Melissa Gilbert is the latest actress to speak out about the pressures of aging on women. She knows all too well about those standards, having grown up in the spotlight as the star of Little House on the Prairie at the age of nine. Now, at the age of 57, she’s embracing the privilege of aging instead of caving into the expectations placed upon women.
Gilbert, whose new book Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Discovered comes out on May 10, reveals that she had a midlife awakening when she realized she “was caught in that wheel of trying to stay young.” She told People, “I finally woke up and went, ‘What am I doing? I look like a carrot top, and I’m not happy.'” Gilbert was worried about the perceptions of others in the entertainment industry, instead of focusing on her well-being. “My mindset was, ‘You have to stay thin. You have to be seen in the right places, wear the right shoes and drive the right car,'” she continued. “That was so drilled into me by all the outside forces. But it never sat right.”
After marrying third husband, Timothy Busfield, in 2013 and leaving Los Angeles behind, Gilbert decided to make a big change. “I cut off all my hair and quit doing Botox and all that stuff,” she said. The best part of her decision is that her contentment radiates from the inside out.
Gilbert is no longer “trying too hard to fit the mold that someone else wanted” because she’s honored to age gracefully in a way that works best for her. “I’m finally happy in my own skin,” she said. “I’m so grateful and relieved and so much happier.”
Before you go, click here to see more moms who’ve opened up about their plastic surgery procedures.