After debuting a full neck tattoo earlier last week, Millie Elder-Holmes has written a candid post on Instagram about how growing up with a famous parent influenced how she felt about herself.
The 31-year-old lifestyle and wellness influencer, daughter of late broadcaster Paul Holmes and actress Hinemoa Elder, wrote openly about her struggles with public scrutiny as a teenager and how she felt that, no matter how hard she tried, it was never enough.
"I grew up with a 'well-known' parent so I always had the pressure of making sure I was putting forward my best face," she wrote, captioning a selfie on Instagram.
"I was always worried about what others would say about me, and if I was living up to the standard that my dad had set.
"This was obviously a huge pressure for me as a small girl," she continued.
She recalled the time her family introduced her baby brother to the country.
"I remember after my brother was born my whole family made an appearance on the evening news to show the country the arrival of my dad's new son. It was a lot."
Elder-Holmes revealed she went through a period of hating herself. "I felt like I could never measure up, I was never good enough and there was always something more, and so I lashed out as a teen," she wrote.
"My childhood and early twenties taught me that people will always have their own opinions about you even if you are 'perfect'. And that if you spend your life trying to please and impress others you will only be unhappy and lose who you are."
She said all of this influenced how she lives her life now and why she feels she's finally found "the ultimate freedom".
"This is why now, I live my life for me, I do what I please and what makes me happy and to me, this is the ultimate freedom, something I know many will never experience."
She offered some words of wisdom to others who might struggle with other people's expectations: "My point is, you will never be happy if you live your life in fear of others' opinions of you," she wrote.
"Your life is yours you are the one who has to be okay with your choices at the end of the day. Also if you are one of those opinionated people who makes comments about how others live, like it actually affects you, shut up ... we have enough negativity in the world without you and your mouth."
When she first debuted her new ink, Millie explained that she decided to get the tattoo – which adds to her existing "88" tat that she had on her suprasternal notch - to celebrate her birthday.
"Celebrated my birthday this year with a neck tattoo," she wrote. "I'm in Athens for three days with my partner for a romantic getaway and aside from having the most amazing time, I have seen 11.11 / 22.22 and 3.33 each day and heard my dad's favourite song 'pale blue eyes' at dinner tonight ...
"I have to say I am in such happy and content place right now, I feel FULL and this birthday has made me realise how thankful I am for where I am and the people I have in my life."
"A few years back I never imagined I could even laugh or be happy. But here I am. Cheers to 31 and many more! Thank you to everyone for the messages and wishes."
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.