Hailee Steinfeld Talks About Social Media Pressures: ‘I’ve Been Guilty of Comparing Myself’

Since releasing her first single “Love Myself” in 2015, Hailee Steinfeld has continued to promote a message of positivity. But the actress-singer admits that even she has days when it’s tough to feel confident.

“Scrolling through Instagram, I’ve been guilty of comparing myself,” Steinfeld, 21, tells PEOPLE. “But instead I’m like, ‘Wow, I admire her dedication. If I want that, I can work for it.’ You can feel unconfident, that’s normal. But you can also do whatever you want to feel confident, and if that means changing something about yourself, do it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

The Pitch Perfect star, who’s partnered with activewear brand Mission, has learned that social media isn’t where she should search for acceptance.

“It’s definitely not a place anybody should go to for validation — I can’t find it there,” she says. “I think you’ve got to find it within yourself, and if you’re going to post something, post it because you love it or you like the way you look or you like what’s in the photo. That way you don’t necessarily care what people have to say about it.”

Steinfeld says that surrounding herself with inspiring women has also helped her become empowered. “I started to feel like, just in a two-minute meet-and-greet with a fan or working with women on my team, there’s so much to be motivated by.”

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On days when she’s feeling low, Steinfeld will turn to a workout to “sweat it out.”

“I love to get it all out that way,” she says. “It’ a form of escape.”

Workout time often doubles as family time for Steinfeld, who’s trainer is her father Peter. “He’s one of my best friends,” she gushes. “It’s hard for me to listen to anybody else because I really think he’s the best.”

But she did have to establish a few boundaries when training with dad. “There were times when I was like, ‘You’re my dad when you’re my dad. You’re Pete when you’re training me, and that’s it,’ ” Steinfeld says. “But then he’d be pushing me and I’d be like, ‘Dad, I don’t want to do that!’ ”

Steinfeld names swimming as her favorite workout of the moment, but says while she’s on the road with Charlie Puth for his Voicenotes tour, she does a lot circuit training. She makes sure to always have a jump rope and resistance band to turn any space into a gym.

The pop star also tries to eat at multiple small meals throughout the day, but says she occasionally indulges in sugary treats.

“Last night I had cake and promised myself, I’m gonna have half [a slice],” Steinfeld says, before admitting she had two. “I have a major sweet tooth. It’s an issue, but I get by.”

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