Melissa McCarthy is on the cover of People’s ‘Beautiful’ issue

Melissa McCarthy is gracing covers and redefining beauty — “it’s allowing other people to be who they are.”

When the “Little Mermaid” star was chosen as People magazine’s 2023 “Beautiful Issue” cover girl, she thought, “Did my mom and my dad have the two main votes?”

Clearly not, and the comedy star’s definition of beauty proves she’s a cover girl who knows a thing or two about what it really means to be beautiful.

To McCarthy, beauty is “allowing other people to be who they are.”

“There’s nothing more attractive and inspiring to me than when I see someone being OK with exactly who they are,” she told People. “Also looking at somebody else who’s even their polar opposite and being like, that’s great too.

“How boring would the world be if we were all the same? As long as you lead with kindness … be exactly who and what you are.”

The “Life of the Party” star said she was flattered when People asked her to grace the cover, telling the magazine, “I felt like it was saying something really lovely to my younger self, to my 20-year-old self. And maybe to other people too.”

Along with a photo shoot that features McCarthy in various regal and decadent looks — a gold sequined dress billowing with layers of tulle, and a purple mesh gown adorned with magenta and violet floral accouterments — People produced a video interviewing the “Saturday Night Live” alum.

McCarthy revealed that in high school, she got the itch to mix things up, “then came the Mohawks and the blue hair. On the outside, I was a really good punk and gothic kid, but then I was terrible because I was really chatty. So I looked like I was going to maybe get into a fistfight. And then I was like, ‘Hi! What’s your name?’”

In 2018, McCarthy sat down with The Times for an “Actresses Roundtable” and talked about the beauty in imperfection.

“For so many films you start to see these perfect — especially women — these perfect women, that I don’t know, I don’t know any. I don’t know the pleasant, perfect, always quaff, perfect job, never says the wrong thing,” she said. “I don’t know her, I don’t want to know her, I don’t think she exists.”

The “Identity Thief” star described the perfect-woman phenomenon as a disease, because it left audiences wondering, “Is that what my life should be? Should I be perfect? Should I have to loom my own clothes and make organic baby food?”

She then said that the imperfections in characters are what make people relate, what make them fall in love.

“You play somebody who’s aggressive and not great with their kids and someone’s like ‘oh, she’s unlikable’ and I’m like, ‘that’s why you fall in love with people, you fall in love with their rudeness.’”

“The Little Mermaid” splashes onto the big screen May 26.

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