For our annual Body issue, ESSENCE spotlights the many shapes and sizes of beauty we find on the Netflix hit series, Orange Is the New Black (back for its third season on June 12). Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Vicky Jeudy, Adrienne C. Moore and Samira Wiley shine as they celebrate being “sexy at every size.” The ensemble cast, decked out in glam orange evening gowns for the super-fab photoshoot, sat down with writer-author Akiba Solomon to share what they cherish most about themselves.
Two-time ESSENCE cover star Laverne Cox describes her ritual of learning to love herself, no matter what: “This is intense, and it’s hard. What I’ve been doing is looking in the mirror and listing all the things I have an issue with and then saying, ‘This is beautiful.’ I just go down the list and tell myself, ‘You have to accept that this is you today.’ I make time to do this.”
“Being [my size] in this industry is so rare,” says 25-year-old stunner, Danielle Brooks, “but regular people look more like me than runway models. To show beauty in a different way really lights me up inside. That’s so cheesy, but it does.”
Emmy-winner Uzo Aduba admits it took her time to fully embrace her signature smile. “For the majority of my first 18 years, I hated my gap. My mom would tell me that in Nigeria, it’s a sign of beauty. I was like, ‘We’re in Massachusetts.'” She continues, “Today there’s not a selfie or personal photo I take where I’m not smiling wide. It sometimes feels as if I’m making up for lost smiles.”
To find out more about how Samira Wiley can hang with the boys at the gym, why Adrienne C. Moore loves a good sweat or what old-school workout Vicky Jeudy relies on to stay in shape, pick up the July issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands June 12!