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Julianne Hough shares body-positive photo: 'Celebrate being confident'

The former "Dancing With the Stars" judge can rock a red one-piece but even she gets the body insecurity bug from time to time.

by Julia Curley /

Julianne Hough seems to have it all — from her “Dancing With the Stars” fame to her recent marriage to NHL star Brooks Laich — but even she faces periods of self-doubt.

The 29-year-old former "DWTS" judge took to Instagram Friday with a gorgeous, poolside photo and an honest message on learning to love her body.

Hough looks stunning in a red swimsuit after she spontaneously jumped in the pool “with a full face of makeup on,” according to her caption, but the post-wedding, post-honeymoon shot left her feeling self-conscious.

“It’s taken me 3 months to post this because I ‘didn’t want people to think’ that I was trying too hard or that because this was a real life photo and not for something related to my career that it was weird to post,” Hough wrote.

Samantha Marq, a close friend to Hough, snagged the shot on a whim telling Hough to stay in place during the impromptu moment.

“This was right after my Wedding and Honeymoon, where I had a really big, surprising switch happen,” the superstar dancer admitted in her caption. “I had never felt more free, beautiful and confident in my body. I truly felt like a woman for the very first time.”

Hough, who was originally nervous about the whole idea of marriage and kids, has now never felt more herself.

 "I used to refer to my thighs as 'th-ass,' which is where my legs and my ass connect," Hough told TODAY back in May. "All of the women in my family are a little self-conscious about our legs." Noam Galai / Getty Images

She decided to post the photo after putting things in perspective by saying, “get out of your head and stop making decisions based off of what (you) ‘think’ people will think.”

Hough realized that she was facing a common, human insecurity and she wanted to not only share the photo she loved but her feelings as well: “If I like the picture and I feel good, I should share that. It’s important to celebrate being confident, inspire others to do the same and to not hold back because you’re afraid of being judged! I wanted to share this because I want women, especially girls figuring out who they are to know that we all go through this.”

Hough inspires over and over again. Just months ago, the star told TODAY how she learned to love her strong legs, and now she’s calling all her followers to join in the body confidence campaign:

“I want to encourage all of you to share a picture that makes YOU feel really good or maybe one that you have been second guessing about sharing," Hough wrote. "The cool thing is we keep growing, changing and redefining who we are all the time. So let’s start now and own it!"

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