When Caleb McLaughlin wakes up in the morning, he stares straight into the mirror and says, “hey, good looking.” OK, maybe the Stranger Things star was joking about that, but Caleb is all about self-love, so much so that he started a couple hashtags to spread that attitude.
With #EmbraceYourFace and #BeYourBiggestFan, which he started a little over a year ago, Caleb not only talks about his own self-confidence and love, but he’s given fans an opportunity to share their own stories. His Stranger Things cast mates have even joined in on the movement. The hashtags, Caleb told Teen Vogue, are about loving yourself right where you’re at, but that isn’t always easy. Everyone has their own insecurities that may prevent them from greeting themselves with a “hey, good-looking” in the morning.
That’s precisely why we caught up with Caleb to see why he started these hashtags, and how he copes with moments of self-doubt. He also opened up about how he learned to embrace his own face, and how he works on keeping up his self-confidence.
Teen Vogue: How did you come up with #EmbraceYourFace and #BeYourBiggestFan?
Caleb McLaughlin: My parents always told me to be my biggest fan since I was young. When no one else is your fan, you have to be your own cheerleader. I wanted to show people they have to love themselves and embrace that. I wanted to let them know I’m here for them and spread the love. I’ve always had #BeYourBiggestFan. As far as #EmbraceYourFace, I had a really bad acne day … and my mom and I were going to a supermarket. I had pimple cream all over my face. [I went in like that because] it’s fine, I’m a teen, it’s the process. Everyone goes through these things. People are really insecure about how people think about how they look, so I went on [Instagram] Live and I said, ‘guys, embrace your face.’ Not everyone is the same, not everyone’s perfect. Embrace who you are because there’s no one else like you in the world.
TV: How do you practice self-love and embrace your face?
CM: I just tell myself, ‘hey, good looking, have a great day!’ I don’t know, I just try to stay confident in myself — not in a cocky way but in a humble way. Just love people. When you spread love, you feel good about yourself.
TV: Have you ever struggled with feeling good about yourself?
CM: Many times. I wouldn’t have these hashtags if I never didn’t feel confident. It wasn’t to the point where I had major issues, just a little stuff. If I didn’t have any problems with myself I don’t think I would have this hashtag.
TV: Do you have any times for others who might be struggling with confidence?
CM: Definitely. It’s easy to say ‘be your biggest fan,’ but you have to really tell [people] ‘love yourself.’ There’s something you can do that no one else can do, and embrace that. I’d tell them I love them and keep going and spread the love. One person at a time.
TV: Have any stories or posts from fans using your hashtag stuck out to you?
CM: This lady stood up and told me once I started it that before I started #EmbraceYourFace, she said she [was having suicidal ideation]. Once she saw my Instagram post, she said she didn’t want to do it anymore because she said, ‘Caleb is his biggest fan, I’m gonna be mine.’ She got pretty teary, I was pretty emotional.
TV: How do you and the cast of Stranger Things practice being each others’ biggest fans and encourage self-love?
CM: After every take, we’re like, ‘good job guys, let’s go eat.’ We have fun.
This interview has been edited lightly for length and clarity.
Taken from Teen Vogue US. Read the original here.
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