If you’ve ever wanted to go back and offer some advice to your younger self, you’re in good company. Victoria Beckham has penned a candid letter to her 18-year-old self for British Vogue that’s packed full of fashion advice (“Wear sunglasses a lot”) and beauty wisdom (“Don’t ever let that makeup artist shave your eyebrows! The effects last forever”) that the Spice Girl turned fashion mogul has learned throughout her highly publicized adult life in the spotlight.
In the heartfelt missive, Beckham speaks frankly about marriage, her long-rumored plastic surgery, chronic hair spray overuse, and — gasp! — even her shocking recent switch to flats. But she starts it all with a straightforward and moving tribute to the insecurities of her younger self, a teenager still known simply as Victoria Adams.
“I know you are struggling right now. You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts college,” she begins. “You have never properly fitted in, although you are sharing your Surrey school digs with really nice girls. You have bad acne. You think the principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a humiliatingly bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are too plump to go at the front. (This may or may not be true.)”
Revealing that she was bullied on the first day of secondary school, Beckham reminds her younger self to remember those moments of adversity and stay strong, stay the course, and be grateful for the thick skin that resulted. And speaking of that skin, you’d better believe the now-successful designer has some words of wisdom, all of which comes down to the beautiful notion of ultimately accepting who you are.
“Let your skin breathe; wear less makeup,” she advises. “And I should probably say, don’t mess with your boobs. All those years I denied it — stupid. A sign of insecurity. Just celebrate what you’ve got.”
Celebrate what you’ve got, including lifelong friendships in the form of fellow Spice Girls: “If you don’t join the Spice Girls, you might always be that insecure person in that little shell, and you will never become who you truly are. … So practice what you preach when you sing ‘friendship never ends,’ and celebrate everyone’s uniqueness.”
Words to live by.