Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert underwent surgery this week to remove her breast implants, and in a lengthy blog post titled "A Tale of Two T-----s," the 50-year-old actress goes into great detail about the big decision.
"A. I am concerned for my health and 2. I don't like the way they look or feel," she explains. "Frankly, I'd like to be able to take a Zumba class without the fear that I'll end up with two black eyes."
Though by explaining her decision, Gilbert also gets candid on the intense scrutiny on her body that she had to endure due to being an actress.
"During the last few seasons of 'Little House' I was made to wear a padded bra," she reveals. "When I did the re-make of 'Splendor in the Grass' (one of the worst performances of my career, by the way), those in charge, put me in a girdle, a corset, a padded bra and even painted cleavage on me! They also shaded the sides of my nose so it wouldn't look so wide. [Two years later] the messages had been heard loud and clear and I'd had my nose fixed."
"This is our culture," she laments. "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."
She says that a cruel comment by her ex-husband furthered her low self-esteem about her breasts, especially after breastfeeding her first son Dakota.
"My husband at the time, referred to my boobs as ... and I quote ... 'Socks full of marbles with knots at the top,'" she writes. "I took his words to heart. After that I rarely went bra-less. That includes while sleeping, making love etc."
Though she doesn't name names, Gilbert was married to actor Bo Brinkman from 1988 to 1992, and the two have one son together, Dakota, who was born in 1989.
Though the two eventually got divorced, according to Gilbert, the words stuck with her, and she decided to get a breast augmentation in 1992. Though she was happy with the saline implants, her breasts changed again after breastfeeding her second son Michael, with now ex-husband Bruce Boxleitner.
"My boobs? ... well ... they were enormous," she admits. "At their peak, they were a double E! specifically 34EE!!"
In 2004, she went under the knife again to replace her 12-year-old implants -- this time with silicone implants -- and got a breast lift. Though she was once again happy with the results, she began to get obsessed with her outward appearance, which she says culminated with her appearance "on the dancing show."
Gilbert appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" season 14 in 2012, eventually finishing in fifth place, which she says contributed to her issues with her appearance.
"It was all about spray tan and glitter and glamor and what other people think and being skinny, way too skinny!! Yuck!!" she writes. "I stayed in that head space for several months after that."
Though after a "300 pound patio cover" collapsed on her head, Melissa says it was the wake-up call she needed.
"It was like a light switch going on," she says. "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." ... Which led to the decision of removing her implants once and for all.
"After a great deal of thought and research I have found a surgeon here in Michigan who is going remove my implants forever!" she shares. "I am in a place where I am truly happy with myself. ... I'm enjoying aging."
She also couldn't be happier with her third husband, actor Timothy Busfield.
"My sweet husband went with me [to my breast MRI]. He is perfectly supportive of my decision to do this," she writes. "He only wants me to be healthy."
And she has this piece of advice for her fans.
"Aging is a gift not a curse," she writes. "Love yourself. You are perfectly beautiful. You are enough."
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