Insecurities can plague even the most seemingly successful and accomplished of individuals. Those who seem like they have it all aren't immune to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. No matter who you are, insecurities are difficult to overcome. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this more than celebrities who themselves admit to battling insecurities in the past—even when they were famous—and rising above them to become the stronger, wiser, happier individuals we know them as today. From Emma Watson to Serena Williams, some of the most inspiring women we know share how to overcome insecurities with their personal anecdotes of struggle and perseverance.
Head below for inspiring words of how our favorite beauty icons have overcome their own insecurities to become stronger women.
"I, as a 21-year-old, was riddled with insecurity and self-critiquing. Some of my friends still are. I realized that I didn't like friends taking photos of me when I wasn't working and I actually got in a fight about this issue. And I wondered, why is this bothering me? Why does this make me so insecure? And I realized it's because I can't even reconcile myself with my own image on the front of these magazines.
"Comparing myself to how I look, when I've gone through all of that makeup and styling, in my normal life is … just … I can't live up to it. I was like, 'Holy shit! If that's how I feel—and I get to be the person who's on the cover of those magazines—how's anyone else meant to cope? … Switching from that to being like: 'Oh, I actually operate in a system that's fucked. I'm not fucked, the system's fucked. Okay.' And, ironically, it's probably made me more beautiful and more confident as a result because I'm not carrying that anxiety anymore.
I don't think it's weird anymore that I don't look like myself on the cover of a magazine." — Emma Watson, Esquire UK, 2016
"I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned… What does sustain us … what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. … And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey.
That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty." — Lupita Nyong'o at the Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, 2014
"I didn't even know I cared about my twenties until I turned 30. But then 33 was like, my favorite birthday. I just got into my groove; everything came together. And I felt good about what brought me here; all the struggle and the what ifs, the stress and the burden of it… I feel like I'm moving forward… I feel like I look better now. I think I came into my own physically in my thirties, even when I'd had kids. I'm actually smaller now, with not such a girl face—I had such chubby cheeks. And I know how to do my makeup now.
Back then it was just powder, lots of powder." — Jessica Alba, Marie Claire UK, 2014
"Maybe [it's] because I have professional confidence that comes from my business, but calling me chubby cannot hurt me in the way it does so many, many girls, millions of women… When I was younger, I already went through that. I know it's much harder to do the things I've done than it is to lose weight and be thin. Also, when you've seen Instagram comments like, 'You're so ugly, you should kill yourself,' it's like, I went to college. How could I be offended by someone who talks about what you look like?
I wouldn't even deem you a person I'd speak to. I don't know if I'd have felt this way when I was 22. But I feel this way at 34." — Mindy Kaling, The Guardian, 2014
"When I was young I thought I should be built more like an athlete—long and lean—not with a womanly figure. But then people my age started coming up to me, saying, 'I love you because of the way you look.' They could relate to me. That was really motivating. So I learned to be proud of my curves and to embrace my large boobs and my butt. It's all about loving who you are and realizing that you're beautiful." — Serena Williams, Fitness, 2014
In the mood for more inspiring words? Check out 10 empowering beauty quotes you'll want to regram.