"I want to wear something because I love it, not because it follows the rules," the actress says in a new interview with HarpersBazaar.com

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Since exploding onto the scene as Kate Pearson on the breakout hit This Is Us last September, Chrissy Metz has become a beacon for body positivity. She opened up to PEOPLE about her own path to finding self-acceptance, and she’s been very candid about how her weight loss journey relates to that of her character’s on the NBC show. And now Metz, 36, is revealing her stylish side in her debut fashion shoot with HarpersBazaar.com.

“When I first heard Harper’s Bazaar wanted me to be sexy, I was like, ‘Who, me?’ I knew y’all were edgy but this is incredible’ —it’s validation,” she says of her photo shoot, in which she wears a low-cut red swimsuit and retro wide-brim hat both courtesy of Pinup Girl Clothing. In another photo, Metz keeps up with the pin-up girl vibe (and has us wishing for warm weather) in a polka dot Unique Vintage dress and belt and cat-eye Le Specs sunglasses.

Chrissy Metz for Harpers Bazaar Allison.Keane@hearst.com
Credit: Courtesy Harpers Bazaar
Chrissy Metz for Harpers Bazaar Allison.Keane@hearst.com
Credit: Lauren Dukoff for HarpersBazaar.com

The actress embraces bold colors and fun prints on the red carpet, crediting her stylist, Jordan Grossman, for giving her “permission to try different things.”

But she maintains it’s still difficult to find brands that provide trendy size-inclusive options for curvy girls, telling HarpersBazaar.com, it’s “slim pickings for plus-size women, especially for formal wear.”

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Thanks to labels like Eloquii and designers like Michael Costello, however, she’s been able to move past that “only black” rule curvy women face.

“I want to wear something because I love it, not because it follows the rules,” she shares. “If I ever end up on the worst-dressed list, it’s not going to make me fall apart. I want to look great and feel good and be comfortable, but at the same time, none of this really matters. This is the fun stuff.”

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Learn more about Chrissy Metz‘s career and on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to people.com/PEN or download the app on your favorite device.

HarpersBazaar.com‘s Editor Joyann King says Metz’s body positive message is very important to share and to foster in the fashion industry.

“As the past few years have shown, true style transcends cliché formulas,” she shares adding, “We are honored to share these gorgeous images from Chrissy Metz’s debut fashion shoot — a right of passage for Hollywood’s leading ladies.”

What do you think of Metz’s first fashion shoot? Share below.