Her message struck a chord with thousands of people.

By Faith Brar
Updated: February 21, 2017

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.

"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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