The IRL Alison DiLaurentis, Sasha Pieterse has written a powerful letter about how her hormone imbalance caused her to gain weight, resulting in the star frequently being body shamed.
The star pours her heart out about what she's been through and the pressure on women to adhere to society's beauty rules.
“I think truly loving yourself is one of the hardest things we as humans can do,” she writes.
"We live in a society that literally profits from our self doubt and insecurities. Women in particular are judged by their looks whether they are in the spotlight or not. We’ve subconsciously been shaped by the notion that we can only base our self worth on how people positively or negatively decide to see us.”
“There was major backlash on social media," she adds. "People were actually angry that I had gained weight, I was being (and still am) called names, made fun of, the (unfortunate) usual but it wasn’t until people started asking and assuming I was pregnant that I decided to say something.”
Sasha goes on to encourage us all to practice self-love and forget about the haters.
“We’ve all heard our parents tell us to treat people the way you want to be treated, but I think often we don’t treat ourselves the way we should be treated,” she wrote. “I decided at that point to love myself the way I am right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to improve myself, it means that I am making a point to love myself at every stage and chapter of my life.”
“Do not lower yourself to people who refuse to grow higher,” Sasha continued. “If you don’t love yourself, you’ll continue to chase people who don’t love you either.”
Major props to Sash for speaking up about her journey to body positivity!