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How actress Busy Philipps is raising strong daughters in the age of social media

The 'I Feel Pretty' actress credits confidence, exercise — and even her Instagram community — with helping her to raise healthy, body-confident girls.
/ Source: TODAY

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When it comes to raising her daughters to be confident in their bodies, actress Busy Philipps struggles like any mom.

In an interview with TODAY Parents, Philipps admitted she finds it easier to tell friends and family members they are beautiful than to show love to herself. Still, the 38-year-old says she works to never be critical of herself in front of her daughters.

Philipps, who stars alongside Michelle Williams, Amy Schumer and Aidy Bryant in the upcoming film, "I Feel Pretty," says she often shares the advice her mom gave her when she was young with her girls, Birdie, 9, and Cricket, 4.

"My mother used to say the Shakespeare quote, 'And this above all, to thine own self be true,'" said Philipps. "I really feel like it permeated by being, so we really try to encourage our girls to just be true to themselves."

"Any time I have one of those days or weeks where I'm not feeling good about myself, I try not to voice it ever in front of my kids," she said.

Instead, Philipps focuses on exercise and feeling empowered about her own strength.

"My body is strong. My body is powerful," Philipps said. "My body created two healthy people."

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But having daughters brought on a new struggle for Philipps, who is married to screenwriter Marc Silverstein. The actress had postpartum anxiety after the birth of her first child, and shares that she didn't seek treatment for the condition until Birdie was over a year old.

"I was afraid to even say anything," Philipps said, describing the racing thoughts and paralyzing fear she felt as a new mother. "I didn't even know that what I was going through was a thing. I just thought, 'This is who I am, and I'm crazy.'"

Now, Philipps speaks openly about anxiety with followers of her Instagram account.

"When I first started talking about anxiety on social media, I didn't realize that I was doing anything controversial or that people would think was brave of me to do," she said. "It just was like, 'This is a fact of my life.'"

Sharing candidly about parenting and her personal life on Instagram has opened Philipps up to a bit of mom judging, but the mom-of-two says she let's most criticism roll off her back.

"For me, I really try to focus on what I find to be the positive side of social media," said Philipps. "And, what drew me to Instagram in the first place is that I think you can really build a sense of community."

"It is reassuring to get messages from moms and dads and people all over the world saying, 'Oh my gosh, the same thing happened to me,'" she continued. "It makes the world feel a little bit smaller and like you're not alone in this."

When it comes to advice for new parents, Philipps says it's hard to know what to say.

"I can't give any advice to first time parents — It's too difficult," she said. "If I could give any advice, it would be raise your first child like it's your second, but you can't do that because it's impossible."

"No one knows what they're in for, and it affects everyone differently — just try to go easy on yourself and try to be kind to your partner."