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Actress Shay Mitchell is having the best summer ever and it’s only just begun.

Not only is the summer premiere of her hit show Pretty Little Liars just days away, but she’s been chosen to grace the cover of ELLE Canada’s July 2013 issue. Along with the cover shoot, the actress, who is constantly striving to be a positive role model for her fans, opens up about her insecurities and giving back.

Though she’s now a confident, talented and well…flawless actress, there was a time when Shay wasn’t always so comfortable in her own skin.

“When I was in high school, I was so uncomfortable with myself,” she explained. “All my friends were blonde and blue-eyed. My mom is Filipino-but my friends’ nannies were Filipino.”

Fortunately, the 26-year-old has grown from her experience and is using it to help empower her fans.

“Even on social media, I like to post uplifting quotes because what else would I be doing? Just taking pictures of myself? Although I do that too. There’s always that fine line: Am I putting myself out there too much? Am I living my life through my phone?”

Shay’s not only an amazing actress and stunning cover girl; she’s an activist, taking the opportunity to touch on an organization she’s passionate about.

“Sexual exploitation was everywhere, and it really had an impact on me. When I came back from working with the girls, it was hard for me to talk to people. To be honest with you, my biggest dream is not to win an Oscar. For me, it’s to open up a Somaly Mam center in the Philippines in the next few years.”

We applaud Shay’s passion for helping others and love that she’s always looking to uplift her fans. 

Could she be more perfect?

Photo credit: Colette De Barros/ Elle Canada.

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