Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Tale of Two Titties



This post is all about breasts...or mamary glands...or whatever you call them...Tits, Tatas, Boobs, Bazongas, Gazongas, Ninnies, Fried Eggs, Bazockies, Hooters, Fun Bags, Muffins,Globes, Bosom, Cha-Chas, Chesticles,  etc.


Specifically, this is all about mine because next week I'm having surgery to remove my implants permanently. The bottom line...or top line.. is that;
A. I am concerned for my health and 2. I don't like the way they look or feel. Frankly, I'd like to be able to take a Zumba class without the fear that I'll end up with two black eyes.

I spent a great deal of my life almost completely flat chested. Unlike my friend and co-star Alison Arngim, who grew enormous boobs when we were teenagers, mine never really came to fruition.

I have to say, when the boob fairy did wave her wand, she granted me great boobs (I'm not going to share any photos here. If you want to research visuals of my boobs over the decades, you're going to have to do that all on your own). They were right for my body-type. Perfect A cups. I was a proud, card-carrying member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

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.
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.
The message I got at the tender age of 17 was that-it was better for me to look like this;


                                                               Than this;

Which is how I looked two years later in the movie Sylvester. No make-up. no painted on cleavage. Just me. Though by then, the messages had been heard loud and clear and I'd had my nose fixed.

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!"
I mean look at some of these titles;


and Don't even get me started about fashion magazines. Am I right ladies? If you really want to feel like a troll living under a bridge, read one of those. Every time I open those pages I'm positive that this;
is what I'm going to see when I look in the mirror!


                                                           Then there's this shit!

                                                          Oh!My!God!
What are we telling young women and girls? UGH!


And another thing...what's with all the plastic surgery billboards?

I've done a lot of cross-country driving the last few years and I swear it looks like this all over America;






 How's that for mixed messaging.

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.
Strangely enough though, it didn't extend to my breasts. I really was happy with them. small (A cups) but low maintenance.

Most importantly, they served their purpose well.
I was 24 when got pregnant with my first son, Dakota.
My boobs grew, and grew, and grew. It was kind of fun to watch. Sort of an interesting experiment in human anatomy. At their peak they filled C cups.
I loved breast-feeding and I was good at it.
I think that breast feeding is one of the greatest gifts a woman can be given by the universe.
For me, breast feeding created a perfect circle of love, nurturing, bonding and connection with another human being.

I nursed Dakota for close to a year. He weaned himself. I'd have nursed him forever but, he was he was much more excited by pasta with pesto sauce;


So, my milk disappeared and so did my boobs. They went back to their original size but...not their original place.
They were lower....much, much lower.
Not Magda in Something About Mary low but low...
I didn't include an image of Magda's boobs. I'm trying to maintain some decorum here but you get the idea....

I was left feeling a bit uncomfortable about my breasts but it was so worth it to have my beautiful, healthy son;



And then my husband at the time, referred to my boobs as......and I quote....
"Socks full of marbles with knots at the top."

I know! I know!!........you're thinking, "who says this to the woman they love!?"

What you should really be wondering is why the hell I just accepted his cruel comment as fact!
I didn't cry, yell, admonish or punch him in the badoobies...(I stole that word from the film Tootsie. It's a great word for testicles.)

Anyway, I took his words to heart. After that I rarely went bra-less. That includes while sleeping, making love etc.  I also had to get all new bras. Not any old bras either, my new bra collection was full of heavy duty, padded, under-wired, supernaturally-lifting miracle-bra-like devices.


A few years later we got divorced. Not only because of the sock comment. Although the sock comment was symptomatic of all that was wrong between us.
And there I was, single and feeling enormously insecure about my breasts.
Dating posed the terrifying prospect of the guy I chose to make love with next, undoing my bra and running away in abject terror.


Then and there, without doing any research, I made the decision, to get my breasts augmented.
Not too big, just enough to fill up the "socks".
I also made sure to find a surgeon who would make my breasts look really natural. I absolutely didn't want them looking high or bulbous or porny or just plain scary......



After my consultation with the doctor I decided to go with saline implants under the muscle. At that time, silicone implants had become very controversial. Research was linking them to all sorts of issues. Particularly frightening, was the possibility of a permanent auto-immune disease like Lupus.

The surgery went perfectly. I was sore for a while after but nothing too awful and my boobs looked really natural.
Most importantly,...and most pathetically really...my self-esteem went back up.

A few more years went by and my boobs and I remained great friends.


Then I got pregnant again and the whole human anatomy experiment began again. This time things were different. My boobs started out bigger so, naturally, they grew bigger.

Then our son, Michael was born 12 weeks early.
I knew that my milk needed to be extra nutritious and plentiful.

So I pumped and pumped and pumped. I pumped day and night. Every four hours around the clock.
I pumped at home and at the hospital and I froze the milk until it was safe for Michael to begin eating. I pumped so much That I filled the entire freezer side of our side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. with breast milk.
(I have to give credit for this photo to Lindsay Woolf. I borrowed it from her blog as I never took a picture of our freezer but this is exactly what it looked like.)

Michael got frozen milk and pumped milk until he was big enough to breast feed. Then he came home and we locked ourselves in the house for months while I fed him every two hours.I actually gained weight after he was born but it was so worth it. Michael went from this;


                                                                     
                                                                        To this;


and my boobs?...well...they were enormous. At their peak, they were a double E!
specifically 34EE!!


Michael nursed for a little over a year. Eventually, he too preferred pasta with pesto sauce;



My well-used boobs went back to their previous B cup. A tad lower but still a bit perky-ish because the implants were there holding them up.

In 2004 I started seeing a lot of articles about breast implants and how they have a "shelf-life". The researches were recommending that they be replaced every 10-15 years. Mine were already about 12 and they had stared to look at bit odd......
 So I made the decision  to replace the implants and do a breast lift.

This time my doctor talked me into using silicone implants. Studies had shown that there was less possibility of leakage and contracture and they stayed softer and more natural and blah, blah, blah..
Besides, the saline ones were in a silicone shell so I convinced myself it was okay since I already had silicone in my body and I was fine. Oy!

After surgery I was left with lovely, perky full B/C cups,which I showed off proudly in a very low-cut gown at the SAG awards that year. The irony of the fact that I was president of SAG when my breasts were doing the opposite of sagging is not lost on me.

Once again my breasts and I were friends.


But, something was nagging at me. I couldn't shake the idea that my implants had a shelf life.
They would have to have them replaced every 10-15 years for the rest of my life.
It was possible that at 80 years old I might have to get new implants! Huh??
I also began thinking a lot about the silicone in my body and what might go wrong.

So I did some research and found a surgeon in Santa Monica who specialized in this surgery. I even saw this physician's work first hand. Her work was just beautiful so I met with her. She walked me through the procedure and recovery. I was then given a print out of all the details;
9-12 hours of surgery!!!
$38,000.00 in costs that my insurance would absolutely not cover!!! And that cost was not including my stay at the recovery place with the nurses etc for $900.00 per night!
What the fucking fuck!

There as no way! There was no way I was going under anesthesia for 9-12 hours for elective surgery. No fucking way. And if I'm being totally honest, there was no way I could afford it.
You know all of those "How much Celebrities are Worth" websites?
like this one...
http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/melissa-gilbert-net-worth/
It's a bunch of bullshit!

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. It might even have been this;


Three years later, here I am...still changing....still growing. I am in a place where I am truly happy with myself. Sometimes I feel bad about my falling face and disappearing neck and I think I look like this;



but most of the time, I'm really happy with the way I look. I'm enjoying aging. It's not going badly either. This is me just a few days ago;



Now back to the boobieness of it all....after a great deal of thought and research I have found a surgeon here in Michigan who is going remove my implants forever!
As it turns out, the surgery should take no more than 2-4 hours not 9-12, and will cost considerably less than $38,000.00. In fact, the implant removal will probably be covered by my insurance. Our out of pocket fee is for the lift only.
I had a breast MRI a few days ago followed by my pre-op appointment with my surgeon. My sweet husband went with me. He is perfectly supportive of my decision to do this. He only wants me to be healthy.
My surgery is next week. As soon as I feel well enough post-op, I am going to attempt to blog my way through this process.

In the meantime, if you are thinking about any sort of elective plastic surgery please don't just go with the first physician you find. Do the research. Talk to people who have been through it. Read blogs written by people who've been through it....kind of like this one. And most importantly be healthy and take care of yourself but don't overdo it.
Aging is a gift not a curse. 
Love yourself.
You are perfectly beautiful.
You are enough.
 

Wishing you the happiest of New Years,
xoxo,
Tits McGee





128 comments:

  1. Thank you for these words! And honesty. At 45 I am finally happy just being me. Flaws and all (and there are many). Society does not make it easy for any of us to feel good about who we are. As a person who grew up watching and admiring you, I love that you are REAL! It's refreshing! Happy New Year to you & your OWN titties!!! You're an encouragement to me. 😊

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  3. I'm so glad to see that your posting! I love Blogging and hope you will continue. (Just finished commenting and for some reason it did not save, oh well) I think your making a wise decision and will say a prayer that all goes well with your surgery and recovery. I had commented a while back on your blog about why I felt a kinship to you. It was long so hopefully when you have time you can flip through and find me. I'm 49 an author of the novel The Shoebox, and mother of two sons. One who just got married in Oct and the other is in the University of Tennessee as a freshman. So I'm officially an empty nester. Hate it. Anyway, here's hoping that you and Tim (one of my favorite - thirty-something) and your family have a healthy New Year filled with health, peace love and joy. And if you can check out my blog. www.leeshideaway.blogspot.com I blog about our farmhouse, decorating, baking, cooking, writing, breathing, you get it, just about everything a woman can write about. Peace. Lisa
    Had to delete and comment because of a typo.

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  4. It makes me so sad that you had to feel that way about yourself at any age. It's a sad world we live in. Being a woman, and a mom of girls (teen and early twenties) I am painfully aware of it, more than I ever thought I would be. It's heart breaking what girls go through!

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  5. Whatttt?? I posted my whole story and it's gone.. Dang I should have copied it.

    Let me try once more... As a life long fan of LHOTP (show and books) I was SO excited to see you were going to be here in Denver. So my mom bought me and my daughter tickets the day they went on sale. Our first real 'Broadway' play. Anyways, we enjoyed the show (I felt bad FOR you since I heard you were having pretty bad back pains on and off... and I was going to be SO disappointed if you weren't going to be able to do the play that night..but you were there and were great. Someone gave me a tip about going to the back door to try to get an autograph...so I dragged my daughter (who was about 10 or 11) and there we waited... finally you came out and did sign our book and took a quick pic with my daughter... but something really nagged at me (and really shouldn't have).. but I really thought you were pretty stand-off'ish (is that a word)... or full of yourself (and let me tell you I SHOULD HAVE never thought that)... I mean you just got done performing and now you were on your own time....so I really should have not thought that.... anyways, following you a little over the years (not stalking...lol) just reading your book, seeing about your new marriage, following on Facebook, you really do seem like you have changed...I have to say that picture of you with the short hair you posted was my favorite....very nice!! Anyways, I am happy for you and your life changes and new'ish marriage and hope you are happy and look forward to whatever you do in the future!

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    1. Perhaps I was "stand off-ish" and "full of myself" as you say, because I was in excruciating pain. You see, I found out later that my back was actually broken and I performed like that for months.
      I'm hoping also that you don't mean I have changed as in I am no longer "stand off-ish" or "full of myself"
      I'd love it if you'd clarify your post because frankly, I'm a bit confused and a bit hurt.
      Best,
      M

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    2. No one really knows what's going on in people's lives. Most people are kind by nature,not that there aren't people that no matter how hard you try, they aren't nice. Those I pray for.
      No one knew the pain Robin Williams was going through. I'm just saying everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. Many times, I have to smile on the outside, but cry when I'm alone in the car or in the bathroom. You were imposing on her time, even if you had no idea knowing that she was in pain. I'm sure that wasn't your intention.
      It's like anyone who has a job, when you're off work, you're off work.

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    4. NO NO NO Melissa... I didn't word that very good. Ummm, let me rephrase everything. I think as a fan of yours and Little House things, I wanted more than expected. I wanted my daughter and myself to see you, have a chat, exchange words and on and on. So I would say I was disappointed and that was wrong. Why would I expect that of someone I don't even know? I think growing up (almost the same age as you) and sorta following what you do on TV I wanted more than just a signature and picture and that is stupid on MY part, not yours. You were really not stand-off'ish or rude by any means. It was ME who thought, "well why doesn't she give me the time of day", but I didn't deserve that at all. I am sorry for the miscommunication!!! I do hope you come back to this and read because now I feel really bad!!

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    5. Welcome (back) to the flat and fabulous side! I had my implants removed 12/22/14 due to constant pain and lupus like symptoms. I had breast cancer and went for a double mastectomy direct to implants. Implants were the worst decision for me. I was 43 at the time and thought at least I could get new perky breast out of this crap deal. I had no idea that they'd look like baseballs and be physically challenging. If you are up for it, you could be a voice for women everywhere including those with cancer having to make life changing decisions. Most are sent to the plastic surgeon before having time to research what it can do to their bodies. Hope you are well. You will rock the new body. I told my husband the surgery took 30 years off me. ;)

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  6. So proud and happy for you, Melissa! I have always preferred and admired "the real you" and am glad you have come to this realization in your life. You are 50, fabulous and gorgeous! Embrace every minute of it! <3 Your friend and fan forever! Kris Harnage Phillips

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  7. I would love to share this not only with my daughter but her friends on FB as well. Your approach with humor and seriousness is an amazing outlook on a woman's body. My daughter and I are more like your friend Allison. I have been "huge D cup by the end of high school" and my 18 yr old is even worse then I was (poor kid) we both would love to give some away as her friends think we are so lucky.

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  8. Love your insight, your outlook, and your honesty. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Good Article :-) happy for your newfound happiness and your new and hopefully peacefull life :-)

    Great to hear/ read that you finally found your inner peace and will be blogging again - I so missed your blogs over the last time :-)

    Hugs to you and your loved ones
    Sindy

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  10. Glad to see a blog post from you! So honest in your post. I am sure someone who has had similar experiences will find this helpful. Hope your surgery goes well! I live not too far on the other side of Lansing. So cool you are now a Michigander! Take care!

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  11. Melissa,

    I have followed you since you were connected with The Partnership for Drug Free Kids.

    I am man, so naturally we can't help ourself when come to anything boobieness. LOL.

    Seriously, my sister in law has breast cancer, again. She was a 9 year survivor of breast cancer and it has come back. Today she has both of them removed and is taking chemotherapy again. I don't know what the future holds but no person is worth a couple of boobies.

    My wife's family, the women all die of breast cancer. None of them make it to the age of 60 years old, my wife is 57 today and her sister is 53 and going through breast cancer for the second time. The geneticist and oncologist they both see has said they have never seen a family history like theirs.

    All women are more than breasts. A cup, DDD or bigger does define a person. Everyone must do what makes them happy but you can't allow someone else to define you. I am so glad that you posted this essay. It should be on the front page of the New York Times.

    Thank you, now I am going to give my wife a kiss and slip my hand up under her blouse. ;-) LOL

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    1. Instead of slipping your hand under your wife's blouse, perhaps you should have a serious discussion with her about having prophylactic mastectomies that may save her life.

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    2. We have already had that discussion with the oncologist.

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    3. Melissa you gave of years of joy watching Little House. The show was an education in morals & life's lessons. We miss Michael and his projects terribly. Very few men like him. I hope your surgery gets you a youthful "A" back! Your Blog was great. I wish I was an "A" again. Now a C from having babies & weight gain. If I win the lottery I would go to Michigan for some Lypo and get done to my face whatever some of Hollywood is getting that they look 20 again (ex: Demi Moore). Lol! Maybe. Also, I think you are more beautiful w/out makeup. I never could wear it. Felt like a clown, looked like a goof. If you ever want to come to Punxsutawney for Groundhogs Day look me up!!! Sincerely, Kris

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    4. Melissa you gave of years of joy watching Little House. The show was an education in morals & life's lessons. We miss Michael and his projects terribly. Very few men like him. I hope your surgery gets you a youthful "A" back! Your Blog was great. I wish I was an "A" again. Now a C from having babies & weight gain. If I win the lottery I would go to Michigan for some Lypo and get done to my face whatever some of Hollywood is getting that they look 20 again (ex: Demi Moore). Lol! Maybe. Also, I think you are more beautiful w/out makeup. I never could wear it. Felt like a clown, looked like a goof. If you ever want to come to Punxsutawney for Groundhogs Day look me up!!! Sincerely, Kris

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  12. What a wonderful blog! I love that you are so honest and poignant! Good luck on your surgery and can't wait to hear about the outcome! Happy New Year!

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  13. Wishing you the best of luck with your surgery, Melissa! Happy New Year!!!

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  14. Melissa...wish everyone felt this way...great read...I LOVE YIUR HONESTY... You r pretty funny too!!! Still would love a lift though.. This Michigan moms tatas got the life sucked right out of them from breastfeeding. Lol.. Just don't know where to start. HNY!!!

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  15. You are absolutely beautiful, Melissa. You always have been, and the most recent photo is the most beautiful one yet. I've always thought so, and I am so sorry that you had to encounter verbal abuse when you should have been complimented, treasured, and reassured. This was an amazing post, and I loved watching your recent Oprah interview. Thanks for sharing your journey of self-discovery. The powerful ending is just what I needed to hear, and I wish all the best for you.

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  16. Hi Melissa:

    Your article is marvelous. I read it with great interest.

    I'm very impressed with your 'unedited' honesty. To reveal such personal information requires such courage. And I have not doubt that will provide helpful formation for many women (and their husbands, too).

    Having the pleasure of working with you on Little House, I'm delighted with your 'down-to-earth' person into which you have become. I'm proud to call you a friend :)

    DAN McBRIDE (aka: 'Henry Riley' of Little House On The Prairie)

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  17. It's bad enough being a woman in America and having to SEE all those billboards and rags, let alone being chased for photos and then being featured by them as 'imperfect' (i.e. not airbrushed!) All the best to you through your surgery and beyond!

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  18. What a great post! I look forward to more. :) Those pics of Dakota & Michael! Oh my heart! Such sweet beauties those boys.

    I think I happened on your twitter about the time of turmoil you mentioned. I think that's about when I joined twitter. Your posts were a ball of anxiety and nerves. I had a locked account then so you wouldn't have seen my replies to your posts, but so often I shouted ME TOO! You were heard in that darkness. I'm so glad to see you've come to a place in life that brings light to you and such safety & security to make these healthy changes for you. :)

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  19. How wonderful to discover this post tonight, as I am memorizing lines for an upcoming production of "A Laura Ingalls Widler Christmas" at The Starlight Theater in Waterford. One of my final lines to Laura in the play is "You've already got the truest, best thing right here." It is uplifting to read your blog, and see that you are living in that moment, and sharing it with everyone. I will be praying for a speedy recovery for you. Happy New Year, and thank you for shining a light on everyone who has the pleasure of reading your message. By the way, I made your Corn Chowder recipe for Christmas, and it was a huge hit!

    Tammy Robison

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    1. If you are feeling up to it, after your procedure, we would love to have you come and visit our community theater in Waterford. It's not too far from Howell, on M-59. I will leave a couple comp tickets for you at the front desk. The current show opens January 16, and runs two weekends, with our Youth show following the next two weekends.

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  20. Good girl for writing this, so proud of you. I think your husband and kids are lucky to have you, we are lucky to be your fans and there are a lot of people in the world who need you, when you're ready get out there, write....

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  21. See how good moving to a nice, normal community has been for you. A real place, with real people, who accept you just as you are...grocery shopping in Meijer, just like the rest of us. Take care and I am hoping for a quick, not too painful recovery.

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  22. So i stumbled upon this tonight, thanks to twitter. And while I'm not your target audience, mostly likely, I don't know. You have given me a lot to think about because my boobs are a mess from being sick. and heart surgeries tend to tear the area up. now to be honest, i don't know if would ever find a surgeon who'd touch me for anything cosmetic because yikes. i know my history and i do know nothing is worth risking laying around all day on your back in a box prematurely. but it does kill a woman's confidence. which you know. it's hard. we know we're worth more, but it's still hard.

    still i was gonna maybe look into it this new year because well, frick and frack aren't quite hanging out with my navel, but close and being as young as i am with that, it just sucks. maybe it's the BS we tell ourselves as women but if i were 50 and not just north of 30, i could rationalize it better, since at 50, the girls are supposed to get hit by gravity. But i had no idea implants needed maintenance and additional surgeries. reading that, has i think talked me out of the idea. that a one and done, might not quite work.

    anyway, i wish you luck with your surgeries, and a quick recovery time.

    and i hope we all find a place as accepting for our bodies flaws since perfection is unattainable and find the peace that comes from letting the societal crap go.

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  23. I like the way you are Melissa :)

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  24. And woo, Michael was tiny, your nose is bigger than his hand :o.....

    Have a nice day

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  25. Found your blog by accident surfing from Lee's Hideaway and thought how weird, "This person is in Michigan too." Michigan's a big state, but If you are having your procedure at Sparrow, they will take good care of you. What a great way to start off a New Year. Happy Healing, Jane in E.L.

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  26. Good Luck with your surgery Melissa!! You will look beautiful.Hope to see you someday in Howell!

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  27. Good for you Melissa ... keeping it real. All the best in 2015 to you!

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  28. There is a lot to be said for aging gracefully! It sure beats dreading every birthday! Good for you, Melissa!

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  29. This is a wonderful heartfelt story. Thanks for sharing it. I'm glad you're happy with your decision and your body! I remember feeling all the pressure in my teens and twenties to spend time making myself pretty (time that would later be pointed to as evidence of my shallowness and vanity) and to say and do and wear things that were sexy so boys would want me (and so they could write me off as slutty and worthless when they wanted out), etc etc etc. Mixed messages is about right, damned if you do and damned if you don't. I can't even imagine how much worse it must have been growing up under the Hollywood spotlight. It's incredibly strong and kind of you to blog about it publicly, in the hopes that more women and girls can realise sooner what a nightmarish trap the whole beauty industry is.

    Myself, I have my first noticeably grey hairs now, and I'm actually finding I like them. They remind me of everything I went through to become a strong-minded independent adult, and for that I cherish them! I like and respect the chubby decisive person I am now much more than the skinny teenager I used to be: outwardly loud and confident-seeming but secretly feeling anxious and worthless and desperate for everyone's approval. Hopefully when the wrinkles come they will give me the same feeling of having struggled hard to grow out of that and having succeeded. I think it does help a LOT that I won't touch beauty magazines with a ten foot pole and I don't watch a lot of TV, so compared to most people, more of my experience of human beauty comes from the real world where women are beautiful in a glorious variety of ways. There's no getting away from all of the media images though, I do like to go to movies and there's no end to those awful billboards.

    Anyway this has gotten rambly, so I'll just add one more thing - that picture of Daffy Duck made me snort bubbles of laughter into my coffee.

    All the best with the surgery Melissa, I hope you have a quick and easy recovery. Rock on with your beautiful self.

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  30. Happy to see you blogging again....I too mourn my face going south, my crisp chin line....I blame the new tech devices that make us look down, I am mad at myself for caring too much what my chin looks like as I am on my ipad or phone UGH.....I love your honesty thank you, Good luck on your Surgery and we (MI) may actually see some snow as you recover ! :)

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  31. The real moral? Things are priced realistically in the Midwest. (Also, the people are very realistic and real.)

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  32. I wish this could be required reading for every teenage girl. When I was a teenager I had small breasts. Frankly, I'm a small person and was perfectly proportionate, but you never think of that at 16. My mother was also small. Her sister, my first cousin and most of my friends were much larger than me. And I envied them all the time. And then in my 20s I grew a littler larger, but I realized that I didn't have the back pain that my other female friends did. My aunt, my first cousin and a good many of my friends have had to have breast reductions since that time. I'm in my late 30s and rarely need to wear more than a tank top to stay lifted. After all that stress as a teen/young woman, I definitely won!
    I'm glad you shared your story. Many actresses want to hide the choices they made, whether they were good or bad choices, and many kids still look up to them. It's great to see someone like you being frank about this sort of issue because it is such a weight on a young girl's mind.

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    1. Why did mankind have to become so obsessed with Mammary glands? Their "Superpower" is the ability to well-nourish human offspring, but unfortunately they also have the "power" to make so many females feel inadequate when they aren't abundant. I suffered a negative self-image as a child because I was got teased for being too thin (I was born with a genetic condition with malnourishment a common symptom) and later, for not developing physically when other girls my age did. My impression of how a woman should look was also affected by growing up seeing and hearing my mother's insecurities about her own body. (although thin and flat-chested, she successfully breast-fed 5 children) Over time, my mother would reveal that my adored but flawed father expressed unhappiness throughout their marriage that his wife didn't have larger breasts. Years later, when my health improved somewhat and I was able to gain weight, my chest actually filled out a bit, too, Proportionately, yes, but not enough to satisfy my first boyfriend, who after proposing to me, secretly began dating another girl, and said that although he thought he intended to marry me, he wanted to "experience what it was like to be with a woman with large breasts" before he committed to the opposite for the rest of his life. Nail in the coffin for my self-esteem, at the time, even after I dumped him. (?) All because of breasts! Today, a quarter of a century later, I couldn't care less about the barely-average size of my breasts, and I'm glad that I never got the implants I so badly thought I needed to be happy! As a matter of fact, I don't have back pain, mammograms are simple, I haven't needed to wear uncomfortable bras if I didn't want to, (and the man I did marry seems to prefer that, as it leaves nipples more visible---again, men and their boobs!!) but even these smaller-sized breasts are exhibiting the effects of gravity as a result. Not so sure we can win, no matter what we do! ;-)

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  33. Dear Melissa, the timing of your story could not have been better for me. I'm scheduled for similar surgery on January 12th....(the only difference is my surgeon prefers to just remove the implants first, let my body settle for a few months to a year and then see if I want to do a lift). I appreciate you taking the time to share your story because I've been having second thoughts....(terrified actually).....afraid of general anaesthetic, worried about the results, etc. Your thoughts and words have helped me SO much....! I know it's the right thing to do for my health and my life....but I was just feeling scared and alone. Thank you again for your honesty.....and for the unbelievable good timing for me. You've helped put my mind to rest. I'm sending warm wishes for a good recovery and I'll be watching for your updates.....and thinking of you. All the best.....!

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  34. Melissa, this world needs more earthy, honest and open women like you, thanks so much for posting this. Wishing you an easy procedure and the speediest and smoothest healing. I'm so glad you found Timothy, he sounds like my guy! ❤️

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  35. what a lovely post, is sad how other peoples views on your body can change your opinion of how you look. I have always dislike the way I looked and my body in my 28 years I have never been happy with me, which is very depressing as life is short and we have been given these healthy bodies and are wasting them because of comments in magazines and what others think of us. I hope one day with a lot of soul searching that I can finally be happy with me, I'm glad you have found it within yourself to be happy with yourself you are beautiful know matter what your boobie size (I'm a fellow member of the itty bitt titty committee) I hope your operation goes well and have a speedy recovery.

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  36. Good for you. I feel like I look just great for my 50 years. To keep my sanity I try to avoid fluorescent dressing room lights and not get too close to the camera if anyone tries to FaceTime me.

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  37. Great blog, I wish you well in surgery and a speedy recovery. You're so lucky to have someone who loves you and wants you healthy and isn't concerned about boobs.

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    2. Oh my gosh Melissa, you've had such a tough time. I understand about the pressures to look good all the time, more due to my actress Mom. At one point, she insisted I lose 10 pds before she would introduce me to a casting director friend of hers for a major tv show she was acting on at the time. I had a hard time dropping down to 114 pounds due to social drinking and stressing out from the life. Her constant diets ate through her stomach and when she had an infection in one breast, she got implants when substantial tissue was removed. Unfortunately, they hadn't started telling people about the dangers of silicone implants. Hers ruptured, they replaced them, they ruptured again. She ended up on the class action suit vs Dole, but died before she got her settlement. I think you're doing the right thing and you are beautiful no matter what. You are loved for the wonderful, loving, sacrificing Soul whom You are my Sister. Prayer said for your safety and recovery.

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    3. So sorry for your loss. I sense a good soul in you, always be and stay the person you are or hope to be.
      Society puts so much pressure on people to be certain sizes, or act a certain way. It's a shame people just can't be people.

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    4. So sorry for your loss. I sense a good soul in you, always be and stay the person you are or hope to be.
      Society puts so much pressure on people to be certain sizes, or act a certain way. It's a shame people just can't be people.

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    5. Thank you Kathy. That's very kind of you. My wife had a gastric bypass this last year too. She's considering a lift as well. Yes, it's important to feel good about yourself and do what's best for yourself as you said. Hang in there. :)

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  39. Darlin, you could never look like the Crypt Keeper! I'm proud of you for doing this and for sharing your story with us! You've always been beautiful-it radiates from within!!
    You'll be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this process!!
    Brightest Blessings,
    w

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  40. Thanks for sharing with us, your struggles and your triumphs. Oh my your photo you posted a few days ago...just simply beautiful! Michigan has been good to you! Will be praying and thinking of you while you deal with surgery this week. Keep us posted on your recovery...may your healing be quick.

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  41. Bless your heart, you've had allot to deal with. I hope you read the response I posted to the lady who said you were stand off ish.
    Ultimately, you have to do what's best for you.
    I had a breast reduction, I was only a D cup, but I had lost weight from gastric bypass and they didn't fit my body anymore.
    I had to pay extra for the lift, which didn't make sense to me. I told my surgeon, you're already in the neighborhood, shouldn't you have to put them where they're supposed to be? She thought that was funny, but still had to pay for the lift.
    My sister, just last year, 2014, had one of her implants burst. She had replacement surgery right away.
    I wish that I was a little bigger now, padded bra, I'm a B, lost more weight, but oh well.
    Best wishes on a speedy recovery.
    Kathy

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  42. Bless your heart, you've had allot to deal with. I hope you read the response I posted to the lady who said you were stand off ish.
    Ultimately, you have to do what's best for you.
    I had a breast reduction, I was only a D cup, but I had lost weight from gastric bypass and they didn't fit my body anymore.
    I had to pay extra for the lift, which didn't make sense to me. I told my surgeon, you're already in the neighborhood, shouldn't you have to put them where they're supposed to be? She thought that was funny, but still had to pay for the lift.
    My sister, just last year, 2014, had one of her implants burst. She had replacement surgery right away.
    I wish that I was a little bigger now, padded bra, I'm a B, lost more weight, but oh well.
    Best wishes on a speedy recovery.
    Kathy

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  43. Good Luck today Melissa. Just keep thinking of how happy you'll be very soon.
    You have the Best Supporter in your husband Tim to get you through.
    Best wishes.

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  44. Melissa, I have been a fan since LHOTP. I felt like we "grew up" together, since we are the same age. I've followed your career, and sent heartfelt prayers during your times of struggle. I always wished I could do something to help with your back pain (I'm a natural health practitioner). I applaud you for your honesty in this blog. As well as being very therapeutic for you, it's an inspiration to so many people. I wish you a speedy recovery, and welcome you back to our world of "A's"! :) And just remember, true health begins with your thoughts - they can totally dictate what happens in your physical body. You are moving to a very good place regarding that! :)

    May your world be filled with health and happiness~
    Erika

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  46. Thanks for your honesty Melissa. It's sad to see so many of today's actresses crumbling emotionally and physically under the constant pressure to look 'a certain way.' Everyone gets older, if they're lucky... Even Hollywood actresses.

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  48. Great post! Best wishes to you on your recovery. You look wonderful. Happy 2015!

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  49. First of all, I'd like to say, I'm male, but I have to applaud you on the stand you've taken against this crazy insane idea that the bigger they are, the better. I think it takes an awful amount of courage to have implants removed, especially in today's society and in show business. I wish more women would be able to realize that they are so much more than what this society pushes on them... Thank you for your post, and for your incredible work throughout the years. Good luck with your surgery, with the recovery, and with everything else in the future....

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  50. Melissa, my word for this year is "beauty". Simply discovering the beauty around me and within me. As a mother of 4 and a grandmother of 1, my body is not what it once was but I accept that and am grateful for good health. I think that we, women, grow more graceful and beautiful as we age naturally. Thank you for your blog post.

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  51. Best of luck with your surgery and recovery, Melissa, and all good things to you and your family in the new year.

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  52. Best of luck with the surgery! I really loved hearing your story in your own words - I think it's awesome that you are doing what's best and healthiest for you instead of someone else. I'm sure the pressures in Hollywood are tremendous and even those of us outside it are constantly told we're not good enough. I admire your attitude! All the best for an easy recovery!

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  53. Dear Melissa - thank you for your thought provoking honest blog. Well said and very timely for the new year. As many have said I grew up watching Little House, read your book which, like your blog was candid and well written. After all these years I am actually reading the Little House series to my young children, having never read it, a chapter each night before bed and we sing the theme before each chapter.
    What you said regarding mix messages is true and if we are not careful we as adults our children may subscribe to the unhealthy beliefs that are marketed to us that we see in everyday life; from billboards, to popular print, to what we see and read on the internet. I feel especially strong about this because when raising a child it is necessary to ensure that positive messages are being enforced. As a mother of a young daughter I make an effort to ensure that she is developing a good body image (something I didn’t have) and I tell her often how beautiful she is. Like me when I was young - she is very tall for her age and slightly overweight. I do not say this to give her a "swell" head. But, to encourage her that beauty does not come only from your outer physical appearance, as we come in all shapes and sizes, but from the inside as well and not to compare yourself to anyone else. Be the best "you" that you can be.
    Unlike you, I went through a breast reduction. I was extremely self conscience about my breast size I was the only one in my family to have such large breasts and while many may think this is a blessing it was a curse for me. Looking at my other friends I did not fit in at all – being so tall and slightly overweight I did not fit in. I had my reduction several years ago (before my children) - I sadly was not able to breast feed afterwards, which was painful because I had always wanted to. I was told that I had a 50/50 chance of not being able to because my reduction took off eight pounds and I needed breast reconstruction. It was a chance I was willing to take because of my severe back pain and it was very successful.
    Your blog reminded me of the importance of being true to yourself. Your last picture you posted with you smiling speaks volumes. Thank you for reminding me the importance of making the most of each day and being true to yourself. Peace and blessing to you, wishing you a speedy recovery.

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  54. Bless you Melissa! Thank You for sharing your real life experience here with us! I absolutely laughed with the funnier comments then wanted. to blast your first husband for his comment regarding the shape of the twins after your first child was born!

    Thank You so much for continuing to show the world that you are only human. And no human being is perfect in any way. However we are only perfect to ourselves as long as we can live honestly with ourselves. Who cares what the folk's in any industry thinks we should look like? It's such a shame that in our time then and now that "image" is more prevalent now more than ever! Congratulations on your choice to be who you really are as opposed to what other's "think" you should look like!

    Oh! When it comes to being "standoffish" after working hard on stage with a broken back? Sorry fan who is disappointed that Melissa wasn't up to your idealistic dreams but, Melissa is first and foremost "Human" and was in excruciating pain after her performance. And like me was suffering from excruciating pain due to her broken back! I know she was feeling. And like her understand what it's like and feel for her. I too suffered a broken back, dealt with it until my surgery. And still suffer severe chronic pain since!

    Love You Melissa!!!

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  55. Best of luck with the surgery! It's awesome that you are doing what's best and healthiest for you. Your funny and honest. I've been a fan since as long as I can remember and can't wait to read more of your posts. I can't wait to get your Prairie Cookbook. I adore LHOTP and I love cooking. It's going to be wonderful having you in my kitchen! All the best to you and your family. Happy New Year!

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  56. P.S. - I'm not sure if you still live in the Midwest or not, but if you do, let me say "Welcome!" The different colors of the sky and shapes of the clouds are Beautiful aren't they?

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  57. OMG, Melissa! Your blog is the best! Your writing style is so entertaining. Plus you are writing about subjects that are so important to so many of us women. I just turned 60 recently and have been mourning the younger more youthful and vibrant me, wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way. Thank you for sharing your feelings with all of us! All the best, xo

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  58. Love this!! Curious to know how the surgery went!! :)

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  59. I have always loved you, and never more than now!

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  60. This is an AWESOME piece. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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  61. I met you when you came to Naperville, IL a few months ago to promote your book and discuss your experiences on Little House. I had been admirer of yours since I was a teenager so I had to be there. I had read about your experiences as you navigated through Hollywood and now learning of what you went through regarding pressure to physically be a certain way, it is heartbreaking.

    Ms. Gilbert, I am so glad I met you that night in Naperville. I admire you deeply. I am glad you decided to remove the implants because I want you to be happy. In this life, that is all that matters.

    By the way, we talked about you learning to make collard greens. How is that coming along?

    Wishing you all the happiness in the world.

    Joe

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  62. Thank you for sharing this with us, Melissa! Looking at your old pics without your breast implants, I think you still look beautiful WITHOUT breast implants!

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  63. As a 46 year old woman, I think we should be most concerned with our teeth at this point. Truly, right? At this stage of our lives, a nice, healthy smile is what's going to see us through from here on out. :)
    Aging IS a gift. And being our age is very liberating! We know what's really important now. We know WHO is really important now. And we know our worth, without having to look in the mirror. I'm not saying that we should let ourselves go. Just the opposite! The name of the game is healthy and happy now.
    I'm so glad that you wrote this and shared your experience. This is a great age to be! I've never been so sure of who I am, as I do now, and it sounds as though you, and a lot of these other ladies do, too. We need public figures, like you, to demonstrate that healthy is what makes us beautiful. Not model-skinny, or "perfect" boobs, or stiletto heels, or trying to look 20 when we are so past 20.
    Best wishes to you! And thanks, again!

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  64. Well said, as are all of your other blog posts. Please continue to blog, at least a few times each year, as finding intelligent online conversation is getting harder by the day. Yes, I'm a fan of your acting, but I won't bore you with my praise for that . . . I'm totally interested in the life of two well-known actors who purposely left Hollywood for small town America, though. Who does that? Normal people do. And it makes for great reading. Btw, you are one of those women who is getting lovelier with the miles and the years; own it and enjoy it!

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  65. Melissa,
    I will make my comment short. I still enjoy Little House On The Prairie and watch it everyday with my little three year old granddaughter. She is the youngest of my seven grandchildren that start at 27 years of age down to her. I will say a prayer for you and hope for the very best during your surgery, and pray for a speedy recovery.
    Blessings to you...

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  66. I liked you as a kid, then a teen and still as a 40 something Mom and Wife. I don't watch Dancing with the Stars but I did to see you. I thought you looked beautiful every episode. We are always our toughest critics tho so. I admire people who are true to themselves and not afraid to say what they feel.You've always been that to me. Wishing you a quick recovery! Oh and for the record, I hate those trashy magazines...I wish women would spend the money on something nice for themselves rather than the "rags" as we refer to them.

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  67. Today's my 56th birthday and I was so pleased and touched to read your real and transparent post about aging in our culture. I fight every day to remember that my beauty is not defined by culture. Today I cling closely to a God that loves and accepts me just as I am, otherwise I may believe all the hype that says I am obsolete. It helps to know I am not alone and it can't be easy to do given your public profile. Kudos!

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  68. Melissa,
    Your blog post was wonderful, real, and HILARIOUS. Hope you are doing well. I've always enjoyed your acting, and also your hubby's in thirtysomething. All the best to you.

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  69. Dear Melissa

    Plain and simple, you were cute as a button as a kid back in the day running down that hill with your bonnet..

    And you stood out for a very specific reason ---- your unique and beautiful spirit.

    Each and every person here on this planet--- all of us--on some level can relate to not feeling like we are enough.

    To live and be surrounded by all of the elements that you have spent most of your life enmeshed with, well, it's no wonder you have struggled as you have with the constant gnawing angst in wondering if you are good enough, pretty enough, thin enough...

    My prayer for you is that hopefully you are really there in a place now where you are able to let go of those misperceptions and miserable lies. To give yourself the permission you need to get a healthier perspective about these things you have written about. And to not only choose to distance yourself from those unhealthy beliefs, but especially from the falseness and fakery that the industry environment so often cultivates. You deserve better. That little girl running down the hill deserves better.

    When I read that you packed your bags and 'got out of Dodge' a couple of years ago, I was relieved for you. Although I don't know you, I recognize you. And I acknowledge you for who you were and who you are becoming.

    May that spirit and that light within you always be more than *enough* for you. May it feed you and light your way towards a healthier, happier view of self now and always. For it was a hefty part of that very light up there on the TV screen that lightened the heart of a certain 10 year old girl back in the day and on some unspoken level helped get her through some pretty dysfunctional times.

    May you be at peace and love yourself unconditionally blemishes and all, Melissa, no matter what!

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  70. Inspiring words for all the young and young at heart ladies. Incidentally, you look 28 instead of 48 and you will probably always be Half-Pint to me.

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  71. Praying that your surgery is successful, your physical healing terrific and you have uplifting internal peace!
    Albeit I am late in congratulating you on your recent marriage, may your days be filled with loving kindness, respect and loyalty.
    Jackie in NC

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  72. I enjoyed your article!

    Best wishes with your surgery....or if you have had it.....recover quickly. Maybe you should share your story with young high school girls about the reality of having implants. They are all so hell bent on doing what Hollywood young ladies do.

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  73. Melissa,
    I grew up in Howell and still live in Michigan. When I heard you had moved there, I honestly wondered "WTF?". I was sure you would be practically driven out by people continuously in your face at every turn telling you how much they enjoyed "Little House" or calling you "Half Pint" unless you had nearly unlimited patience. I am glad to see that you are still here.

    During the recent elections I will admit to some mild disappointment in your political advocacy; but nobody is perfect ;). I want to commend you for publishing this article and publicly advocating a fundamentally Midwestern reality: That the world really does not revolve around women having an unrealistically idealized figure. As a man I still do not fully understand our culture and media's unhealthy obsession with this part of a woman’s anatomy.

    Considering your background and having spent time myself in Los Angeles, and I am stunned at the courage of this article. You have truly earned my respect and admiration. What this means to the daughters (and sons) that see it can't be underestimated.

    To simply say that you are courageous is not enough. It is disturbing to read what you had to endure before the realization that led you to this decision. Women should not have to sacrifice their health, endure mental anguish, abuse, pain, jokes, surgery etc to feel valued and to have healthy self-esteem.

    As a man I will tell you that I have always thought of this part of the female anatomy as considerably overrated but that might be because of where I am from. I hope all goes well with your surgery.

    Thank you and Best Wishes to you and Tim.

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  74. Plastic surgery has its place, I believe. After a lifetime of battling obesity, I had gastric bypass surgery. After I lost 175 pounds, my face fell off. Literally. All that loose skin just pooled around my neck. I had a facelift to remove it. I am happy with that choice, but what was odd was...at my final post surgical checkup, the surgeon said, 'Come back in a year and I will fix your eyes'. I thought...'WTF? My eyes are not broken'. I would not consider any more surgery, and there is a lot more that *could* be done. Under my clothes, I look like a Shar-Pei. Boob-droop? Honey, I can't put on a belt without first putting on a bra. Think about it.

    My point is, the first surgery (the bypass) was done, not to improve my appearance, but to make me more healthy. The second one was a concession to appearance, but as damage repair. I do NOT believe anyone should just feel the need to 'fix' themselves for the wrong reason. When your first husband made that comment about your breasts dangling, you should have kicked him in HIS dangly bits, and then kicked him to the curb.

    I am so happy that you have found a life partner who wants you to be well and happy in your own skin.

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  75. I'm 41 and breast feed my 2 daughters, who are now 23 and almost 20 years old now. I was a B cup, but after I quit feeding, my breast were the same size but much,much lower as well. To me,my breasts looked like tennis balls in tube socks. To make my self esteem even worse, when I got a mammogram, the technician blurted out " I've never seen someone with such dense breasts!". Talk about being mortified. And when you wrote this- "Dating posed the terrifying prospect of the guy I chose to make love with next, undoing my bra and running away in abject terror.", I still feel this way today. I too won't go bra less, even when making love,I'm so ashamed of my breasts. I'm not getting implants, because I too,don't want to have surgery every 10 years. I hate wearing push up bras or bikini tops. I was at a water/theme park,wearing a push up bikini top when a man came up to me and said " Ma'am, your exposed". I looked,and to my horror my whole nipple was hanging out for who knows how long,at the waterpark. So now I just wear a small tank top over my bikini top. I swear, I just feel like crying.

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    1. Why on earth do you feel so awful about having used your breasts to nurture your children? I just really hate seeing someone ashamed of her body like that. Dense breasts, by the way, are nothing to be concerned with. It just means the tech has to do a more careful job, not that YOU did anything wrong. I am sure that's all she was saying.

      Don't be ashamed of your body. Be proud.

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    2. Becki - you are my age- you should read my book "Beyond Natural Skincare and Weightloss" - I have a chapter on increasing breast size naturally!

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  76. I love my girls! We have been together for 51 years and I cannot imagine life without them. They are quite large (36DDD) and will meet you before I do. Lol. They shown up when I was 14 over summer break. I went from fried eggs to a B cup! it was from that point that buying tops became a problem. To this day I cannot wear a button down shirt! They became so large during my pregnancies I looked like I could nurse a third world country! Lol. they are the first to lose weight and gain weight. They are my best friends and I don't know what I would do without them. I am proud of you for having your implants removed. Body image is so in your face these days and even at my age it's all about age defying, smoother younger be the best you can be! As I type this I realize we are already the best version of ourselves and we need to embrace and love what God has give us. No matter how much money we spend to improve the outside we are still the same on the inside. Good luck with your life. Glad to see you left lala land for the the beauty of the upper Midwest.

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  77. Blessings to you. Life in the fishbowl, I am sure is not always nice & glamorous as the world makes it out to be. Honest & funny. L'chaim!!
    KELLY A.

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  78. I adore who you are, right now, Melissa, on this walk, where you live, and who you chose to journey alongside you. For you to release the past, and embrace the future, that's true maturity. Thank you for continuing to be bold, fearless and honest in your messaging about this topic (another testimony that your life is so working).

    As a 59 year old with post-nursing, and un-lifted, yet healthy breasts, I am encouraged that the message is going forth more and more that we weren't created to be plastic beings.That I opt to wear a bra in public is an honor over worrying about what might be leaking, and if the implant weight is impacting my spine. The decision to opt for a breast lift is a major decision, and surgery is scary, let's face it.

    Keep doing what you're doing, Melissa, because it's working. My wise mom used to tell me, "Fear of the future, and regret of the past, are robbers of the now."

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  79. May today find you healing wonderfully! Keep warm!

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  80. Did Laura Ingalls ever have Mammary enhancements done?
    I must have missed that particular episode of Little house...

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  81. Boobs are over rated!! Mine tried to kill me!! Lol but really I admire your strength and honesty in sharing this with us. Loved the pictures too! Hope you feel better soon. Take care!

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  82. Thank you, for this.
    And so much more.

    Julie

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  83. Thanks for posting about this. Although I have never thought about plastic surgery of any kind for myself (I am very well endowed) what you spoke about self image really resonated with me. Like most women I have struggled constantly with my accepting my own image and looking at myself with love an aprreciation rather than disgust and sadness. It's a learning process and at the age of 34 I am not anywhere near the end of it. I am getting there though. Having a supportive spouse does wonders for a person though and I have been blessed with one. Good luck on the surgery and hope recovery goes well. Thanks again for sharing your story of how you grew to love yourself. Oh and by the way cute pic at the end!
    Kimbo

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  84. Good for you for having those implants removed. and thank you for this post. I wish more stars would speak out against crazy ideals of beauty that are neither healthy or natural.

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  85. Well?? How are you doing? Are you comfortable with the results? My silicone has been in me since 19 years old. High school graduation gift. Yes...I grew up in OC. Anyways, now almost 50. I was the president of the Itty tittie ;). Not sure what I want to do. Take out. Get smaller. Argh.

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  86. How awesome that I came across your blog! I hope that you are able to find time to update on your surgery! I have never had implants but I have had a reduction (BEST-SURGERY-EVER!). Wishing you well!
    ~ Renee (www.renee-waitingtoexhale.blogspot.com)

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  87. I love that you have done this and are talking about it. I am so happy to have found your blog also....blessings to you.

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  88. Thank you so much for speaking out about your surgery. I too have been researching implant removal. I am a 41 year old working mother of 4, and had breast augmentation surgery about 10 years ago. I have had shoulder, neck, and heart issues recently, along with being treated for stage 2B melanoma. I can't help but think these foreign objects are wreaking havoc on my body. I want them out, but unfortunately, insurance does not cover the procedure, and it is quite expensive. I would love to know who your surgeon was in Michigan. I would consider making the trip from Oregon. Thanks again for speaking out. I can only pray young women considering augmentation think of their future, and not just the here and now! ~ Stephanie

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  89. Ms. Melissa, you are an amazing woman to stand up like this and speak. I admire you and have for decades. I am sorry that the environments you were exposed to made you feel less than your entitlement to the richness of being unique and beautiful.

    I live not far from Laura Ingalls-Wilder territory (in Minnesota - brrrr) and pass through there often when I travel to visit siblings.

    Anyway, on screen your eyes always showed your soul as it still does today. You were beautiful in that Little House role. You are even more beautiful now for what your eyes reveal. No, I am not hitting on you. I just think it important to know that I am one of so many who appreciate your inner beauty. Thank you for being a hero.

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  90. Dear Melissa,

    I SO enjoyed reading your own words, honestly, at this strange time in my life. ALWAYS a fan of everything you have done, (I'm a 'bit" older than you, just turned 60), I think of you as a life-long, dear friend, for these reasons:

    1) Little House on the Prairie is the first book I consciously remember reading (I used to reread the entire series every summer,... until I became a boob-obsessed, flat-chested teenager!) When it came to television, I was hooked. No such thing as a VCR then, so I was basically incommunicado on Monday nights. I lived near my parents, and went home to watch with my Mom and my much younger sister (it was definitely a bonding time for us, as I left for college when she was 5).

    2) I majored in and taught Reading for 30 years, primarily because I so loved the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder (my oldest child is named Laura, after my love of the author).

    3) I was incredibly flat-chested and skinny as a younger woman; sadly, my breasts were swiftly altered by pregnancy, when cantaloupes, as my father affectionately described my milk-engorged breasts, appeared on my body!

    4) Menopause swiftly created my “DD” situation, which, while I initially thought of as a natural form of “breast enhancement”, caused “consequences” (to my horror!): I did not fit in any of my bras, clothes, favorite ski clothes, coats, or basically ANYTHING!

    5) And, yes, that DD, which I would have paid great $$ for had I possessed it as a younger woman, still does NOT seem to want to disappear, no matter how thin (or heavy) I get! It remains now, while I seriously consider breast reduction, could I afford it! (I actually wrote an essay on BRAS, and the agony they cause women)!

    So, next time you second guess yourself? DON’T!!!! Thank you for bringing your honesty, your spirit and your experience to Michigan! I’m a Michigan girl, born and bred, was raised in the Birmingham area, and live here now. Michigan is proud to have you and Tim!

    With fondness and respect,

    Amy Joan North

    P.S. I’m available for coffee, wine, etc. if you find yourself in the Birmingham area with free time, haha ;)

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  91. Hi…!
    I like this post it’s very useful Woman’s face many problem Breast reduction is sensitive case so herbal way is good for this.

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  92. Hi Melissa, I have been getting your messages over and over lately. Today you were on Dr.Oz and then later I was reading a website for woman who were sharing their explant experiences. They were so honest and open to sharing. I have made some poor decisions when I was most vulnerable in certain seasons of life. It seems so empowering to think I might be able to take this one back. It represents a return to something much more pure and whole. The person God created before I became damaged and disconnected with something precious, my soul. I would like to shake hands with that young woman again and welcome her. I will be gentler and kinder to her. I'm glad you are so happy Melissa and you seem so centered right now. Keep that it's a good way to be. It is honoring. I will let you know how it goes. I'm just starting to think about this. You have been a blessing a continue to be.
    Kind Regards,
    Evelyn

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  93. Wow Melissa- I am blown away, so impressed you are going against the celebrity grain! I also live in michigan and my daughter is a huge fan of yours- I have a website called bodymindayurveda.com, and a FB page for breasts called Natural Breasts Save Lives, I am a naturopath doctor in Birmingham- and have written alot of books- my newest book has a chapter on healthy breasts- congrats on all you have accomplished and welcome to Michigan! <3

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  94. Breasts come in various sizes and shapes. Sometimes they defy gravity. Others they hang down to our waists. We women are more than just our breasts. We have to stop putting so much of our self worth into our bodies. Too fat. Too thin. Etc. Etc.

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  95. I hope you're recovering well. Your article was honest and real. Thank you for your candor.

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  96. I just read this. It's so true I have tears in my eyes. I developed early. In 4th grade..yes, you read it right..in 4th grade the teacher sent a note home. It read " Geneen needs a bra" my Dad went running to the hills. My mother had to call my grandmother..and to my mortification...is that a word..? The three of us went to a German woman..with a thick accent ..to fit me with a bra. I cried through the whole thing. She was yelling at me in German. My mother and grandmother were talking to eachother in Armenian...and I just wanted to crawl under a chair. I grew into a c-d cup...Yep...never a full c or d...but somewhere Inbetween. Imagine the fun over the years in finding bras...plus I never had perky boobs..not even in high school. I have always had ankle warmers. And now at the age of 49...they have become a hazard as I just about trip over them..daily. I remember when my first asshole..I mean husband...left...one of the conditions of him coming back was that I get a boob job. Instead I changed the locks on the doors so he would stay gone. I have never had any confidence....but, I've had these damn boobs...that at 49, im finally coming to terms with...sure at some point, I'll just sling them over my shoulder and make people wonder....as I wipe drool from my mouth....but until that day arrives...they are growing on me...not growing in size...GAWD no...but just growing on me....thank you for your post. I hope you're doing well..and feel like writing again, soon..!

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  97. You have a nice writing style. Hope your surgery went well.

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  98. This blog post was the equivalent of a patio cover hitting me upside the head, so thank you. If you're ever in Santa Clarita, please hit me up. (It's a pipe dream, but ya know i had to throw it out there.) I owe you a cup of coffee for helping me feel justified in cancelling my appointment in two weeks. Your post said everything my gut has been telling me at 2 in the morning. I'm out a $600 deposit, but I think it's an expensive lesson I needed to learn. Thank you a million times over for being the only voice I've heard lately who hadn't said "Oh, just do it!" I hope your recovery went well!

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  99. I got two major takeaways from this: 1) I cannot WAIT for an opportunity to use my new favorite phrase, "What the fucking fuck?" 2) "Aging is a blessing not a curse." Thank you...now I have to seek out someone to unload my new phrase on!

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  100. I had a breast reduction (and panniculectomy at the same time---would not necessarily recommend doing both together...pretty hard on the body) a few months ago. I have lost 150lbs in 2 years, through exercise and healthy eating. I went from a 44DDD to a 34DD or 36C, depending on the bra. The only drawback: my insurance required the same weight be removed from each breast. Since mine were so big, I never really noticed one was bigger than the other (I have gone back through photos and can see now that the one has always been..lol). So, now I am coming to terms with a boob that is bigger than the other. I like my tiny boobies haha! It's all okay though...no more back pain! And no more underwire!!!!!
    I am 40, single, my children have both now graduated high school--one is in the Army, the other in college, I am retired and just moved back to my home state to start on a new path.
    I do suggest getting a 2nd or even 3rd opinion! I wish I had waited until moving to where I am now, a bigger city with more options, to have my surgeries. We had one plastic surgeon where I was before, so that was my option. I had to have 2 wound revisions where I am now because of how she closed them, one of which made tiny boobie even tinier. She could have also removed a larger portion during the panniculectomy. Hopefully as I continue to tone up my skin will rebound and it won't be an issue. If not, I will just have to love me for me!

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  101. was loocking for a profile on fastfoxxx.net. stumbled here. weard stuff happen to wierd people.YES. this blogg is carap and awsame at same time.

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  102. I know it's been quite awhile since you posted and since there were comments here, but I've kept your blog written down so I could come back and check periodically to see if you've written! I love your last post... very informative and very YOU and very enlightening to see your life's path. I'm so glad you've chosen the "natural" path.... I love your natural look. You are so beautiful Melissa, inside and out... and you look great natural and "unmadeup".. you have such a natural beauty and I'm glad to see the softer lines. I've followed you and your career for years and I do so hope you do more movies. One of my all-time favorites was A Holiday for Love..... I recorded it on VCR and still watch it every Christmas! Wish you'd make more like that! Just wanted to say "hi" and I hope you find time to post here again. Marilyn from central Oregon

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