It’s hard to be a woman in Hollywood, but Sally Field has chosen to defy most of the ‘rules’ put in place.
We love her work in films like Forrest Gump, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Steel Magnolias. Some of our favorite work from her, though, is not on the screen but instead in her personal approach to working against ageism and bullying in her career.
At 76, Field exudes the same radiance she possessed at 19 – though she’s still confronting criticism about her appearance
Early life and career
Field started life with some challenges, chiefly due to the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather, Jock Mahoney – something she revealed in her 2018 memoir, per The New York Times.
Her first acting gig was in the hit 60s sitcom Gidget, a role that skyrocketed her to stardom, landing her more serious acting roles in movies like Sybil and Norma Rae (which earned her an Academy Award).
As the years progressed, Field became known for her portrayal of strong maternal figures, in hit movies like Soap Dish and Not Without My Daughter.
“The woman I worked with, a great actress, on The Flying Nun, grabbed me to the back of the sound stage and put a piece of paper in my hand because I was really depressed,” she recalled.
As she ages, Field has been vocal about approaching getting older with grace, saying in a 2016 interview with Good Housekeeping that she has accepted her status as an “old woman”. During that interview, Field added that she’s chosen to age naturally, especially because growing older is inevitable.
The talented actress acknowledged the importance of respecting and appreciating how she looks now, rather than using plastic surgery to try too hard to recreate how she looked in the past.
“I see myself on TV and say, ’Oh, I wish that weren’t happening to my neck.’ And your face is falling, and your eyes are so puffy,” Field explained.
Facing internet trolls and health issues
Though, by choosing to age naturally, Field has unfortunately left herself open to criticism from nasty internet trolls, who have called her “ugly”.
In fact, these trolls took to X (formerly known as Twitter), insulting her looks and making awful comments about her physical appearance. Sadly, these comments are commonplace for most celebrities, even though they shouldn’t be.
Lately, Field has brushed off the comments, revealing how she still prefers to age naturally, regardless of what people say about her.
The actress has also been dealing with her silent illness, osteoporosis – something she was diagnosed with before turning 60 in 2005, but an issue she rarely speaks about.
Women are sadly more susceptible to this horrible illness due to the hormonal changes they face during menopause, and this can lead to a decrease in bone density. No matter what Field did – from maintaining a healthy lifestyle to exercising regularly – there was no way for her to prevent the diagnosis, she told WebMD.
“I always knew I fit the risk profile. I was thin, small boned, Caucasian, and heading towards age 60. But I was amazed at how quickly a woman could go from being at risk to having full-fledged osteoporosis,” Field said.
“My bones appeared to be getting steadily thinner without any signs or symptoms I could see or feel.”
Given her battle with osteoporosis, it’s sad to see Field being bullied on the internet, especially by people who don’t even know her. Though, her commitment to aging gracefully is an inspiration to those who choose to do the same.