Park says reminding us that there is only one of you in the whole universe will help us understand that we are unique.
As you present different aspects of yourself to the world through various filters, 'just be yourself' may not sound like the best thing you want to be, but we all know that accepting our best selves will help us better at loving ourselves. If you've been feeling down about yourself lately, Ashley Park, PEOPLE's digital cover star, is teaming up with "e.l.f." Cosmetics and PEOPLE to give you a confidence boost. The 32-year-old "Joy Ride" actress encourages you to be the truest version of yourself because that is where true beauty comes from. "You are the only you that there is," Park says, reminding us there is only one of you in the universe. "Nobody's going to do what you do better than you."
The "Emily in Paris" actress is well aware that confidence and self-esteem are derived from internal happiness. Park also explains how to feel your best when interacting with others, whether it's with friends, dates, or anyone in between. "Just feel your best, look your best," Park says while giving several gentle suggestions. "Have fun and be respectful of yourself...Have a great time. Make yourself laugh, and make them laugh, and then it'll be fun no matter what." Park concludes by returning to the theme of authenticity: "Be yourself... but like really be yourself." Although we all know 'what' to do when it comes to self-love, the challenge is to really understand the 'how.' Even if self-love and non-judgemental self-acceptance seem harder, the best step is to distance yourself from self-hate and understand better parts of yourself.
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As we experience life, 'Be yourself' becomes an evolving process filled with letting go and adding on parts. In 2020, Park learned to accept her cancer survivor status as part of her identity. In a Cosmopolitan profile, she opened up about being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and hospitalized for eight months at the age of 15, a part of her life she rarely discusses. Her biggest fear used to be allowing her cancer to define her career and identity. "I never wanted to be just the Asian girl, just the 'whatever' girl, and then I got to 16 and was the bald girl and the sick girl," she said. Since then, she has come a long way. The actress now realizes that her cancer experience changed her life in some ways, allowing her to become more compassionate and empathetic. "When you've been through a really hard time, you don't want somebody else to go through it," she expressed.
"People say, 'You're a hero for surviving,'" she says in PEOPLE's interview. "But that was probably the most selfish time of my life because I had to have everybody I care about only thinking about me. And I really don't like that. But then I realized surviving [cancer] and then working hard to thrive and be happy after that is an inspiration for people."
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Ziwe is also collaborating with e.l.f. Cosmetics and PEOPLE on a confidence-boosting pep talk. The 31-year-old "Ziwe" host reveals her success secret, which can be found in a tube of makeup. "I like to think that a good lip gloss is the foundation of every win," she says. All you need to psych yourself up is some positive thinking, Ziwe explains seriously. "You can be anything you want to be — the power of the mind is not a joke," the star says with a smile.