Celebrity mom Melissa Ricks took to Instagram to open up about embracing her imperfections and encouraged other women to do the same.

In a post on Friday, October 11, Melissa wrote that though she initially planned on editing her photo before uploading it, she eventually decided not to edit the picture at all, choosing instead to embrace her “extra weight, bilbil, stretch marks, freckles, wrinkles, and cellulite.”

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Melissa wrote, “Proud to say this is who I am… With all my body changes, a lot of other things have changed as well. I have become a braver, stronger, and hopefully a smarter version of myself, of course couldn’t have done it without God by my side.”

She also took the opportunity to encourage her followers to embrace their imperfections.

“[It’s] okay not to be perfect,” she said. “Each and every flaw makes you who [you] are. Each scar, stretch mark, wrinkle, is part of your story. Part of what has [molded] you to who you are today. YOU are SPECIAL. Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise.

“[It’s] okay to be you, do you… Remember everyone is fighting their own battle. BE KIND.”

Since giving birth to her daughter Kiera, Melissa has been vocal about the long process of learning to love herself and her curvier body, especially on social media.

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In one Instagram post from 2018, Melissa shared that she would usually get anxious every time she had to attend occasions where she would need to dress up, saying that she would have a hard time finding outfits she could wear confidently.

She wrote that though there were people who criticized her for her weight, she ultimately learned that “what really matters to me is my wellbeing, my peace of mind, my happiness and my child.”

Melissa also shared her struggles with self-love in an exclusive interview with SmartParenting.com.ph.

Napagod na ako na parang for how many years, iniintindi ko what other people thought of me. I didn’t really think of what I thought of myself,” she said.

Eventually, she learned to not pay too much attention to what other people would tell her and instead focus on caring for herself and her daughter.

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“There’s nothing wrong with gaining weight, as long as you’re a good person and you’re happy with yourself,” Melissa said.

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