Laura Dern Wrote An Open Letter To Her Daughter, But It Speaks To All Of Us

David Lynch's favourite actress pens a heartwarming letter to her 12 year-old daughter Jaya

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Many celebrities have taken to writing letters to their younger selves recently.

Victoria Beckham penned one to her 18 year-old self for Vogue, explaining, 'I know you are struggling right now. You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing.'

Similarly Solange wrote to her younger self for TeenVogue and Kesha for herself at 18.

Laura Dern, however, has bucked the trend for InStyle by composing a letter not to herself, but to her own 12 year-old daughter, Jaya.

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She gives some pretty good advice, so good in fact it might make you want to swap your mum in for the Twin Peaks actress (only kidding mum).

Dern opens the letter by explaining what moved her to put pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard, rather:

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a woman today. A woman in her own skin, in her power, without any labels placed on her. And as part of that process, I've thought back to what I saw when I was your age.

She goes on to explain how the 70's saw a revolution in which women decided to push against limitations, though society at large still believed they were doomed to fail.

Getting ready with the girls in my childhood bedroom #TBT

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This made Dern decide, 'that even though I could do all things, I was going to focus only on one at a time. Continually striving not to fail was the burden I put on myself. And I'm writing this to you because I want to make sure that you don't limit yourself in the same ways.'

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She explains how her passion for one thing, be it acting or then motherhood, or becoming a wife, would sideline the other things in her life.

#TBT Working with mama

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She compares this with the U.S's reaction to Hillary Clinton's presidential run explaining, 'we were told, "Oh, yeah, she's brilliant, she's presidential, but she's cold, so she's probably not a good wife and mother. She's not compassionate."'

Ultimately, Dern rejects this notion that someone can only be defined by what they are most known for:

It should never be the case that defining yourself as one thing lessens your ability to be everything else. In this strange climate I started realising that focusing on one thing in an effort not to fail at anything else was a weight I was carrying. And I want to be a woman who does it all, no matter how it turns out.

Dan clearly cares passionately about how she acts as a mother to her daughter (and her 15 year-old son Ellery), though, she knows that she is not the only force in her daughter's life.

Laura Dern with her daughter Jaya

Yep, you guessed it, social media is the other 'mother' in Jaya's life, and Dern warns her to be wary of it.

There's a huge force that's affecting your generation—it's called social media, and it's mothering you as much as I am. This other mother is very influential, and she's telling you that your value is determined by how many people follow you. She is also deciding what beauty looks like and which extravagances add up to a fun life.

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She details to her daughter (and us) the dichotomous expectation of social media and urges her to indulge in the middle ground:

What social media is giving young girls right now are the two stories that keep us trapped—the black and the white. At one extreme, everything's perfect and light, and everyone's surrounded by friends. The other end of the spectrum seems to glamorise the darkest depression and solitude. But I want you to know that most of your life will happen in the gray spaces between bliss and heartbreak, between having everything lock into place and having it all fall apart. That's where the grace is.

Dern prompts us to not settle for the script provided to us, and instead to write our own. She closes the beautiful letter:

You have to get out of your own way and write your own story—and not be forced into the narrative that you think will give you the easiest path to success or the most likes. I want you to live in the space that's your own, your own delicious mess. The story comes from within you.

Dern is a formidable woman whose work has spanned decades. She was one of the youngest actors to be nominated for an Academy Award, as well as one of David Lynch's muses, meaning she knows a thing about the highs in life.

But beyond the highlight reel lies the muddy middle-ground, and that's where Dern tells her daughter (and us) to explore. This is advice that we for one are taking.

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