Mollie Hawkins
January 04, 2016 5:47 pm

We’re only a few days into the new year, and one of our favorite Pretty Little Liars stars is already kicking things off with a super positive attitude when it comes to body negativity.

If you follow Ashley Benson’s Instagram, you probably know that she’s not afraid to be open about her life and her human flaws (I mean, we all have to take a selfie in our zit cream sometimes, for real). And this is just one of the many reasons we love her. She also rocks out our dream wardrobes as the ever-sassy Hanna on Pretty Little Liars, which might make it seem that she’d be impervious to criticism, right? She’s got it all: beauty, brains, and success. But it turns out that she’s still no stranger to the oftentimes harsh realities and pressures of being an actress and human woman.

In an interview she did with Ocean Drive Magazine, Benson admitted that she’d recently been told she was “too fat” for a part. At first, she was upset, saying, “I’m a size 2! I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let it roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder,” she said, “a lot of people in this industry hear they need to lose weight more times than they should. It does make you stronger, though. Because if you let that affect you, you can’t be in this industry — you’d go crazy.”

The California native has been in the spotlight since childhood — Benson was a competitive dancer by the time she was 4 years old (y’know, while the rest of us were still mastering coloring inside the lines — or was that just me?), and acting full time by the age of 14 on Days of Our Lives. She also starred in Bring it On: In It to Win It and Spring Breakers in addition to a guest spot on How I Met Your Mother — and now at age 26, Benson is holding steady in her role on PLL — which also happens to be ABC Family’s number-one series of all time.

While many successful actors and actresses have had a less-than-great time dealing with the realities of growing up as a child star, Benson has maintained a positive outlook and one that we can ALL take a cue from. She even freely admits that she doesn’t like the way magazines Photoshop her, saying she was angry and disappointed that people would think she was something that she wasn’t, admitting, “I hate to think that girls are like, ‘She’s so skinny! Her skin is so perfect!’ I have pimples just like they do.”

We seriously love Ashley Benson’s refreshing views on body image, and the honest way she combatted her fat-shamers. In a culture that values a very narrow, specific kind of body type, so many women (and men!) feel huge amounts of pressure to look a certain way. But Benson is challenging those ideals in the best possible way —with positivity.

(Images via Instagram, Twitter)

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