While Little House on The Prairie was reportedly the place to be if you were a child star in the 70s, that doesn’t mean it was easy. Being a celebrity seems glamorous on paper, but a lot of celebrities struggle to adjust to fame. For children, the pressure of being a star can often be far too much.
Laura Ingalls actress Melissa Gilbert once spoke about this pressure, and how it became difficult during a very sensitive period of her life. Even though she had a job that thousands of girls would have wanted, it definitely put a lot of restrictions on her life.
“When I was a young teenager is when it got difficult. At least as I’ve observed it, the teenage years are … when we are supposed to be somewhat undisciplined and stretching the boundaries,” she told The Post and Courier in 2018.
“I remember not wanting to wear those petticoats and pantaloons and stuff [and] I remember wanting to dress like everybody my age did. I remember wanting to change my hair, and I wasn’t allowed to. Apparently, a nose job was OK (laughing), that I got a green light for. But the other stuff, I had to stay disciplined, and I had to maintain my work ethic.”
For many child stars, especially at the time, being on TV was truly a full-time job. That, on top of fame and the normal pressures that come with growing up, can be especially challenging. Gilbert grew up with a considerable amount of pressure considering she played the adored and revered Laura Ingalls.
Gilbert Thinks the Values Taught in ‘Little House on The Prairie’ Are Still Important Today
There’s a reason Laura Ingalls was so adored, and why the pressure for Gilbert got so intense. She was quite the role model for young girls. Little House on The Prairie taught important life lessons throughout its run. At the core of the show is family and community. The show emphasizes the importance that human beings can have in each other’s lives.
“No matter what time we’re existing in, no matter where technology is going or where the world is headed, we still need each other. We still need that human touch. We still rely on one another as people. I think that’s the strong core of the show. The values of that kind of togetherness and support, the kindness and compassion,” Gilbert said.
Little House On The Prairie taught kids and adults alike the values of kindness and mutual respect. For those reasons, the show has remained somewhat timeless. While it was likely quite difficult for Melissa Gilbert at times, it’s clear that she still has a ton of pride in her work on the show to this day.