Star’s Awkward Childhood Photo Offers an Important Reminder

She has modeled on catwalks in Europe, stolen scenes on the big screen, and now stars in her own TV show, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, as a sassy superhero. But 33-year-old “it” girl Krysten Ritter wasn’t always so chic — or confident. 

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She reveals as much in a cringeworthy Instagram shot she shared on Wednesday, captioned, “It gets better kiddies!!!” with a trail of grimacing emojis and hearts. The throwback photo reveals a school-age Ritter in a frilly aqua dress with a white turtleneck and white pants underneath, accessorized with white sneakers and a white headband. 

Krysten Ritter today (Photo: Michael Stewart/WireImage)

“My natural state is ‘odd,’” the self-described “scrappy kid from a farm” told Backstage. “I guess I would say that I’m a little offbeat and lanky.” Growing up on a cow and chicken farm in Pennsylvania, she was bullied as a kid, she admits. “When I became a model, it gave me some self-esteem and a place to belong,” she revealed to Ocean Drive magazine. “Up until then, my home life was a little rocky and the kids at school would totally pick on me. … [But] you have to rise above it and burn bright. You can’t let other people’s issues destroy you or put your fire out, as cheesy as that sounds.” 

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Ritter (center) in her modeling days (Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

A few years after modeling, though, she realized that she wanted more out of her career. “A lot of actresses start out modeling because it’s a great way to sort of get your foot in the door,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. She nailed a Dr. Pepper commercial audition and things took off from there. “I just got really focused and put my nose to the grindstone,” she said, adding, “It’s all about keeping the ball moving forward, in terms of your acting, the work, and your viability.”

And that’s exactly why the dorky photo she shared on Instagram is important. With so many tweens and teens striving to look perfect and pose like celebrities on social media so much these days, Ritter offers an important reminder that what you look like as a kid isn’t how you’ll appear forever — and if you don’t feel as confident as a superhero now, hang on. 

“I trust that there will always be ups and downs, and I trust that we’re on a roller coaster, and I don’t have to get off the roller coaster,” she has said. “I get to keep going.” After all, as her story so far shows, you never know where it’ll take you.

(Top photo: therealkrystenritter/Instagram)

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