Inspiring Ellen Degeneres turns 60 and talks bullying, loving yourself, and simply being kind

Good Housekeeping_ellen degeneres_new york gossip gal

Photographer: Doug Inglish

She inspires us to laugh, think and even dance — one of Hollywood’s most powerful women and an inspiration to millions–cover star Ellen DeGeneres is living proof that being good to others can improve not only our own lives, but also the lives of those around us.

In the September issue of Good Housekeeping, on newsstands tomorrow, Ellen shares why it’s cool to be kind, the importance of loving yourself, her relationship with wife Portia de Rossi, and celebrating her upcoming 60th birthday.

QUOTES

On never letting bullies win and staying strong after coming out:

“The bullying I endured [in Hollywood] after I came out made up for the lack of it during my childhood… I can’t believe I came back from that point. I can’t believe where my life is now. I don’t know what people are saying about me, and I don’t want to know, because I don’t care. My motto is, “I do my best. You can be with me or not.”

On staying true to herself from the start of her career:

“Early on in stand-up, people told me to be edgier and curse, but that’s just not who I am. It’s not my style of humor, and that held me back for a while. I was neither the girl next door nor the ingenue, so nobody knew what to do with me.”

On making time for her loved ones:

“[My wife] Portia [de Rossi] understands me completely.. In our vows, she recited a quote. “It is good to be loved. It is profound to be understood and to me, that’s everything. What “I love you” really means is “I understand you, and she loves me for everything that I am. She supports me and makes me happy.”

On loving yourself no matter what:

“When I was coming out, someone gave me the Martha Graham quote. “There is only one of you in all time.” You’re unique, and you’re supposed to be. It’s not up to you to try to change it or question it. You’re supposed to be exactly who you are. I took in that message. I always remember it. It’s not up to me to question why, who or how I am. I just accept who I am, and I don’t judge myself.”

On the importance of simply being kind to others:

“I grew up in a pretty religious family, and the one thing I heard every Sunday was “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. To me, still, that’s the golden rule to live by, and it’s not something to work at, either. It’s just the way we should live. If we don’t, it’s chaos… Anger and aggression weaken you, because they take so much energy to hold in place, but kindness is a strength [that] makes you more serene.”

On celebrating her upcoming 60th birthday:

“In some ways, that number doesn’t even compute. I can’t even believe I’m going to be 60” I’m so immature; I’m like a child. I know this: I’m kind. I’m a good person to work with and for. I’m putting on a great show that I’m proud of and that makes people feel good. I just try to be the best person I can be.”

www.goodhousekeeping.com/ellendegeneres

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