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Chrissy Metz dazzles in sexy photo shoot for Harper's Bazaar: 'It's validation'

/ Source: TODAY

There was a time Chrissy Metz thought that she and her embattled character from "This Is Us" had a lot in common.

"I used to be Kate," she told Harper's Bazaar. But as the photos that accompany her interview prove, she's Kate no more.

Lauren Dukoff for

Metz goes from smolder to smiles and from vintage swimwear to playful pinup dresses in the sexy shoot — and her unfettered confidence shines through.

But even though Metz radiates self-assurance in the pics, she admitted she was surprised about the sexy angle all the same.

"When I first heard Harper's Bazaar wanted me to be sexy, I was like, 'Who, me?'" she said.

RELATED: Chrissy Metz says her boyfriend offered to quit 'This Is Us' for her

That's not because she doesn't see herself as sexy. It's simply so rare to see plus-size beauty celebrated in the pages of a magazine at all.

"I knew y'all were edgy but this is incredible," she told the publication. "It's validation."

And it's important.

Lauren Dukoff for

"If you can't love who you are now, you can't get to the place you want to be," Metz explained.

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That a sentiment that she hopes she's spreading, both by appearing the pages of a high-fashion magazine and by starring in a hit TV show.

"I'm paving the way for other women and men who know they're destined for greatness but they don't believe it yet," the star added. "There's more room for all of us now — no matter our sexuality, race, body size, gender or whatever else."