"When someone's being their authentic self and it hurts no one else in the world ... the simplest rule is: Just be kind," Melissa McCarthy said.
The Little Mermaid Melissa McCarthy has had a bit of a tumultuous time with self-love but is grateful for her husband Ben Falcone's constant support. In PEOPLE's 2023 Beautiful Issue, the actress opened up about her relationship with Falcone.
The high-school years of the former Gilmore Girls cast member was about self-discovery. "I feel like the first two years were like, 'We're all going to dress alike.' Nobody wants to stand out too much. And then I was like, 'I think I'm bored,'" McCarthy said.
Additionally, it was the first time the Tammy actress, co-writer, and co-producer had to face judgment. "I was fascinated because when I walked down the street and I looked like that, it was the first time that I'd ever had people kind of make fun of me or say really mean things to me, even adults," she recalled. "I just kept thinking, 'You don't know me; I didn't do anything to you.'"
"It was a real big eye-opener that people are just judging left and right," the actress continued. "Luckily, instead of going back into my shell, I think that made me want to seek out people [expressing themselves] more. Because I was like, that's so much more fun."
McCarthy attributes her ability to finally feel confident in her own skin to her loving 49-year-old spouse Ben Falcone. McCarthy, 52, who has been married to actor Ben Falcone since 2005 and who also serves as her producing partner, did tell him about the well-held secret. They have two children together: Vivian, 15, and Georgette, 13, per PEOPLE.
"Because he's so constantly loving and kind. And funny and the weirdest human I know, to be honest," she said with affection. "And somewhere in my 30s, I was like 'I'm okay with who I am.' And if someone wasn't thrilled with that, that's okay too. At some point, I was like, 'They're not all going to like you.' You have to learn that the hard way, but it's a good [lesson]."
The actress is now determined to aid in the mental well-being of others. "When someone's being their authentic self and it hurts no one else in the world ... the simplest rule is: Just be kind," she said. "Nobody has to think the same things. It's okay to be curious and be like, 'I don't understand what someone else is doing.'"
"I mean, isn't that what love is? Loving who you love just puts more love in the world," McCarthy added. "And that has never, ever been a bad thing."
Melissa McCarthy is PEOPLE's 2023 Beautiful Issue cover star. 🌟https://t.co/BODOTuneOA pic.twitter.com/j397Tkg8LV— People (@people) April 25, 2023
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Frazer Harrison