Melissa Gilbert has revealed that she has “given up” fighting to stay young.
The 57-year-old, who shot to fame as a child star on Little House On The Prairie, was used to shying away from such measures as plastic surgery, Botox and fillers.
But as she progressed into middle age, she realized, ‘I look like a carrot and I’m not happy,’ so she relaxed and aged gracefully, she told People.
Aging gracefully: Melissa Gilbert reveals she’s ‘given up’ fighting to stay young; she is pictured in January 2020 at the opening night of Medea at BAM
Melissa, whose adoptive parents were both actors, entered show business when she was still a little girl and had her big break at the age of nine.
Since then, she began starring in the long-running television show Little House On The Prairie from 1974 to 1982.
After the show ended during her teenage years, she continued acting, but never landed a project that hit the same scale as Little House On The Prairie.
She reflected, “I grew up in an industry that valued the outside significantly more than the inside, and I was caught in that cycle of trying to stay young.”
Throwback: Melissa rose to fame as a child star on the television show Little House On The Prairie, which ran from 1974 to 1982; in a picture from 1978
Cosmetic procedures, fillers and botox followed, until she finally reassessed her situation in mid-2010.
In 2013, Melissa married her third husband, thirty-year-old actor Timothy Busfield, and moved with him to the small Michigan town of Howell.
Two years after her wedding, she had her breast implants removed and then took the next step in 2016 and swore off botox.
“I finally woke up and said, ‘What am I doing? I look like a carrot and I’m not happy,'” she recently told People about her midlife change.
Ensemble: Melissa (left) is pictured with her Little House On The Prairie co-stars Michael Landon, Karen Grassle and Melissa Sue Anderson and Lindsay or Sydney Greenbush
“My take was, ‘You’ve got to stay thin. You have to be seen in the right places, wear the right shoes and drive the right car,” she explained. “That’s what all the outside forces drilled into me. But it never fit.”
She enjoyed a ‘reawakened love of nature’ and ‘cut all my hair off and stopped doing botox and all that stuff.’
Before she had her breast implants removed in 2015, Melissa wrote a candid blog post lifting the curtain on her reasons for doing so.
The way she was: Melissa had her breast implants removed in 2015 and gave up Botox shortly after; she is shown on 2014 swinging by Watch What Happens Live
She spent her early life with ‘perfect A cups’ as a ‘proud card-carrying Itty Bitty T**** committee member’ with ‘no desire to have a Jessica Rabbitesque figure.’
But there was external pressure, including in the final series of Little House On The Prairie, in which she claimed I was forced to wear a padded bra.
After she welcomed her first son, Dakota, in 1989 and finished breastfeeding him, her first husband, Bo Brinkman, reportedly described her breasts as “Socks full of balls with knots at the top,” she wrote in a blog post.
Duo: Melissa married her third husband, actor Timothy Busfield (left), in 2013 and moved with him to the small Michigan town of Howell; the couple is pictured in 2020
Even though the marriage ended, her insecurities remained, and after years of constantly wearing padded bras, she finally splurged for surgery.
Her perspective evolved over time and she was advised to have her implants replaced “every 10-15 years”.
She realized, “It was possible that I would have to get new implants in my 80s!” and finally decided to have them removed altogether.