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Lana Condor, who stars in the Netflix hit "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" and "Deadly Class" on SYFY, shares why she loves her nose and why representation in Hollywood matters.
When I was in elementary school, I always got made fun of for my nose, because it's so small and people would honk it all the time. But now, I really love it ... mostly because people kiss the tip of it. Even randos who probably shouldn't be kissing the tip of my nose do it, but it's kind of cute because it's a little button nose. So, now I really like it.
In middle school, I was definitely made fun of for it. But also, like, come on guys. Why are we still making fun of the way people look?
I think age just helped me learn to love the way I look. Because when you're young, you're really insecure. Middle school is really, really hard and high school is really, really difficult. Age and time heals everything. Don't listen to these haters. They're just jealous; they probably want a button nose, too.
To my younger self I say, thank God for braces. Becuase I smile all the time! So I'm really happy I got braces. And then I say, thank you parents, for getting me braces.
The minute I knew "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" was a success was when I woke up the day after it premiered and I saw my first memes. I've never been meme'd before, so it was weird!
The thing that I learned about fame is that no one can prep you for it. Everyone's experience is different. (When people approach me, they) usually say that they feel really happy to have been represented on screen and they're happy to see someone who looks like them up there. And that has been the best part of this whole entire experience.
Representation is important because it's life. It's how it should be and should have always been. I dont understand why it's taken so long! If our media doesn't look like it does in real life, we're not stupid human beings. We know we're not getting an accurate representation of what the real world looks like. It's important that people feel like they're seen and heard and not different in a bad way.
I really do think the industry is changing. At least in my experience, I think the industry is changing for Asian-American actors. The scripts that I've gotten since (my Netflix movie) have been so inclusive and truly open to all ethnicities, which I think is really amazing. When I first started out, I know that they would say "open to all ethnicities," but they didn't necessarily mean it. Now, I feel like they really do mean it.
I'm hopeful that it'll only continue to get better. I truly believe that.
As told to TODAY's Emily Sher. This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.