Vanessa Hudgens has figured out exactly who she is and what she wants, all while having the time of her life. Gracing SHAPE’s November issue, she opens up on her dedication to self-acceptance, harnessing the power of confidence, and juggling multiple careers as an actress and businesswoman.
- On feeling confident in her skin: “Over the past couple of years, I’ve really come into my own,” Vanessa says. “When you’re fully accepting of who you are, and you stop trying to suppress pieces of yourself, you can conquer the world. I love how silly I am. I love how excitable I am. And I love that I’m finally at a place where I can access those things. Even the quirky stuff that might have been shut down by other people in the past, like being ridiculous with my friends, those are things I’m now allowing to thrive. For some people, I’m way too much. But I love who I am, and there’s such power in that.”
- On cherishing her relationship with herself: “Where I am now is better than I could have dreamed of. My relationship with myself is something I value deeply, even if things don’t always go the way I expected. For instance, my mom got married at 25, so I always thought I was going to be married at 25. That didn’t happen. But I’m in such an amazing, healthy relationship, so it doesn’t matter. What I’ve discovered is that we all have these ideas—and if they don’t happen, then there’s a reason why. Learning that has been extremely helpful to my growth. I’m very grateful every day for where I am in this moment of my life.”
- On her musical theater roots: “I grew up being the girl in the sidelines, singing the harmonies,” Vanessa says. “That was my musical theater upbringing. Some of my fondest memories are of being in the rehearsal studio, practicing. Plus, I love singing. Any chance I can get to do it, I’m totally there for it.”
- On finding her tribe and leaning on them for support: “I’m so grateful for my group of friends because they’re such unique individuals. We have this bond—we lean on one another, and we’re inspired by one another. Whenever I’m stressed, I’ll tell one of them and they’ll say, ‘I’m coming over,’ and we’ll talk it out. That’s so important. Much of the time, when people are dealing with stress or mental health issues or depression, it’s easy to keep it all inside. But that’s the most destructive thing you can do. Having a community is my stress relief.”
- On celebrating her fitness goals: “At my fittest, I feel unstoppable. You think, ‘there’s no way I can get through 30 reps.’ But then you do, and you remind yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. Those little victories should always be celebrated. That’s what contributes joy and happiness and power and strength to your life.”
The November issue is available for sale on October 15th.
[Photo Credit: Thomas Whiteside/Shape Magazine]