‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Troian Bellisario Wins #TBT With An Adorkable Post About Embracing Her Awkward Phase

In case you've ever wondered just how much Troian Bellisario is like her Pretty Little Liars character Spencer Hastings, the answer just became way more clear. Apparently they're both brainiacs — and proud of it. In a throwback photo, Bellisario shared the most adorable, yet amazing message on Instagram. Along with an old picture of herself holding a science fair trophy, the 30-year-old actor wrote,

#tbt to the girl who I still am inside: Winning the science fair, with a mouthful of braces, a head full of frizzy hair and a nose that I hope to god to grow into one day (jury's still out) Blessed be this awkward child, I owe everything I am today to her. I love you baby Troian and congrats on winning another academic award you 🤓!!!!

This is awesome for multiple reasons. First of all, she totally embraces her awkward phase. There's no denying that middle school is rough for most people. Filled with braces, pimples, and other side effects of puberty, it's not the most pleasant period of time. Everyone's figuring themselves out and there tends to be a ton of unnecessary drama. Yet instead of hiding that side of herself, Bellisario is sharing it with her nearly 7 million Instagram followers.

Another reason this is rad is that she's not afraid to celebrate her brainy side. Given the gender gap in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), it's pretty great to see her share a science fair photo. Those are fields that tend to be filled with less females. She's proving academics are nothing to be ashamed of and that girls can love science just as much as the boys — despite the possibility that it could spur stereotypes of being geeky. In posting this photo, she could inspire her young followers to embrace their academic sides too.

Look, I'm not saying that this photo will necessarily inspire a bunch of teens to go study extra hard. But who's saying it won't? Plus, by sharing her slightly dorky, awkward side, it sends a message of self-love. That's important, given Bellisario's openness about struggling with an eating disorder as a teen. She's been vocal about how she wasn't always happy with how she looked, so sharing this frizzy-haired photo is significant. She frequently makes an effort to spread messages of body positivity and this recent example certainly falls under that category. It's powerful to see her love herself (braces and all), especially when that wasn't always the case.

So thank you, Troian, for sharing this photo! It's not only relatable, but a great reminder that awkward phases are nothing to be embarrassed about. I'm sure PLL fans (myself included) appreciate knowing she's just as brilliant as the character she plays on TV.

Image: Giphy