The 64-year-old Oscar winner recently visited Indiana University, where she accepted an honorary doctoral degree from the Bloomington school. During her acceptance speech, Streep revealed she wasn't so confident about her looks at the time she started acting.
"I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress," Streep admitted. "Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren't fabulous then."
Streep went on, "Many of my friends woke up at 3 years of age and said, 'I have to be on stage.' I never had that. I've always been an omnivore, interested in way too many things, but I found the one profession that fed all my appetites."
Fast-forward to today: Streep is one of the most beloved actors alive.
As for being over 50 in the entertainment industry, Streep said, "When I was 40, I was offered three witches in one summer. And I thought, 'OK, this is it. You turn 40, and oh my god.' The only reason I have a career at 64 is that I've had hits later in life. I've found that once certain movies are out, audiences aren't so age-phobic. They were willing, and they were happy."
Streep also gave one very important piece of advice for aspiring young performers. "For young women, I would say, don't worry so much about your weight," she said. "Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things. For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that's your strength. Everyone tries to look a cookie-cutter kind of way and actually the people who look different are the ones who get picked up. I used to hate my nose. Now I don't. It's OK."