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How Holly Marie Combs Stayed True to Her Own Beliefs Despite the Pressure of Beauty Stereotypes

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that make us feel obliged to compromise our principles or personal beliefs. This is what happened to Charmed star Holly Marie Combs. Even so, the actress put her foot down and decided to fight against Hollywood’s pressures and stereotypes, proving that we can be successful and advance in our careers all while staying true to ourselves.

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At 25, the young actress got her big break when she was cast as one of the 3 main characters of the series, Charmed. The fantasy show, which was about 3 sisters who discover that they are witches, became a success and lasted for 8 years, from 1998 to 2006. And throughout the years, audiences grew attached to Combs’ character, Piper Halliwell, the middle sister who often played the role of mediator between her other 2 siblings.


Even though her professional life seemed to be thriving, this didn’t mean that it was free of hurdles behind the scenes. Given that she had smaller breasts than the other 2 leading ladies, Combs was asked to wear a padded bra on-screen. She explained, “They wanted me to wear a big, padded push-up bra, and I was like, ’no.’” She added, “Which I apologize for, but at the moment, at the time, it was very important.”


She also added that the producers didn’t provide her with any alternatives other than those push-up bras that Holly declined to wear, and this is why she was often braless on the show. She also noted that her other 2 costars, Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan, didn’t have to face the same situation because their bodies “were enough.”


In 2004, while Charmed was still airing, Combs got married to David Donoho, whom she met on the show where he worked as a key grip. The couple had 3 sons together, but got divorced in 2011 after 7 years of marriage.

However, this wasn’t Combs’ first marriage, as the actress first tied the knot with another actor when she was just 20. Their union lasted 4 years, and the duo had split up before she was cast in the hit series.

After Charmed ended, Combs, who was pregnant with her second son by then, decided to take a break from acting for a few years in order to focus on her family life and reconnect with her loved ones. And it was 4 years later that her professional life found a second revival thanks to another successful TV show, Pretty Little Liars. The actress portrayed the role of one of the daughter’s moms from 2010 to 2016.

As Pretty Little Liars came to an end, the personal life of the actress was about to be transformed. In 2016, she met Mike Ryan, a restaurateur and dad to one daughter. Combs explained, “We had both come to the point in our lives where we were very dedicated to our kids and okay with the fact that we would probably raise them as single parents.”

But the universe had different plans for these 2 single parents, and Combs said, “Just when I stopped looking for the perfect person, the perfect person showed up.” Even though the actress revealed that their connection was “immediate,” the 2 “courted for quite a while” and decided to be cautious and take it slow because of their kids. The lovebirds finally ended up walking down the aisle 3 years after meeting.

At 48, Holly is proof that it is possible to balance our professional and private lives without having to completely forgo one or the other. And today, the happy wife and mother is now ready to fully go back to acting. In fact, she had been a guest star on several hit shows and looks forward to the perfect project to come her way in the near future.

What do you think about Holly Marie Combs’ journey? Do you agree with her stance on refusing to wear a padded bra?

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