Why I had cosmetic surgery, and then un-did it

What others thought of me on the outside, mattered. My true make-over happened on the inside.

BY JENNIFER SCALIA — I am an American-born woman, raised — and still living in — the near-geographical center of the continental U.S.

St. Louis is my home, and is always on the move (a transportation hub for the country . . . no wonder the biggest moving company in the world, United Van Lines, is headquartered here).

My family? Literally middle America.

In this time and place — actually, it was ’97 (wow, that seems so long ago) — I somehow conceived that I had a “small” physical imperfection in my upper-body that needed an amendment.

I made a decision to alter my image that would change me forever. But it changed me in a way that I had not imagined.

I went from paying thousands of dollars to a cosmetic surgeon for breast augmentation — twice — to then having the implants removed.

In my life now I forget my age often, seeming irrelevant these days. For the record, I am the ripe old age of 42, and in love with nascent crows-feet patterns by my eyes.

But I remember the insecure years of my teens and 20‘s, even spreading into my early thirties, where I found many things that I did not want to accept about my appearance.

The ultraviolet years

My first attempt to change myself physically was at a tanning spa in a strip mall. I was in my senior year in high school.

I fell into an addiction, and visited the would-be transformational ultraviolet-bed every week. In spite of having Irish DNA, I tried to bake my body into a different color-key register than my pinkish blonde ancestry supported.

The next stage was somewhere around the magical age of 21. Like the multitudes who feed the L’ Oreal’s, Lancome’s and Estee Lauder’s their multi-billions, I began buying over-priced, wrinkle-cream products and micro derma-abrasion treatments to counteract the “ultraviolet light years” that I’d inflicted on my teenaged skin.

But that was just kibbles and bits compared the next step I was ready to take in my late twenties: plastic surgery!

My breasts-sex equation

This more radical makeover was not due to an anti-aging affliction.

I believed that it was all about sexiness and sensuality! I was ready to fit into something beyond an A cup bra size.

So I mentally prepared myself for having breast-enhancement surgery by convincing myself that this plan was for the happiness of fitting better into a dress and a bathing suit.

What I did not admit was that I had fantasies. I imagined what my world would be like with bigger breasts. I could be the cats meow!

I thought it would allow me to finally be able to walk with confidence, and everyone would adore me because I looked “ideal”, not to mention how sexy I thought I would feel when I took my clothes off.

When I asked my doctor . . .

His answer:

“I can make you look more beautiful . . . I see women like you all of the time . . . You will be perfect.”

Well this doctor dude just rocked my world with his charm, and I trusted him.

But I woke up after surgery with much larger breasts than anticipated!

I asked for a large B/small C at most. But these were approaching a Dolly Parton D-cup special.

There was another cost to my mind-made vanity: I have never felt so much pain and agony in all of my life during the post-op recovery.

I guess that makes sense after trying to add something large, into something so small within just a few hours.

As time went on after this plastic make-over experience my breasts felt numb, unnaturally firm — and they were scarred.

I was losing sleep, as I could no longer find a comfortable position. I had immobile luggage stored inside of my chest.

Speaking of sex, it was quite awkward

I felt embarrassed by the implants because honestly, I really didn’t know what to do with them.

As for my confidence, happiness, and feeling adored, “not so much.”

After 18 months, I decided to have the implants taken out of my chest-wall cavity. But I didn’t have the cash to pay for anesthesia. So I had the procedure handled with intravenous doses of valium along with novicaine shots.

Out they came!

I took a bath that night and remember looking down in horror. I wondered if my breasts would ever perk up and forgive me.

Fortunately they did.

Everything you ever wanted to know about breast implants but were afraid to ask . . .

But this story doesn’t end here. No, not by a long shot. The stubborn in my mind told me that another breast-enhancing surgery would be good.

A trick of the mind led me to believe that my negative experience was just due to the “wrong” doctor and the “wrong’ kind of implants. So several years later, in my 30′s . . . you guessed it . . . I found another plastic surgeon.

A long “sigh.”

My upgraded doctor was, indeed, a great doctor. He listened, and we agreed to a reasonable cup size for my body type.

We agreed to a different type of implant that may actually feel like a real breast, and we even agreed to a different option of surgical location (within chest wall muscles) so that these implants would even look like real breasts.

So after so much agreeing; how could I go wrong?

I smiled, and we shook hands.

The first surgery with my new surgeon was not successful. My chest muscles held on tight and the implants wouldn’t fall into place, giving me a very bizarre breast position and appearance. So I had to go back for surgery number 4, to remedy the situation!

What was missing inside was not mammary mass

After that, the implants moved down to where “normal” breasts should be. They were also an acceptable size for my body. The implants looked more real than the first set and they even felt more real as well, but the problem was . . . I did not.

I didn’t feel real!


It didn’t matter which doctor or which implant I chose; I wasn’t seeing myself as the perfect Divine being that I already was, with or without a C-cup.

When I dug further inside of my heart, I never wanted anything added to my body anyway.

I just wanted to know I was beautiful and loved.

I do not walk around with an anti-implant sandwich board

I know many women who are pleased with this surgery, some swear by the safety, others have breast implant surgery after experiencing cancer due to losing their natural breasts.

In some cases, the choice is a career-saving measure, especially for actresses and public-facing personalities.

The moral of this chain of events in my own life is that joy, confidence, beauty, genuine appreciation, and true sensuality do not come from a breast size, in or out of a bathing suit.

Just like most things enlightening, it comes from within.

So if you are considering this type of surgery as a path to true happiness, appreciation, or transforming yourself into a sensual, wild sexpot . . . please, give it a second, third and fourth thought.

As I’ve learned to say “you can’t buy me sexy.”

Where are my breasts now?

I had the last set of implants taken out two years after I tried to adapt.  After all the pain, money, and scar tissue affects I listened to a far wiser voice — not to sound silly about it, but my soul’s code.

It told me that the answer to them was, “Adios”! A la ternidad.

I now choose to see myself as loved and adored unconditionally — and the topper (ha ha) is that I know that my sensuality and sexiness come from the tantric and foxy chick that I am already inside.

Happiness and beauty are emitted from my total self love and acceptance, as there is nothing more ecstatic than being who I am without compromise.

And last but not least, the real cat’s meow is that now I am able to wear a life vest for kayaking and not have anything “stand” in its way!

Sometimes it is the “small” things in life that can make a difference!

Jennifer Scalia is a spiritual seeker, healer and animal sanctuary operator who is based in St. Louis, Missouri. Her first column for Soul’s Code was The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. Visit Jennifer online at Elemental Pet Care.

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3 Responses to “Why I had cosmetic surgery, and then un-did it”

  1. Thank you Jennifer for sharing such an intimate and touching story on your path of self discovery.

    As a male, I can’t directly relate but I understand the sentiment of wanting to change my physical appearance (taller, more hair, etc) in hopes of increasing my self esteem, self image, and ultimately self worth. This insidious feeling is definitely not healthy and I am glad you have found the true happiness in your inner self.

  2. This culture has gone crazy, as noted by everyone from political schickster Bill Maher to the Dalai Lama.

    In the essay above we have a beautiful woman.

    A woman who has courage.

    And our collective consciousness prompted *her* to alter her body?

    By that standard, I could name many, many friends who need their faces and bodies altered.

    But not this being.

    Jen freed herself; Could we release ourselves and others with compassion and insight about the gross layer of form we wear, wrapped around an essence?

  3. Thank you Tri and Paul…for all your kind words and loving support.