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Christina Applegate on Being ‘Raw’ & Honest About Life + Speaking Her Own Truth

"Authenticity has freed me, it's freed in me something that has shackled me."

Christina Applegate is done trying to filter herself. The beloved actress — known for her hilarious wit and tremendous talent — recently participated in an inspirational, heartfelt panel at QVC’s “Age of Possibility” summit in Las Vegas, alongside Patti LaBelle, Martha Stewart, Rita Wilson and Billie Jean King, moderated by First for Women‘s Editor in Chief, Liz Vaccariello. There, the mother, podcast host, and MS survivor and advocate opened up about how she’s learned to find joy in the little things and comfort in community.

Related: Martha Stewart, Queen Latifah, Christina Applegate, Donna Kelce + More Celebrate What It Means to Be Over 50 With QVC

QVC 'Age of Possibility' Summit with Christina Applegate.
QVC ‘Age of Possibility’ Summit with Christina Applegate.Denise Truscello / Contributor / Getty

Taking back her power

Applegate has long lived in the spotlight, with her acting career really taking off at just 15 years old. Now in her early 50s, she’s spent years having to filter herself off-screen — she says she’s been told what she should and shouldn’t say and how to act, and navigated the complications of being affiliated with certain brands and all of the other complications that come with being in the spotlight.

But, since sharing her MS diagnosis in 2021, Applegate has taken a break from acting and, in turn, has embraced speaking her own truth and playing by her own rules.

Related: Christina Applegate MS Health Update: “I miss acting, but it’s a daily struggle to walk”

“I think, because I have a disability and I probably am not going to work too much more, I don’t care what I say. Like, I’m not beholden to a company that’s telling me how to react, how to behave, how to speak, how to be funny, how to be respectful to the company and all those things,” Applegate said during the panel. “That’s all gone. And so now I can speak my own truth. And I don’t give a sh*t… This is my truth.”

The power of raw honesty and authenticity

What does she mean by speaking her truth? Being unapologetically authentic, and open, honest and raw — in the hopes that her honesty can help others feel seen. 

“If it bothers you, then turn me off,” she says. “But if it doesn’t, I’m here to let you know that you’re not alone. You’re seen and loved, whether you’re disabled, whether you’re just a woman dealing with life stuff, whether you’re a kid, whether you’re a mom or husband or whatever, you’re seen and heard.” 

Her big message is that it’s okay to not feel okay. “It’s okay to say that things aren’t amazing, right now. So that’s kind of where I’m at. And that’s something I didn’t have before.”

She’s learned that sometimes, when you feel prisoner to something foreign, whether that be a disability, grief or a number of other unexpected challenges, simply appreciating the little things can be life-changing.

“Getting around is a little bit more difficult these days,” she frankly admits, adding that authenticity like that has been a relief to embrace. “Authenticity has freed me — it’s freed in me in something that has shackled me.” She adds that it’s not about being negative; it’s about speaking the truth. “It’s like, this is real. Like, today this happened. And you know what, it sucks. But you know what, something else great happened. My kid just taught herself a couple pieces on the piano, which, didn’t know she could even do that! That kind of stuff.”

Her podcast, ‘MeSsy’

Applegate co-hosts her “MeSsy” podcast with Jamie Lynn Siegler, actress and Applegate’s fellow friend also living with MS. She shared with the panel that  she and Siegler are “real raw” and that they read every letter or message they receive from their many listeners around the world. And their authenticity is resonating. “We get all these letters from these people who have chronic illnesses and people who don’t, or therapists who are dealing with people with chronic illnesses, going, ‘Thank you for being so honest. We feel seen, we feel heard, we feel loved.’ We feel like we’re in a conversation with our best girlfriends and I think that that is kind of all I can do now. The only thing I can do is sit and speak.”

For more celebrity inspiration, click through these stories:

Patti LaBelle Talks New Music + Her Advice For Women Turning 50

Stacy London’s 3 Tips for Embracing Your Personal Style — & Authentic Self — as You Age

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