Entertainment Movies Life Lessons to Learn from Melissa McCarthy Get educated in the art of living from the woman who can do (or say!) no wrong — and turns 52 on Aug. 26 By Diana Pearl and Maria Yagoda Updated on August 26, 2022 02:05 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 10 MAKE YOUR OWN STYLE RULES Todd Williamson/Getty "You should be able to wake up and say, 'I am wearing weird boots and leopard pants and a ripped-up T-shirt and a leather jacket and a big bow in my hair,'" McCarthy told PEOPLE after launching her clothing line. "I'm a mom with two kids — and I wear leather pants and cheetah-print and all kinds of crazy stuff." 02 of 10 NEVER GET JADED Mark Davis/Getty Even with an Emmy for her role in Mike & Molly, as well as plenty of blockbuster film credits to her name, McCarthy just can't get used to her celebrity status. "It has not sunk in that I am famous," she told PEOPLE. "I'm still shocked when people know my name. It never ceases to surprise me." 03 of 10 CONFIDENCE WILL COME C Flanigan/Getty Today, the Spy star is bursting with confidence — but it took her a few years to get there. "In my 20s I used to cry about why I wasn't thinner or prettier, but I want to add that I also used to cry about things like: 'I wish my hair would grow faster.' It was a decade of tears," she told PEOPLE. "By the time you're 44, it's like, 'If this is marginally clean, I'm good.' " 04 of 10 IT'S OKAY TO TURN INTO YOUR MOM Patrick Hoffmann/WENN It's something that happens to everyone: becoming your mother. But if you're like McCarthy, you'll embrace it. "I hope to God I can be even one-sixteenth of a mom that my mom was," she told PEOPLE. 05 of 10 STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF Paras Griffin/Getty We all have our rebellious phases, but McCarthy's didn't last long because she's just so darn funny. "As a teenager I went all Goth, but I wasn't mopey enough," she told PEOPLE. "I would pretend to be, but I'd end up making people laugh." 06 of 10 FASHION IS FOR EVERYBODY Jason Merritt/Getty The designer knows that anyone — no matter her size — can be chic. "After I had [daughter] Georgie, I was a different size than I'd ever been before, and I realized, 'Well, wait a minute, just because I'm a different size doesn't mean I flipped some switch and turned off a desire for anything current or modern, or a desire to look good and feel good,' " she told PEOPLE. 07 of 10 DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR HATERS Michael Buckner/Getty Like most people in the public eye, the actress has been the target of some not-so-nice words. But rather than let them get to her, she lets negativity roll right off her back. "I felt really bad for someone who is swimming in so much hate," she told the New York Times of a reporter who went too far in his criticism of her in Identity Thief. "I just thought, 'That's someone who's in a really bad spot, and I am in such a happy spot.' I laugh my head off every day with my husband and my kids who are mooning me and singing me songs." 08 of 10 BE THANKFUL FOR THE GOOD Bauer-Griffin McCarthy is eternally grateful for the things that bring her joy — especially her family. "I have two great kids and the dreamiest husband on the planet," she told MORE magazine, "and everything else is just a work in progress." 09 of 10 HAVE EMPATHY, ALWAYS Melissa McCarthy. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock In honor of International Women's Month in 2021, McCarthy posted a string of photos to Instagram, reminding followers, "Let us all remember Empathy. Always. Wins." Days later, she shared an inspiring meme: "Behind every great woman are great women." 10 of 10 FOLLOW YOUR OWN ADVICE Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock Sharing a note she wrote to herself "years ago" in May 2021, McCarthy noted the advice "still stands." Among the bulletpoints: "How boring would it be if we were all the same? We're drawn to each other because of all our weird, unexplainable character quirks," she said. "Life is short. Just be yourself!"