Actress Melissa Gilbert’s Boob Job Became Her Body Image Wake-Up Call

Melissa-Gilbert

You may remember seeing her shimmy on the Dancing With The Stars stage during season 14, or if you are of a certain age, you definitely remember Melissa Gilbert playing Laura Ingalls Wilder in the popular series ‘Little House On The Prairie’.

Given that she has been in the public eye since the 1960s from a very young age, there is now doubt the 50 year old Hollywood veteran has definitely seen her fair share of fads and trends come and go. The mother of two has had a very interesting life battling alcoholism and drugs which she shared in her 2009 book ‘Prairie Tale: A Memoir’ which allowed her fans to get an inside glimpse of what it’s like to literally grow up in a town like Hollywood where you are working from the time before you get your period. Seriously!

Being a woman, body image is also an area that has plagued her, and while she hasn’t always been as vocal about it in the press in the past, she recently published a blog post on her website about her personal struggles with her body.

Titled ‘A Tale Of Two Titties’ one doesn’t need to think too hard about what the blog is about. She openly talks about the decision to get a boob job, how it became her greatest asset, until it wasn’t. The breast implants soon ran their course and Melissa had a wake up call that would change her life and the way she viewed her body forever.

It is worth reading in full, but we have shared our favorite parts because there are some valuable lessons and inspiring words to take to heart from her post.

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“I spent a great deal of my life almost completely flat chested,” she begins, adding that while she was happy being a A cup as it suited her body, society wasn’t happy that she was content.

“I had no desire to have a Jessica Rabbitesque figure. Not that there’s anything wrong with a Jessica Rabbit-esque figure. In fact that image was pounded into my head repeatedly. I found that very confusing. During the last few seasons of little house I was made to wear a padded bra. The message I got at the tender age of 17 was that-it was better for me to look like [someone else] than [me].”

“Now, you might think there was undue pressure on me to look a certain way but let’s face it ladies, we are pressured and bombarded with messages from the moment we can read for ourselves. The headlines are everywhere, ‘Friends worry because ___ is too thin!” “A close friend says they are worried because ____ is too fat!” “Wow!! ___ has lost the baby weight!’ ”

Anyone else feel the same way when you look at magazine covers? The actress talks about how fashion magazines aren’t exactly any better, and billboards touting junk food next to plastic surgery advertisements are just as bad.

“This is our culture. It has been for a long, long time and I fell right into it. I believed that, not only would I work more, but people would love me more if I looked a certain way. Sad but true. My self-image was in the proverbial toilet.”

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After having her first son and eventually stopping breast feeding, her body changed a little, and a mean comment from her first husband made her feel insecure about the way her boobs looked. She ended up getting a divorce, then started to panic about the thought of a new guy having to look at her breasts the way they were.

Melissa made the decision to get an augmentation which she loved! After having her second son and seeing her body change yet again, she started to read articles about breast implants having a “shelf life”. She found out they had to be replaced every 10-15 years. After finding out the enormous cost of the “update” surgery, she was blown away.

It made her stop for a moment to re-think her priorities financially and health-wise and also recognize how the pressure to look a certain way had taken its toll on her.

“I had spent most of my life pressured to look a certain way and I believed the hype. The height of this obsession with my outward appearance culminated with my appearance on the dancing show. It was all about spray tan and glitter and glamor and what other people think and being skinny, way too skinny!! Yuck!! I stayed in that head space for several months after that. Then I had a rude awakening.  A 300 pound patio cover collapsed on my head. It was like the universe smacking me in the head and screaming,”WAKE UP MELISSA!!!!”

“Wake up I did. It was like a light switch going on. The shallowness of my existence at that point brought me to my knees. I had to change. I had to look inward and address my issues (this looking inward is a constant process by the way). It was time for me to change. I had to focus on what was real and true. I’d lost myself somehow.”

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While she didn’t immediately change her view overnight, the process of learning how to love herself the way she is and accept who she is becoming as she gets older was an important lesson to learn. But she now admits she is truly happy with herself. Oh and as for those implants, she decided to have them taken out, and get rid of the constant hassle of having to deal with the “update” surgery and fork out tens of thousands of dollars just to satisfy a superficial view of what the world says her body should look like.

“Most of the time, I’m really happy with the way I look. I’m enjoying aging. Aging is a gift not a curse. Love yourself. You are perfectly beautiful. You are enough.”

They are beautiful words from a beautiful woman, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We live in an age that celebrates youth as a ultimate form of beauty, but in fact life goes the other way. Ageing is a given and until we learn to accept that, we will constantly try to find external methods of happiness.

You may be going through a similar experience as Melissa’s, or something completely different. However, if body image issues have plagued you all your life, we encourage you to find your truth and beauty from within, and learn to shut out all those messages and voices which have been far too good at telling you you aren’t good enough the way you are.

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One Comment

  1. I think surgery is fine and no surgery is also fine. But only get it if you want it. Don’t base your decision on someone’s nasty or stupid comment that they might not even mean. Sometimes when people are irritated they’ll use your strengths against you eg “You’re nothing but a nerd” etc. I find females of all different looks attractive and there’s no ideal. One girl might have one feature I find fascinating and another girl may have the opposite look which I also find fascinating. Don’t try and look like today’s “it” girl (unless you want to) because tomorrow’s “it” girl may look like you. How happy are girls with a booty nowadays where before J.Lo they strangely weren’t really ever mentioned

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