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."

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Public Domain

A very simple thing happened earlier this week. Dr. Seuss Enterprises—the company that runs the Dr. Seuss estate and holds the legal rights to his works—announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss children's books because they contain depictions of people that are "hurtful and wrong" (their words). The titles that will no longer be published are And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

This simple action prompted a great deal of debate, along with a great deal of disinformation, as people reacted to the story. (Or in many cases, just the headline. It's a thing.)

My article about the announcement (which contains examples of the problematic content that prompted the annoucnement) led to nearly 3,000 comments on Upworthy's Facebook page. Since many similar comments were made repeatedly, I wanted to address the most common sentiments and questions:

How do we learn from history if we keep erasing it?

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

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When an earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused a nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 most people who lived in the area fled. Some left without their pets, who then had to fend for themselves in a radioactive nuclear zone.

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