The Busy Tonight host opened up about her body insecurities and how they’ve changed

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January 31, 2019 01:55 PM

Busy Philipps is showing why she’s a body image role model.

The actress, 39, is now modeling for Aerie in their unretouched ads, and opened up about why her new partnership is so meaningful.

Philipps wrote on Instagram that she spent most of her life trying to match the body types she saw in less-inclusive advertisements.

“Can I tell you a quick story? I have always hated my stomach. Always. It’s the part of my body I have always been quick to say I would change if given the choice,” she said. “Do you know what I recently realized? When I was a preteen, there was an underwear ad that was everywhere (I even had it torn out and up on my wall) and the very famous model had what I thought was ‘the perfect stomach.’ My stomach didn’t look like that. It never did and honestly, it never will. And so I deemed a part of my body a problem. I wasted SO MUCH TIME thinking about my ‘terrible stomach’ when my stomach is wonderful! Because it’s mine! And I’m not defined by my stomach or any other part of my body!”

Aerie by Ali Mitton

The host of Busy Tonight said that advertisement changed how she saw herself.

“I wish I had seen images of different women’s bodies in media when I was growing up,” she said. “I wish I hadn’t been sold the lie that to achieve true happiness I needed a flat tummy and no hips so I could look like a model in an ad.”

Philipps said that’s why she’s so proud to work with Aerie, who stopped retouching their ads in 2014, along with fellow actresses Jameela Jamil, Samira Wiley and the other models like Aly Raisman.

(L-R) Busy Philipps, Samira Wiley and Jameela Jamil
Aerie by Ali Mitton

“I am BEYOND thrilled to stand with @jameelajamilofficial, @whododatlikedat, @bren_hucks, @mollyburkeofficial@iskra@alyraisman and @cleowade, all of whom I respect for their own individual talents and their unique contributions to remaining authentic and truthful in the public eye,” she said. “We all have our own unique super powers and mine is my ability to be myself. I’ve never felt more ME and I’ve honestly never felt more beautiful.”

Busy Philipps
Aerie by Ali Mitton

And the mom to daughters Birdie, 10, and Cricket, 5, added that she hopes they’ll never feel those same body insecurities from advertisements.

@aerie is about empowering women and girls by showing images of real unretouched bodies,” she said. “I know for a fact I want my daughters to grow up in a world where they know and understand that true beauty comes from the inside out and true beauty doesn’t ever look just one way. The more we can have images out in the world that reflect that to us, the more that will become our reality.”

The new ads are part of the brand’s #AerieREAL campaign, focused on body positivity and inclusivity. Fellow model Jamil told PEOPLE that she’s excited to be a part of something that shows “authenticity and empowerment.”

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