vanessa hudgens come into her own after years of suppressing true self
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Vanessa Hudgens Has Come Into Her Own After Years Of Suppressing Her True Self: 'I Love Who I Am, And There's Such Power In That'

Nov. 1 2021, Published 11:39 a.m. ET

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Vanessa Hudgens is embracing her authentic self — and as a result, she's never been happier.

"Over the past couple of years, I've really come into my own," the 32-year-old star spilled to Shape for her cover story. "When you're fully accepting of who you are, and you stop trying to suppress pieces of yourself, you can conquer the world."

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"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," the Spring Breakers actress continued. "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."

vanessa hudgens can conquer the world now that shes embraced true self
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The Disney Channel alum admitted that for years, she had a set plan for herself — but she's grateful that things took a turn, insisting, "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," the Bad Boy for Life actress explained, referring to her nearly yearlong romance with MLB player Cole Tucker.

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vanessa hudgens can conquer the world now that shes embraced true self
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"What I've discovered is that we all have these ideas — and if they don't happen, then there's a reason why," insisted the Know Beauty cofounder. "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."

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The star is particularly proud of her latest flick Tick, Tick... Boom!, a musical drama that debuts in theaters and on Netflix later this month. The film, which is based on the life of late playwright Jonathan Larson, is directed by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

"It's so gratifying to be a part of Jonathan Larson's legacy," said Hudgens. "To be a part of his story, bringing it to audiences everywhere, is such an honor."

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