The past year or so has revealed a flurry of women’s personal stories about opting to have their silicone breast implants removed. Acting on a range of reasons — including Allergan’s July 2019 recall of its Biocell textured implants due to their link to a particular cancer, as well a two-day FDA hearing in March about various implant risks — the outspoken have included a handful of public figures, from Victoria Beckham and Sharon Osbourne to Yolanda Hadid and Crystal Hefner.
Another vocal sharer on this front has been former reality TV star Adrianne Curry, who has been documenting her painful and complex explant journey on her blog and on social media, and who has now been eliciting a flood of comments from women on her honest and inspiring Thursday social media posts.
“Supportive comments from women are a blessing, as most women are pretty bad to one another, especially on the internet,” Curry tells Yahoo Lifestyle, who adds that her implant-explant journey has taught her a valuable lesson about herself. “That I foolishly wasted a lot of time in my life trying to impress other people, and I won’t waste one more singular moment doing so ever again,” she says. “A healthy and happy life far outweighs a so-called ‘relevant’ and glittery one.”
On social media, her posts offered an honest update of her implant removal, in which she discusses going down more than two cup sizes and struggling with insecurities surrounding her body image.
“Story time,” begins Curry, who became famous after winning the first season of America’s Next Top Model and then co-starred in the reality series My Fair Brady while she was married to now-ex Christopher Knight. “I lost most my breast tissue in my right breast due to massive scarring/ flesh swimming in silicone. My doctor then decided to reduce my left breast to try to even me out. When I awoke, she was upfront about my results & discussed possible fat transfer.”
But, explained Curry, now an Avon representative who is married to voiceover actor Matthew Rhode, “I am not interested in more surgeries. I was a c cup and a b cup prior to surgery. Now? Not even a double A. Most women go back to what they had before and some are even bigger. I was hoping I'd be bigger since I gained weight since implanting.” She adds, “I’ve tossed the dice and lost EVERY time I did ANYTHING for vanity. Don’t do it, guys.”
Curry decided to have her implants removed after many years of “pain, complications and deformity,” even after swapping out one pair for another and seeing no improvement. “A lot of vulnerable, scared and suffering women come to the internet in search of answers regarding having crammed foreign objects in their bodies to look more visually appeasing. I was one of them,” she wrote on her personal blog post in 2019.
Years ago, she explains, she embarked upon a thorough and at-times discouraging search for the right surgeon — which came with many “red flags,” “unprofessional” situations and the feeling that some doctors were running “breast implant factor[ies].” Then came an explant delay due to a different surgery, in 2017, when she underwent (and shared about) a myomectomy, or the surgical removal of uterine fibroids.
Eventually, Curry settled on an explant surgeon in Chicago, in part because she is a believer in breast implant illness (BIA) — a collection of physical symptoms, ranging from chronic pain to brain fog, that advocates have been working to legitimize within the medical community for years. Discussion of BIA has recently gained traction in the U.K. — as well as in the U.S., where about 400,000 women get breast implants annually, 300,000 for cosmetic reasons and 100,000 for post-mastectomy reconstruction related to breast cancer, making breast augmentation the top plastic surgery procedure since 2006, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
But, also according to the ASPS, nearly 30,000 patients have their implants removed every year. And Curry is among them, following an early-January surgery that came with complications including leaked silicone and the removal of breast tissue in an attempt to even out her appearance. Now, she’s not holding back when it comes to sharing about her body-image struggle, admitting in her Thursday social media posts, “I am uncomfortable with my body currently, but I will learn to live with it. It's still healing and will be for 4.5 more months.”
Curry also calls out those who might mean well but who instead wind up minimizing her emotional experience with explanting. “All the ‘at leasters’ tell me ‘at least you have your health! At least (insert dumb shit that doesn’t make you feel better at all here)!’ It’s the most toxic & unhelpful thing I've experienced so far. The complete dismissal of my inner feelings and voice.”
She continues, “I got fake boobs due to massive insecurity. My entire life was molded on how I look. Good… LUCK shaking THAT brain washing! I do feel better physically. No phantom knife shank pains… but learning to love a new version of yourself takes time. I went in due to insecurities. I look down and feel like I am looking at someone else. My chest is completely foreign to me.”
She also explained that her husband has been her “rock,” noting, “It took me 5 years to get comfortable enough to go braless in front of my husband. Now, we are back to square one! T shirt sex!!”
Curry’s posts have been resonating with her followers across Facebook and Instagram. “I really appreciate your openness with your experience,” noted one Instagram fan. “Hopefully it inspires girls and women to know they are good enough natural despite any insecurities our toxic society has bred. No judgements to people who choose to enhance but know that we are all made perfectly imperfect.” Another added, “ I admire you for being so frank. You are beautiful in every way. My hope for you is to find inner peace, confidence, and the desire to rip that shirt off and enjoy that man skin to skin-chest to chest soon.”
Curry also took the time to respond to various commenters and inspired at least one woman to forgo augmentation. “You are teaching women to love themselves for who they are, and your husband is teaching men to love women for who they are!!” said the follower. “You will get there, I went from a really small B cup before kids to a large C and droopy boobs after kids and had thought about getting a lift and implant, but after hearing your stories and many others I have decided against it. I pray that someday you will love yourself [through] your eyes like your husband loves you through his!!”
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