With more than 30 years in Hollywood, Mariska Hargitay‘s plastic surgery opinions have changed over time. Though Hargitay, who is best known for her role as Detective Olivia Benson on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, hasn’t confirmed any procedures she’s done, she’s made it known that she’s not opposed to plastic surgery by any means—though she does prefer the more “natural look.”
In an interview with Ladies Home Journal in March 2013, Hargitay revealed that she used to be “against” plastic surgery, but has warmed up to the idea of it as she became older. “I used to be against it. I think it’s because I was raised by a father who didn’t like makeup. If I had makeup on he’d say, ‘Honey, you didn’t wash your face!'” she said. “But now that I’m older I think women should do whatever they want to make themselves feel good.”
She continued, “don’t think they should go overboard, and I still think the natural look is the most beautiful. But if you want to do something to help you look more refreshed, I’m all for it.”
Hargitay also revealed that she’s been criticized for her looks throughout her career, from being told that her nose is “too big” to it being “too small.” “I wasn’t always confident. I spent most of my 20s having people say no to me,” she said. “I’d go to auditions and the casting directors would be like: You’re not tall enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not blonde enough, your nose is too big, your nose is too small, your skin is too dark, your skin is too light, change your name! There was so much rejection. I didn’t work for eight years.”
As for how she became more confident, Hargitay explained that a lot of her confidence has to do with removing any negative self-talk from her vocabulary. “I’m a big believer that your word is your wand. You know how people say things like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m such an idiot,'” she said. “I don’t say those things anymore. Those put-downs, even if they’re in jest, are little bullets of negativity that you don’t need in your life.”
She continued, “I find it so upsetting when I try to pay a compliment to a friend and instead of taking it she puts herself down. I’ll say, “I like your shirt!” And she’ll say: “This? It’s so old.” We feel the need to dismiss a compliment and make it less than one. Take the moment. Take it in. Focus on your gifts.”
Hargitay also explained that she’s become more comfortable with her body and her looks as she’ become older, especially after she gave birth to her first child, August, in 2006. She also shares son Andrew and daughter Amaya with her husband, Peter Hermann. “I love my curves because they scream, “I’m a mama!” I’m the girl who started wearing maternity pants about an hour after I found out I was pregnant because I was so excited about becoming a mom,” she said.
She continued, “Things are sagging a bit—I’m not going to lie. But am I going to be upset about the sag or am I going to look at my three gorgeous kids and my husband and count my lucky stars?”
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