Stewart ShiningToday, 25-year-old Shay Mitchell is part of the tight-knit cast of ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," along with Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, and Lucy Hale. But back in high school, she often dealt with ... less friendly girls who made her life a nightmare. "Growing up, I wish I hadn't tried so hard to fit in," she tells Seventeen magazine in a new interview. "I'd tell myself to just embrace what you were born with because it's beautiful and you were made like that for a reason. It's tough being a girl." In fact, the native of Toronto and Vancouver says that because she was bullied, before she became an actress she wanted to be a counselor and work with kids. "I've been through the worst of high school. And I want to motivate people to live the best life that they can, because we're only here for one life." Fortunately for fans, that didn't work out!
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Mitchell gets along much better with the women she spends her days with now. "I'm so close with each of the girls for different things," she says. "Troian is my go-to when I want advice on something. She's literally like her character — so smart. Lucy is so cute and southern. We joke around a lot on set. And Ashley is like the fun, carefree little sister who I never had." While you might think the fashionable foursome would be competitive when it comes to wardrobe, Mitchell said that's not the case. "All the ["Pretty Little Liars"] girls have different body types... I'm not going to fit into the size Lucy wears, or what any of the other girls wear," Mitchell notes. "Some clothes work on me that don't work on them and vice-versa. But we all go into the dressing room feeling confident. It's about appreciating what you were born with and putting your own sparkle on it."
When it comes to guys, Mitchell — who actually isn't gay like her character — also looks for a little something special: a sense of humor. "If you can make me laugh, my heart is yours!" Mitchell says. "I think there's nothing more attractive than someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously."
Read the full interview in the August issue of Seventeen, on newsstands July 3.
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