In an interview with Us, the current Dancing With the Stars contestant shares a sweet story from her first magazine shoot where her legendary mom gave shared advice on how to always feel good about yourself: have fun.
“And that sort of is a confidence booster in itself,” she says. “Because when you’re having fun with things, you’re smiling more, you’re attracting people to be nice to you.”
It was during her first photo shoot where this idea really cemented itself and it’s something she’s tried to live by ever since. She went on to explain that this simple motto (which originally came from her grandma) is something the 65-year-old model has always lived by. “And I think that’s why she’s so attractive to everyone and why she radiates all this positivity,” Cook says. “Because she’s having fun with everything she’s doing. She’s not too stressed out about anything.”
Feeling good about herself wasn’t always easy for the young beauty, though. She said that, while her family always told her she was beautiful, she had an awkward phase just like the rest of Us. “It’s hard growing up as a girl in this day and age. And I think that it’s an awkward phase that always is sort of placed on you because of you thinking that you have to be something else,” she explains. “When you realize that the person you just naturally are is great, it’s so much more comfortable and nice.”
Comfort is important to the 21-year-old. “I feel my most beautiful when I don’t have a stitch of makeup on, my hair is all messy,” she says. “I think it’s the most comfortable state I can be in. So I feel most beautiful in it.”
With that being said, she does like a bit of concealer to lean on when she needs it. “Just like any normal person, I get pimples and I have massive eye bags under my eyes when I don’t sleep,” she says. “And those are things that I watch out for because I like to look awake and healthy.”
As much influence as her mother has had, there is one skin care tip she picked up from Pharrell. “This is weird and funny and sort of strange, but Pharrell in an interview was like, ’The secret for young skin is exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate,’” she explains. “And I was like ‘well, if Pharrell said it and he’s got the best skin ever, like I’m going to exfoliate all the time.’ And I do. I do it like every night.”
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe.