Mariska Hargitay Online
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“I love my curves because they scream, “I’m a mama!”

“Your body is not who you are. I don’t think women should label themselves based on the way they look. What about defining yourself by a different kind of measurement? What about your heart, your soul, your compassion, your generosity, your strength and your power? There are so many other things to focus on besides your waistline.”

“When I’m scared of something, it just means I have to dig a little deeper.”

“Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step.”

“If something terrible has happened to you, you can find your way back to a life of hope and possibility.”

“Sexy is not apologizing for who you are.”

“Peter knew how important the foundation was to me, so half of our trip was talking to rape survivors and counselors. That’s when I knew I’d married the right guy.”

“I literally came out of the water and said out loud, ‘I’m going to start a foundation — and I’m going to get married! I hadn’t even met my future husband yet.”

“Humor is about perspective, and hanging out with people who see life through a similar lens is so important.”

“Comedy and humor have always been a part of who I am.”

“To me, the definition of sexy — at any age — is strength and confidence.”

“I realized you are who you are. Now when someone says, ‘I wish I were younger,’ I reply, ‘Love exactly where you are.”

“I usually played the funny girl and I was fine with that. But as I got older, I realized I could be sexy too. It may have taken me a long time to get here but I’m here!”

“My favorite thing to do with my husband and son is go to the beach. It completely rejuvenates me.”

“August and Peter, my family, being a wife and mother, is my life, and that gives me the most joy. Joyful Heart is my mission and the thing that I feel the clearest about. But I’m not ready to quit acting yet.”

“I’ve got no problems with my age. I rejoice in the knowledge I have accrued and savor the greatest moments, because I know how fast it goes.”

“We’re all connected. Helping another woman is helping yourself, your mother, your sister, your children.”

“When you love your kid, there’s a string that attaches you, and you are always connected even when you are doing other things.”

“It’s not a source of pain or angst anymore. I understand her in a new way that gives me peace. Being a mom has been healing. Now I understand the love she had in her, and it makes me feel closer to her.”

“The message I got from my father was that life is hard, but you just don’t quit. I am grateful that I didn’t let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness. You’ve got to kick fear to the side, because the payoff is huge.”

“I am grateful he had a chance to look into his grandson’s eyes and pass along his love and strength.”

“He was truly an original man who dared to live the American dream and instilled in his children the idea that if he could do it, we could, too.” (On her father, Mickey)

“She’d be the one to grab a frying pan when there was an intruder in the house while my dad and I hid under our beds.” (On step-mom, Ellen)

“He’s just starting to learn that I’m an actress because he thinks I’m a police officer sometimes.” (On son, August)

“These days we don’t have to fit into something other people think we are. We’ve leveled the playing field, life is inclusive. I’m a mom, sex detective, wife, fearless, gentle — we can now, with grace, be all of what we are.”

“The only reason I have the career I have is that I didn’t quit.”

“There’s so much that you can get mad about. Out of self-preservation, I focus on being grateful.”

“I love it when people say, ‘She had such a great laugh, and so do you.’ When I find similarities it gives me so much peace.” (On her mother, Jayne Mansfield)

“I can never compete, so I don’t try. Its mega uber, it’s legendary, it’s iconic. Being a sex symbol is not my thing; it’s not where I shine.” (About being compared to Jayne Mansfield)

“A guy at ABC told me to change my name and get a nose job. I said ‘You get a nose job.'”

“I’m a size 8, and I feel proud of that, because it’s healthy. I’ve never felt compelled to be a skinny actress.”

“I fell on set, hurt my knee, and he licked it. Actually, we clicked the moment we met at the audition for SVU.” (On the bond she shares with Chris Meloni)

“Being of service has turned out to be, without a doubt, one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.”

“My dad always said, ‘You gotta get yourself together before you hook up with somebody-you gotta know who you are first.'”

“If I can play a little part in the world’s healing, and making it a better place than when I came, then I just thank God for that chance.”

“Joyful heart was my answer and my way of giving back. I wanted to shine light on the darkness because sexual assault, in particular, is something people don’t talk about.”

“It’s the most gratifying, life-affirming thing I can do.” (On Joyful Heart Foundation)

“We have to turn our outrage and grief into action and compassion-by learning the signs, by informing others, and talking about abuse. We are all responsible.”

“One thing my dad taught me was, there’s only one person to compete with-yourself.”

“From the minute I found out, I was wearing full-on maternity pants. My stomach was totally flat, mind you, but I was just so excited.”

“I came at it with a new energy because of my dad. He would always say things to me like, ‘You have to be focused. You have to be determined. You’re not a quitter.’ Working out reminds me of him, because it makes me feel strong, and whenever I want to quit, I say, ‘My dad didn’t quit,’ I want to make him proud.”

For me, it was never about how I looked. I’m a mom now, people. I don’t have to look hot. I am hot. I feel like a superhero.”

“When I first heard August’s cry, that’s when I lost it. I feel like I’ve waited for him my whole life.”

“There is something you can’t understand until you have your own. You have so much love you didn’t even know about.”

“This is what I was meant to do. You make sacrifices to become a mother, but you really find yourself and your soul.”

“I’ve always called Benson a lioness-that’s my inspiration for the character. But I didn’t even know what that meant until I got pregnant.”

“The truth about pregnancy is, I’ve never been happier in my life. This is all I’ve ever wanted.”

“I wasn’t always as ambitious as I am now. I want to be a one-man show to change the world.”

“I’ve wanted to a mother since I was 2 feet tall.”

“I thought I’d be done by now. I’ll be honest with you. I did. But I’m still challenged, completely. We’re definitely getting better. We’re on the upswing.”

“Detective Olivia Benson is really competent, really straight ahead. what I like best about her is her focus and her strength and passion and fire. And her clarity. Olivia is all about protecting people and making things right.”