by Danielle Brooks (@daniebb3) on

In 2016, Brooks modeled for Lane Bryant's #ThisBody campaign along with stars like Gabourey Sidibe, Ashley Graham, and Alessandra Garcia.

Brooks spotted her glamorous photos for the campaign all around the city. The actress could barely contain her excitement — and why should she? She totally killed it!

My first solo billboard in New York and it's in the middle of Times Square!! Leaping with joy! #voiceofthecurves

A post shared by Danielle Brooks (@daniebb3) on

Even a beautiful, talented woman like Brooks has lapses in confidence, just like the rest of us.

She shares those moments too, inspiring herself and her fans along the way.

I had to check in with myself real quick. Hope someone out there feels me. 💪🏾#voiceofthecurves

A post shared by Danielle Brooks (@daniebb3) on

We'll all have moments of doubt, but it's how we work through them that matters.

From our bodies or careers to our relationships, we all second-guess ourselves. But just like Danielle Brooks (and young Danie too), we can dig deep, find our confidence, and keep trying. Or, as she wrote in her poignant letter: "Stay fearless and keep swimming."

GIF via "Orange Is the New Black."

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Some of the moments that make us smile the most have come from everyday heroes, like our hardworking teachers.

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Heather Cox Richardson didn't set out to build a fan base when she started her daily "Letters from an American." The Harvard-educated political historian and Boston College professor had actually just been stung by a yellow-jacket as she was leaving on a trip from her home in Maine to teach in Boston last fall when she wrote her first post.

Since she's allergic to bees, she decided to stay put and see how badly her body would react. With some extra time on her hands, she decided to write something on her long-neglected Facebook page. It was September of 2019, and Representative Adam Schiff had just sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence stating that the House knew there was a whistleblower complaint, the DNI wasn't handing it over, and that wasn't legal.

"I recognized, because I'm a political historian, that this was the first time that a member of Congress had found a specific law that they were accusing a specific member of the executive branch of violating," Richardson told Bill Moyers in an interview in July. "So I thought, you know, I oughta put that down, 'cause this is a really important moment. If you knew what you were looking for, it was a big moment. So I wrote it down..."

By the time she got to Boston she has a deluge of questions from people about what she'd written.

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

When I opened Twitter Saturday morning, I saw "Chris Evans" and "Captain America" trending. Evans is my favorite of the Marvel Chrises, so naturally I clicked to see what was happening with him—then quickly became confused. I saw people talking about "nude leaks," some remarks about (ahem) "size," and something about how he'd accidentally leaked naked photos of himself. But as I scrolled through the feed (not looking for the pics, just trying to figure out what happened) the only photos I saw were of him and his dog, occasionally sprinkled with handsome photos of him fully clothed.

Here's what had happened. Evans apparently had shared a video in his Instagram stories that somehow ended with an image of his camera roll. Among the tiled photos was a picture of a penis. No idea if it was his and really don't care. Clearly, it wasn't intentional and it appears the IG story was quickly taken down.

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Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

Harvard historian Donald Yacovone didn't set out to write the book he's writing. His plan was to write about the legacy of the antislavery movement and the rise of the Civil Rights era, but as he delved into his research, he ran into something that changed the focus of his book completely: Old school history textbooks.

Now the working title of his book is: "Teaching White Supremacy: The Textbook Battle Over Race in American History."

The first book that caught his attention was an 1832 textbook written Noah Webster—as in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary—called "History of the United States." Yacovone, a 2013 recipient of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois medal—the university's highest award for African American studies—told the Harvard Gazette about his discovery:

"In Webster's book there was next to nothing about the institution of slavery, despite the fact that it was a central American institution. There were no African Americans ever mentioned. When Webster wrote about Africans, it was extremely derogatory, which was shocking because those comments were in a textbook. What I realized from his book, and from the subsequent ones, was how they defined 'American' as white and only as white. Anything that was less than an Anglo Saxon was not a true American. The further along I got in this process, the more intensely this sentiment came out. I realized that I was looking at, there's no other word for it, white supremacy. I came across one textbook that declared on its first page, 'This is the White Man's History.' At that point, you had to be a dunce not to see what these books were teaching."

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