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Happy Birthday, Troian Bellisario -- 9 Times The PLL Star Was Our IRL Hero

Part-time Spencer Hastings, full-time heroine.

"Pretty Little Liars" actress Troian Bellisario turns 30 today, and we are celebrating the anniversary of her birth by listing up all the ways Troian is our IRL hero.

This actress, writer, and producer is downright inspiring every day of the year. Here are nine of the many, many examples...

  1. She is currently starring in a LGBTQ "Romeo and Juliet."

    "Still A Rose" tells the classic story with a twist — by expanding the story to tell of four star-crossed couples that transcends gender, sexuality, and race: male Romeo/female Juliet, male Romeo/male Juliet, female Romeo/female Juliet, and female Romeo/male Juliet. Got that? Yeah, Troian is pretty cool.

  2. She and fiance Patrick Adams are #RelationshipGoals.
    TNT

    Um, can we talk about how much these two obviously love and respect one another? Whether they're starring on one another's shows or traveling the world together, their relationship is an inspiration. Patrick Instagrammed about Troian two years ago:  “The most important woman I know has circled the sun one more time. Every year the trip is more fun and life changing. Thanks for letting me stick around for it. Happy Birthday my sweet.” ?

  3. She called out the Emmys for being ageist.

    Troian penned an entire op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter, asking the TV Academy to fight against the stigma of teen shows, and recognize the genre in its nominations. Woman after our own heart!

  4. She is honest about her past struggles with perfectionism.

    Troian is totally inspirational in the ways in which she is willing to be publicly vulnerable to give visibility to the struggles many teens (and adults) go through. When chatting with Buddy TV about the similarities between herself and her characters, Spencer, she said...

    "Spencer and I are very similar in that when I was Spencer's age I was very studious, I was the valedictorian of my class and my academics meant everything to me. My family put a lot of pressure on me to do well, but it was also mostly coming from myself.  I felt that I had to be the best and the brightest at everything, otherwise I wasn't worth anything. I think Spencer definitely feels that and that's something that I've had to grow out of. I've only grown out of it with age and life experiences. And Spencer hasn't had those experiences yet; she is in the middle of trying to be perfect in every way."

  5. She recognizes the greatness of "Harry Potter."

    Never trust a person who doesn't love "Harry Potter."

  6. She is constantly challenging herself to try new things.

    When Troian isn't busy filming 565 episodes of "PLL" every year, she manages to find the time to write, produce, and star in her own work — like this short film, "Exiles," co-starring BFF and former "PLL" guest star Shane Coffey (Holden).

  7. She calls out our society's messed up beauty priorities.

    Troian is constantly using her position of cultural power to break down harmful ideas like what it means to be beautiful. She captioned this Instagram: "So. Getting compliments is wonderful and everyone should feel beautiful in their own skin. But I get my hair and make up done professionally. For a job. That's not beauty. That's make up it's a curling iron and hairspray. What's beautiful is inside you. It's your creativity. It's your intelligence. Your empathy and your kindness to your fellow man."

  8. And recognizes media's part in those beauty standards.

    When the "PLL" cast did a photo-shopped shoot for GQ, Troian took to Instagram to set the record straight: "Looking very blown out and perfected was obviously what they were looking for. Great. Cool. As long as we acknowledge how it was achieved so we know it's not real."

  9.  
  10. She plays one of the best characters on TV.

    Troian inspires us on a weekly basis when "PLL" is on with her portrayal of the fierce, feminist, flawed Spencer Hastings. We cannot wait to have her back on our TV screens.