Melissa Gilbert is opening up about the “midlife crisis” she experienced after the end of her marriage to Bruce Boxleitner.
In her new memoir, Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered, the Little House on the Prairie star wrote about the end of her marriage to the Babylon 5 actor in 2011. She shared that following the split, she made physical changes in order to feel better about herself.
“I had Botox, fillers, recolored my hair, and bought a Mustang convertible at the urging of the inappropriately young French dude I began dating,” Gilbert, 58, wrote in the memoir.
That reaction, noted the former Screen Actors Guild president, was about attempting to recapture the “freedom” she felt in her youth. She wrote, “I reacted as many women I encountered did: I attempted to freeze everything in place.”
She added that the experience of “being a single woman in your forties in Los Angeles is a whole different league of pressure.”
“And being an actress looking for work in an industry obsessed with youth ratchets that up even further,” she noted.h
It wasn’t until she met her now-husband, Thirtysomething actor Tim Busfield, and moved out of Los Angeles to Michigan after their marriage in 2013, that she stopped focusing so much on what she looked like.
“I can’t move my forehead — and that’s not okay,” she explained. “I have a feeling that I’m going to want to move it more in the future. I’d like to go someplace where that’s possible.”
Gilbert, who now lives in Upstate New York with Busfield, also spoke to Good Morning Americathis week about making the decision to leave Los Angeles behind — and with it, its challenging beauty standards.
“I had to get out of Los Angeles to actually age, which I wanted to do,” she said. “I’m excited about this. I love all these changes and watching what’s happening and getting to know this new person.”
She shared with Peoplethat she has since reevaluated her outlook on her appearance.
“My mindset was, ‘You have to stay thin. You have to be seen in the right places, wear the right shoes and drive the right car,’” she noted. “That was so drilled into me by all the outside forces. But it never sat right.”