“20 years later and now I wish I still had that ‘weird’ face and odd ‘bone structure,’ ” the 47-year-old wrote
Eva Mendes
Eva Mendes
| Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty

Eva Mendes is encouraging people to appreciate how they look at every stage of their lives — after struggling to accept that herself when she was younger.

As a 26-year-old early in her acting career, Mendes, now 47, said that she used to dislike her face and criticize her looks.

"Just came across this picture from a movie that was almost 20 years ago," she wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo from when she was in the 2003 movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

"I remember seeing this photo back then and thinking my face looked "weird" and that my bone structure was odd ...yadda yadda ...you know all those insecurities that a 26 year old can have," the mom of two continued.

eva mendes
Eva Mendes in Once Upon a Time in Mexico
| Credit: Mary Evans/COLUMBIA PICTURES/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Looking back on it now, though, Mendes regrets thinking that way.

"Meanwhile 20 years later and now I wish I still had that "weird" face and odd "bone structure" 😩," she said.

The Hitch star said she wasn't exactly sure of her point, but "maybe it's if you hate a photo of yourself wait 20 years then you'll love it."

RELATED VIDEO: Eva Mendes Calls Parenting Her Two Daughters 'Beautiful and Maddening'

She ended with a quote she attributes to Oscar Wilde (though fellow Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw seems to be the true originator of the line) — "Youth is wasted on the young."

Mendes' post filled with comments agreeing with her message, including one woman who said, "Oh to be in your 20s and have the wisdom of your 40s!" That led the star to respond, adding, "yes, agreed. That's why I love this quote so much! But let's think of it this way…we're in our 40s and it can feel daunting but think when we're 60 and we look back to today we'll think 'we were babies in our 40s!' Ok maybe not babies but still young is what I mean. It's all relative."

And Mendes has said that she's proud to be aging. In 2020, after an Instagram troll wrote that "she's getting old," on one of her posts, the actress celebrated her age.

"Yes your [sic] right," Mendes — who was nearing her 46th birthday at the time — replied. "Thank God I'm getting old. That means I'm still here. I'm gonna be 46 soon and grateful everyday [sic] that I'm aging. Was your comment suppose to make me feel bad? It didn't."

"It makes me feel grateful," she added. "So thank you for the reminder that I'm still here. ❤️❤️❤️."