Steve Granitz/WireImage
Andrea Cheng
Aug 27, 2015 @ 6:00 pm

Growing up in the public eye is no easy feat. As adults, there are a few who channel that attention and turn it into something productive, aging gracefully as they come into their own. Emma Roberts just so happens to fall in that category. Look no further than her recent #aerieReal unretouched campaign for proof. While most would probably shy away from posing in a national campaign without the safety net of post-production help, Roberts met the challenge and effortlessly pulled it off like a pro. But as it turns out, that self-assured confidence she exudes wasn't always there.

"When I was younger, people were always pulling me in different directions and to act a certain way," she reveals to InStyle, calling out the pressures she's faced. "When you're an actress, when you're constantly on shoots, on the red carpet, people try to make you something you're not."

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Factor in unrealistic Hollywood pressures, and the stress of it all seems completely unbearable. So how does she deal?

"It's important to stay true to myself. It's only when I turned 24 earlier this year that I started to have a better grasp of my life, of who I am," she says. "A part of it is when you get older, it gets better. It's refreshing and inspiring when my friends in their 30s and 40s say that."

Roberts, who is already wise beyond her years, has quite some time before she hits 30, but until then, she stresses the importance of a solid group of friends. "There's no cattiness among my girlfriends—they're more like sisters," she says. "The last couple of years, I've had some friend breakups, because I was better off without negativity and toxicity. To surround yourself with good people who are genuine and loyal, I think that's the key."

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