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This Plus-Size Model Just Penned the Most Empowering Letter to Her Younger Self

It may have taken a while, but plus-size model Dana Patterson has finally learned to love and accept her body just the way it is. The young Aerie campaign star has often used her body-positive voice to inspire her followers and recently took to Instagram to write a heart-warming letter to her younger self. (Related: The Best Body-Positive Moments of 2016)

In the lengthy post, Patterson revealed how she often felt insecure about her eyebrows, "hagrid" like hair, "full lips, olive skin and peach fuzz." But now, over time, she's learned to embrace and appreciate it all.

 

Dear younger me, the things I wish I could have said: You are beautiful the way God made you. Just because you are not blonde, blue eyed, and thin as a rail doesn't mean you are ANYTHING less. You'll be grateful for your eyebrows someday, you're welcome. You'll love the hair that makes people call you hagrid. You'll love your full lips and olive skin with peach fuzz. Those thighs you hate now will carry you through 3 junior olympics. Crazy right?! 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 DEFINE YOU! Don't listen to the people who say it does. The people who bully you will help hone your humor, 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. Times are rough right now but boy does it get better! You will grow up to realize YOU need to be the example you needed. You'll meet so many incredible people along the way. Stay weird and stay creative. You are loved. What makes you unique and maybe a little strange, makes you beautiful. I wanted to create this #dearyoungerme tag so that maybe someone in need can read the things I wish I knew when I was younger, and that it's actually awesome to defy unrealistic standards I tag @nourishandeat and @selfloveclubb if you end up doing one of these posts please tag me so I can read your story!!

A post shared by Dana Patterson (@danaisabellaaa) on

"Those thighs you hate now will carry you through 3 junior Olympics. Crazy right?!" she wrote, referring the time she 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 DEFINE YOU!" she continued. "Don't listen to the people who say it does."

Patterson continued by sharing how she's learned to tune out the haters, and how their harsh words have helped her become the person she is today. "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." Shine on, Dana.

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