Sammy Nickalls
September 23, 2015 9:36 am

So if you didn’t know, we at HelloGiggles kind of sort of LOVE Shay Mitchell, who plays Emily on Pretty Little Liars. Not only is she a rad actress bursting with talent on the show we know and love, but the 28-year-old landed her own digital series focused on travel this year — Shaycation. (They had an opportunity for a pun, AND THEY TOOK IT.) But her work and talent aren’t the only things that we love about Shay. Recently, she dropped some awesome, body-positive truth bombs when chatting to Today.

Naturally, with her role in PLL, she has a lot of fans telling her that they want to look like her. “No, you don’t,” she tells them. “You want to look like you.”

Shay explained her reasoning: that to want to look like someone else is completely overshadowing something absolutely amazing. “You were born that way for a reason,” she said. “You are unique. There’s no one else in this entire world that looks like you, that is like you, that has the same personality. That is something in itself to be celebrating.”

What wonderful (and true!) sentiment. Each of us is absolutely, unequivocally unique; although we may have doppelgangers somewhere in this big wide world, there will never, ever be another “you” or “me.”

Shay continued about the importance of focusing on being the best person you can be. . . not having the “perfect body.” After all, Shay doesn’t look camera ready as soon as she opens her eyes in the morning; she and her team devote a lot of time on lighting, as well as her hair and makeup. “I don’t look like this when I wake up,” she told Today. “But when I do [wake up], I’m still just as confident and happy.”

Shay also spoke about confidence and her character, Emily, which helped start a conversation about LGBTQ issues when her character came out as a lesbian on the series. “It’s one thing to be an entertaining show,” Shay told Today. “It’s another thing to have a small impact on their lives by playing this character who is really strong, who stayed true to who she was. . . [PLL watchers] realize and they learn that the people who truly do care about you are not going to focus on your sexuality. Your sexual orientation shouldn’t matter at all. Love who you love at the end of the day.”

Her latest clothing line, Fit To Wander, features athletic wear, as well as graphic tees with positive quotes that she hopes will remind people to treat each other with respect. “You never know what somebody else is going through,” Shay told Today. “So be nice and even if you’re having a really hard day, there’s always somebody else’s day who is worse than yours.”

You go, Shay. Thanks for being real and down-to-earth, as always — as well as an incredibly fabulous role model for girls and women everywhere.

(Images via Instagram)

Related:

Shay Mitchell got her own show and we’re psyched

Shay Mitchell is fiercely grown up

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