Michelle Madrigal has decided to have her breast implants removed.
The 31-year-old mom and fitness enthusiast announced her bold decision through an Instagram post dated December 4, 2019, with the caption (published as is), "Let’s talk about boobs!
"We all have different reasons as to why we get them. 12 years ago, it was all about vanity and boosting my confidence.
On the same day as her Instagram post, the Star Circle Quest Batch 1 contender released a vlog explaining the reason behind her decision.
She started her vlog by explaining why she had decided to get breast implants, and the role her sister Ehra Madrigal played in this decision.
Michelle narrated, "I had my implants done in 2007 or 2008, so it's been a while.
"I've had these babies for 12 to 13 years, so I was really young.
"One of the reasons why I got them was I was really insecure growing up, and my sister, she had big breasts like my mom. And in my family, I was the only one who didn't have boobs. I was never flat-chested but people would be like, 'Oh, how come you and your sister aren't the same?' Or some friends would come up to me and say, 'Oh your sister, she's got, like, big boobs.'"
Growing up, Michelle and Ehra had different views about their changing bodies.
She continued, "Actually, my sister, she never really, she didn't really want them. She was always hunched over, she was always wearing big shirts because people were teasing her, because she had her boobs at such a young age. And here I am, the opposite of her, I was, 'No, I want the boobs! I want that.'"
Her foray into showbiz only strengthened her desire to have big boobs.
"And when I joined this talent search, I became an actor, everybody pretty much had big boobs. In the industry, if you wanted to pose for sexy magazines, and, at that time, that was the super 'in' thing to do," she said.
Michelle then decided to get breast implants, hoping this new look could boost her confidence.
She said, "I was 18 years old, all I cared about was my looks. I wasn't thinking properly, I didn't know the long-term effects, I didn't know that these babies are not really [a] lifetime device.
"At that time, I just did it for vanity, and I really thought it could fix my insecurities growing up.
"But even then, even in my early twenties, I was still insecure even if I had big breasts already, I felt sexy and all that, but I was still insecure here and there.
"I was just not really content with my own body, you know."
Michelle soon realized her breast implants would lead to a health problem, as she began to experience symptoms of Breast Implant Illness (BII).
She began to feel the symptoms in 2016, the year she moved to Texas, U.S.A.
"A few years ago, I started having chest pains," she recounted in her vlog.
This prompted her to start doing some research and she came across a page about breast implant illness. From there, she began to read about other women's experiences. While the symptoms varied, the women began to heal and feel better after undergoing surgery to remove the implants.
Michelle also listed the chemicals and components that make up her implants. "[There are] things I've never heard of before, definitely lots of carcinogens, which is cancerous for your body... things that I can't even pronounce. Imagine having that in your body for a long period of time. It's not good for you. You're eventually gonna get sick."
Underscoring that symptoms varied from person to person, Michelle recounted her own symptoms: "Anxiety, joint pain, brain fog, depression-- well, my depression started more like this year.
"I've had skin rashes four years ago when I moved here, and I don't have allergies, but I've had hives, and I couldn't pinpoint what it was. It was crazy and would come out of nowhere..."
She also noticed experiencing muscle weakness and ear ringing, but acknowledged all these symptoms were vague, so it was important to know your body and do some research.
Aside from the symptoms, the discomfort that came with physical activity led to her decision to have her implants removed.
Michelle said, "When I train sometimes, I can't even do some of the exercises because I feel that [my breasts are] pushing up, it makes me uncomfortable.
"Even when I run sometimes, [or] when I'm in bed, I would have random chest pains, sharp, stabbing pains.
"I just want this out of my system. It doesn't serve me anymore."
Michelle has come to realize everyone goes through insecurities.
"I think we all go through that, and I just think that if I knew back then that having larger breasts or, I don't know, whatever enhancement you've done, it's not really going to fix any issues inside.
"It's really just a mindset, and you really have to go through things in order for you to overcome them."
Looking good on screen mattered when she was still in showbiz. But now that she is a wife to Troy Woolfolk and a mom to Anika, the former actress believes her health is more important.
"Yes, in my younger years, all I cared about was my looks, trying to look cute, trying to boost up my confidence. But I'm just in a different phase in my life now.
"I've accepted who I am."
She also underlined having implants no longer suits the life she leads now.
"It's just not sustainable in our lifestyle anymore. I don't want to go through multiple surgery every 15 to 20 years. Imagine having another surgery at 45, doing it again at 45 or 60 years old, I mean, do you really wanna put your body through that?
"Giving birth is already hard enough, they put epidural, all these drugs in your system, and I just don't think my body deserves that.
"It just needs to fully heal. I need to just enjoy what God has given me.
"And it would be a good journey to start now because I'm 31, and I just wish I knew what it was like to live my teenage years, early twenties, without them.
"But that wasn't the case for me. I was a little hard-headed, I just wanna get them done.
"Had I known that 13 years from that time, I would actually have them removed, then I would have never really done it, to begin with.
"If I knew it could make women sick, I would've probably thought about it a hundred times."
Michelle's journey to her old self started with looking for a good doctor who could perform the surgery.
"I am in Austin, Texas, but I'm doing my surgery in Katy, Houston. So I am going with Dr. Patrick Hsu of Memorial Plastic Surgery."
While Michelle said she is looking forward to the surgery, she also admitted she was feeling a bit scared.
"I'm very excited to get my health back, I'm very excited to embrace my old self, my old tatas.
"So to all the women who are probably experiencing this, I know it's scary because it is for me. I am a married woman. That alone is also scary. It's definitely something that me and my husband would have to go through."
"But I have high faith that my breasts will definitely look better, they would look good within six months time."
She also shared what she might expect during recovery from the procedure.
"They said the worst part of it is the first three days, especially after when they take out the bandage and all that.
"But you gotta give it time to heal, especially your breast tissue to fully set in.
"I have seen other women who have gone through the same thing and within six months to a year, their breasts are still soft and perky."
Lastly, she gave advice to all the women who are planning to get breast implants.
"So I guess my advice to all the girls is to really think about it, and think long-term because that's something I didn't do for myself.
"I just got so caught up with looking good, boosting my confidence.
"I just so caught up with that I didn't even think of my health because at that time, I wasn't really promoting health and wellness.
"But when you get older, you're gonna do everything to live longer, to be healthy, and that's what I'm trying to do.
"I wanna be healthy when I'm 50, so I can still hang out with Anika and not be sick, and just live life without any foreign device in my system and just enjoy me."