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After Removing Her Implants, Melissa Gilbert Is All About Aging Naturally

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Actress Melissa Gilbert is enjoying a new lease on life. “Five years in Michigan gave me a chance to gather up my strength and courage,” says the Little House on the Prairie star. She credits time away from the spotlight with her husband of four years, Timothy Busfield, with helping her find the confidence to try new career opportunities, like off-Broadway plays. “I finally feel as if I have a true partnership in life — someone who believes in me and encourages me to stretch myself in so many different ways,” says Melissa. “My life is insanely full.”

To keep up that positive outlook as she juggles the busyness the new jobs bring, she relies on a few savvy tricks — and a new perspective that's helping her take the process of aging in stride. In FIRST for Women’s exclusive cover story, Melissa Gilbert, 53, opened up about the pressures of growing older in the public eye.

“There’s this mentality in Hollywood of not allowing women to age or gain weight or to simply be themselves,” Melissa tells FIRST for Women of the pressure to look a certain way.

“I went down the road that everyone else does—nose job, boob job, fillers and Botox, but no more! I had my breast implants removed and I’m no longer doing fillers or Botox because I’m a 53-year-old woman and I’m trying to embrace this process of aging.”

That shift has helped Melissa finally silence her inner critic. “I’m grateful to my body for holding up through some major health issues and serious surgeries,” she says.

“Right now I’m physically pain-free and relatively healthy and strong. I have the joy of being able to work on these incredible projects and live a life of fun and freedom with a man I adore and who cherishes and adores me back,” she explains to FIRST. “By and large, the body image thing doesn’t come into play anymore.”

We love her healthy, positive outlook!

For the full interview with Melissa, including her strategies that keep her happy and confident, pick up the new issue of FIRST for Women, on stands now!

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