Hindsight is 20/20, right? We all have times in our lives we wish we could alter. For me, it’s not so much about regret as it is about wisdom and perspective. Each experience has made me into the person I am now. I really believe that. But I’d love to be able to reassure myself during those times, perhaps impart some much-needed thoughtfulness on my angsty and often all-too-harsh teenage brain. I’d tell myself not to worry about my weight or my hair or my parents’ income. I’d remind myself that growing up differently than the majority of my friends will yield compassion, character, and maturity. And, ultimately, those difficult situations will help to flourish a pretty incredible career, IMHO. I’d also lay off the bronzer.
We look to celebrities for so much—beauty and style inspiration as well as advice, aspiration, and entertainment. They often feel so untouchable it’s hard to remember that at one point or another, they too were walking down those judgmental high school hallways, wondering if their hair looked acceptable or their skin was flaring up. They had to worry about where to sit in the lunch room too. Below, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most valuable beauty advice a few celebrities wish they could tell themselves during those times. Keep reading and remind yourself to feel good about yourself today.
“Don’t waste so much time thinking about how much you weigh,” Streep said of her 18-year-old self in an interview with TimeOut London. “There is no more mind-numbing, boring, idiotic, self-destructive diversion from the fun of living.”
Alba wishes she could have told her younger self she would grow out of a few of her tattoos. “You’re never going to be in the same place emotionally and mentally at 18 that you are at 20 or 25 or 30. Something that’s meaningful to you when you’re younger is not going to be meaningful to you five years later,” Alba told Allure. “I have a few tattoos. I’m not into them now the way I was.”
Tracee Ellis Ross
“There will be parts of your body that you are not fond of,” Ross told Teen Vogue. “That’s OK. You can love those parts of you even if you don’t like them. And you do that by being kind to them. And speaking gently and lovingly to those parts of yourself.”
>Shay Mitchell admits she wanted desperately to fit in, and she only wishes she could advise her younger self to focus more on standing out. She told Seventeen, “Growing up, I wish I hadn’t tried so hard to fit in. I’d tell myself to just embrace what you were born with because it’s beautiful and you were made like that for a reason. It’s tough being a girl. I think we need all of the support we can get.”
KJ experimented with over-tweezing like the rest of us, though she wishes she hadn’t: “When I was younger, on a totally weird whim, I plucked out all of my eyebrows!” Kendall Jenner wrote on her app. “Thankfully, they grew back, but my sisters flipped OUT.”
When asked to impart wisdom on her younger self, Gabrielle Union told Ebony, “One day you’ll appreciate how much your brown skin shines in the moonlight, glistens in the sun and ages ever so slowly. Don’t let that pesky low self-esteem creep in and fool you into believing that you don’t have value. … Don’t allow it to crush your will or dampen your spirit.”
“Stop with the self-tanner! It’s enough,” Emma Stone exclaimed at her former self during her 73 Questions episode for Vogue.
“Dear 19-year-old Laverne,” the actress recited to People, “I want you to know you are beautiful and that you are not what all those people who don’t understand you say about you. You are beautiful, smart and amazing. You are not crazy for knowing you’re a girl. … Don’t take your beauty or thinness for granted. You are not fat. Relish your high metabolism. It’s okay to feel the pain you’re in. It won’t kill you. The sooner you allow yourself to feel the pain, the sooner you can let it go.”
Julie Roberts told People, “I remember those cheeks. Be happy with natural curls and stand up for yourself.”