I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve seen To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before at least seven times so far. There was something about Lana Condor’s performance as Lara Jean that seemed so relatable. (It also didn’t hurt that the story was adorable, as is Noah Centineo, but I digress.) The second movie of the trilogy is set to hit Netflix soon, but that hasn’t slowed Lana down from delving into other projects. I had the chance to interview the 22-year-old after she had been chosen to star in the latest #AerieREAL Role Model campaign alongside Beanie Feldstein, Iskra Lawrence, and Aly Raisman, to name a few.
One of the first things I told her was that I’ve seen the movie so many times and even forced both my husband Pat and my dad to watch it. “It’s so funny that you say that because I always meet people who say, ‘I’m going to make my boyfriend, husband, or my dad watch it.’ And every single guy that I’ve met that has seen the movie said, “Oh yeah . . . it was really cute,’ she said in a deep voice, pretending to be shy. “Every single time, without fail,” she said while giggling. Throughout our interview, I not only got to learn what items she got to keep from the hit Netflix movies (more on that later), but I also got to talk to her about deeper issues like how she has learned to be confident, which is something Aerie stands by.
On being an #AerieREAL Role Model, Lana reveals, “It means being confident in yourself, taking up space, and owning your power. I think being an #AerieReal role model is really special because they don’t just talk about making change, they actually do it. Aerie walks the walk and talks the talk.” The brand has taken a stand against retouching their campaigns for a while now to help promote body positivity and self-love. “I don’t know if I’ve actually ever done a shoot that hasn’t done some sort of retouching. This was one of the first shoots that I’ve ever done without retouching. I was pretty nervous going in, but the entire Aerie team just created a space of so much positivity. Everyone was like, ‘Great, it looks so good!’ You leave feeling stronger and more confident about yourself. If any of us can even make the slightest impact on the community and if they can leave feeling as positive as I know I felt when I was shooting it, I think that was a job well done.”
“Keeping up in this world is hard. Every morning I look into the mirror and say, ‘Okay, you are beautiful. You know this. You know this in your heart.'”
Whenever Lana is feeling a bit low, she has a couple of sayings she repeats to herself in the mirror. “I would say to anyone who needs a little extra boost of confidence . . . you’re not alone in your feeling, which is important to remember because sometimes it’s very isolating when you see these perfect photos on Instagram and Twitter. You’re not alone in your feelings of anxiety or whatever it may be . . . Keeping up in this world is hard. Every morning I look into the mirror and say, ‘Okay, you are beautiful. You know this. You know this in your heart. What’s on the inside is what really counts.’ I repeat, ‘You are beautiful and don’t listen to the noise.’ I think it helps to reprogram that little voice in your head, that one that kind of nags you.”
With the release of To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You just around the corner, I had to know if there were any pieces she got to keep after wrapping the movie. “During the first movie, I took a lot of stuff home which was so cool. The second movie was way more strict. We realized that a lot of the women that watch the movie went out and bought the pieces Lara Jean wore. We quickly realized that her style needs to be very wearable and available to the masses. Lara Jean’s style is kind of the opposite of her personality – it’s much bolder and louder with her style. I also got to keep the pink jacket at the end of the movie where she goes up to Peter and says, ‘I want to be with you.’ Oh, and I kept Peter Kavinsky’s lacrosse shirt from the first movie. . . . and all of [Lara Jean’s] scrunchies.”
“I know this sounds silly, but I just want to be your every girl. Sometimes in fashion, it can become unattainable.”
Much like Lara Jean, Lana’s style IRL is just as relatable. While she isn’t afraid of throwing on extravagant gowns for a major red carpet moment, her street style is way more attainable. “I know this sounds silly, but I just want to be your every girl. Sometimes in fashion, it can become unattainable. Even in my personal life, I can’t even wear certain things that stylists want to throw on me. I still want girls out there to be able to wear pieces I do. That’s why I love Aerie. Everything is so wearable.” It’s Lana’s ability to be ‘every girl’ that pulls us in and has us cheering from the sidelines to see what amazing things she does next.