If you grew up in the ’90s, you probably wanted to be Donna Martin at one point. But despite playing the aspiring model on TV, Tori Spelling reveals she was an “insecure teen” when she starred on Beverly Hills, 90210. Sure, she seemed confident in the role of her stylish, popular character — but, as Spelling says, “Perception is not always reality.”
The actress took to Instagram on Thursday afternoon to share the secret behind the smile she had plastered on during her decade-long run on the iconic show. Now 46, Spelling vulnerably admitted she basically had a “fake it till you make it” mantra back then. “I was a young really insecure teenager that never thought I was good enough. Yet, I was on a hugely successful tv show playing a beautiful popular teen that had it all together. A character that girls everywhere looked up to and boys adored. Off camera I didn’t feel at all beautiful or good about myself,” she captioned a throwback photo of herself striking a very Donna-Martin-esque pose.
“But, in this pic, I was ALL IN for the camera! ‘Playing’ Donna Martin, would be model,” she continued. “Goes to show that perception is not always reality.” Spelling went on to say that if she could go back and step outside of herself for a moment, she would have “off camera hugged her and told her she was good enough and was beautiful just the way she was.”
View this post on Instagram
Fake it till you make it… – I was a young really insecure teenager that never thought I was good enough. Yet, I was on a hugely successful tv show playing a beautiful popular teen that had it all together. A character that girls everywhere looked up too and boys adored. Off camera I didn’t feel at all beautiful or good about myself. – But, in this pic I was ALL IN for the camera! “ Playing ” Donna Martin would be model 😂Goes to show that perception is not always reality. – Now, I look back at that young insecure girl and I give her HUGE props. She stepped up and went for it. I wish I could have off camera hugged her and told her she was good enough and was beautiful just the way she was. Life is hard enough for teens living up to the expectations the world, society, and peers put on us… let alone being on camera weekly in front of millions. Don’t get me wrong… one of the best times of my life!So blessed and grateful for the successful tv series I got to be a part of and will always cherish the #90210 cast that became my family and friends and relationships that would continue for a lifetime. I just wish I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself. Let myself “off camera” be the girl I felt I was “on camera”. – Bc of Donna Martin I tell my girls everyday they are good enough, smart, beautiful, and can be anyone they want to be. But never be who everyone expects you to be! Be you. #donnamartingraduates #beverlyhills90210 #bh90210 #tbt
Spelling made sure to point out that she would forever be grateful for that time in her life and for the show. She simply has more perspective now. “I just wish I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself. Let myself ‘off camera’ be the girl I felt I was ‘on camera,'” she said, ending her post, “Bc of Donna Martin, I tell my girls every day they are good enough, smart, beautiful, and can be anyone they want to be. But never be who everyone expects you to be! Be you.”
It’s been two decades since the original 90210, and Spelling seems to be in a much better headspace now. She also seems to be honoring that empowering approach to parenting. She’s now a mother of five — she and husband Dean McDermott share kids Liam, 12, Stella, 11, Hattie, 8, Finn, 7, and Beau, 2 — so she applies the lessons she’s learned over time in teaching her crew.
In November, she shared a photo with daughters Stella and Hattie (who can believe how grown up they are now? Not us!). She captioned it with a special message to the girls, saying, ” Always know your worth. It’s priceless. Keep your fire burning and your determination, drive, and passion in high gear! Protect your energy and always tell YOUR STORY! It’ll be the greatest novel of your lifetime. You have one life… live it your way and for you!”