She was one of the leads on a hit Freeform show, but that didn’t stop Sasha Pieterse from getting body-shamed after she gained weight last year.
Now that the series finale of Pretty Little Liars is behind us — it aired on June 27, 2017 — we’re taking a look back at how much she's grown in the spotlight, despite being bullied online.
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The 21-year-old is definitely a role model for younger girls because of the way she handled herself when fans began asking if she was pregnant. She explained at the time that the weight gain was caused by a hormone imbalance.
“There was major backlash on social media," she wrote in a lengthy Twitter message. "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 in 2013 (left) and in 2017. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
She continued, “I think truly loving yourself is one of the hardest things we as humans can do. We live in a society that literally profits from our self doubt and insecurities. Woman (sic) in particular are judged by their looks wether (sic) 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.”
Sasha encouraged her followers to focus their energy inward. “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 said. “I decided at that point to love myself the way I am right now.”
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She added, “Do not lower yourself to people who refuse to grow higher. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll continue to chase people who don’t love you either.” Wise words from a beautiful woman!
One of Sasha's audition tapes surfaced online, and in the clip, fans could see that she was destined for stardom at just 12 years old.
Even though she's best known for her work on PLL, she also had recurring roles on other hit TV shows. She played Buffy Davis on the CBS sitcom Family Affair and she also played Amanda Strazzulla on the hit NBC series Heroes. Her first film credit was for the 2005 action flick The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D.
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