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Melissa McCarthy shares emotional message with throwback photo - fans react

The Nine Perfect Strangers actress looked so different

Hannah Hargrave

Melissa McCarthy penned a heartfelt tribute to someone very special recently and the throwback image she used to drive the message home, left fans lost for words. 

The Bridesmaids actress, 50, stunned her social media followers with an old snapshot of herself alongside her dear friend and fashion designer, Brian Atwood and wrote: "To the person in High School that said "you are better than", "you can do this" and "get on that damn stage and do what you do". You changed my life, I am who I am because you were born! 

MORE: Melissa McCarthy's husband: everything you need to know about Ben Falcone

"Happiest birthday to @brian_atwood . Also when we moved to New York, he said "you cannot wear cheap shoes!" Cut to my parents paying off my first credit card bill!!! I love you!!!"

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WATCH: Nicole Kidman shares exciting trailer for new show Nine Perfect Strangers

Her social media followers marvelled at Melissa's glitzy look in a silver jacket and rocking bright, red lipstick. One wrote: "What a great photo, you look so happy," and another added: "So, so pretty."

Many said to treasure the friendship and loved how they're still so close. 

MORE: Nicole Kidman speaks candidily about downside of filming Nine Perfect Strangers

Melissa - who is starring alongside Nicole Kidman in the upcoming series, Nine Perfect Strangers - has forged a very successful career in Hollywood, and is reported to have lost approximately 75lbs over the past few years, but says the secret to her slimmed-down look is to just stop focusing on weight loss.

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Melissa was thanking her dear friend for all his support over the years 

"I truly stopped worrying about it," she told Life and Style. "I think there's something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous and rigid about it that, bizarrely, has worked."

She also told ExtraTV: "No trick, nothing to tell, just super-boring life. You bring it real down, you don’t do anything fun, and you go to bed at 7:30—that's the trick."

Melissa is an advocate for body positivity

Melissa is an advocate for body positivity and in a poignant Instagram post, she explained why. "We have to stop categorizing and judging women based on their bodies.

"We are teaching young girls to strive for unattainable perfection instead of feeling healthy and happy in their own skin," she wrote, before adding a by Gloria Steinem at the end: "Imagine we are linked not ranked."

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