But what about in real life? Make no mistake — the 19-year-old is just as keen to stand up for herself and not let anyone get her down.
Apparently, some body-shaming critics have taken issue with Pieterse’s fuller frame, and the actress has responded by sharing an inspiring message on Instagram about taking care of yourself and dealing with judgment.
“As a lot of you have noticed my body has gone through some changes, and I want to clear the air and give you an explanation,” she wrote in the caption. “I have been facing a bad hormone imbalance that has thrown my body completely out of whack. I want to assure you that I'm healthy and getting everything back on track! A big thanks to all of you who have been in my corner!”
Pieterse’s decision to respond to the haters is a brave one. Obviously, she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for how she looks, but she took the opportunity to spread a positive message, which is something young women can always stand to hear.
"We live in such a judge mental society that puts every kind of flaw, including weight gain, in the same category," she wrote. "And for those of you who are struggling with any health problem, hormone imbalance, and weight gain of any sort I urge and encourage you to please deal with it in a healthy [manner]. YOU and YOUR health are what matters, not anyone else's opinions and assumptions of you."
She continued, “Getting healthy isn't just about working out and eating right (however extremely important) it's also about surrounding yourself with those who care about you and want to see you succeed and become the best you can be.”
Oh, and just a friendly reminder to the haters: Pieterse was only 14 when the show premiered in 2010. Like any normal woman, she’s grown and changed over the past five years. And that’s nothing to shame her for.