Models — what could those genetic lottery hoarders possibly have to be insecure about?
According to successful plus-size model Dana Patterson, quite a bit — at least before the Aerie campaign star learned to see her not-so-cookie-cutter features as strengths, not weaknesses.
Earlier this month, Patterson shared a vulnerable letter to her younger self on Instagram. The post struck a chord with her followers, gathering over 8,700 likes online.
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In the post, Patterson lists the features she struggled to embrace as a child — her strong eyebrows, her "Hagrid" hair, her "olive skin with peach fuzz," her curvy shape — and explains how she has found value in each of them.
"Those thighs you hate now will carry you through 3 junior olympics. Crazy right?!" she wrote. Patterson was a competitive volleyball player. " Your butt that everyone makes fun of you for having will give you the strength to jump higher, and shows your Latin heritage so beautifully."
"YOUR WEIGHT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU! THE WAY YOU LOOK DOESNT (sic) DEFINE YOU!" she continued. "Don't listen to the people who say it does."
Patterson also shared how those growing pains helped make her beautiful on the inside. "The people who bully you will help hone your humor," she wrote. "You will make a lot of people laugh. Don't let it tarnish you, don't take yourself too seriously. Don't let these people dull your shine."
"Stay weird and stay creative," she added. "You are loved. What makes you unique and maybe a little strange, makes you beautiful."
Patterson created a #dearyoungerme tag so others could share their stories and asked participants to tag her in their posts.
BRB, writing letters to our younger selves right now!