wellness

Kelly McCarren didn't get a boob job for the male gaze. The reaction from men made her uncomfortable.

Seven years ago, Kelly McCarren felt like she needed a change in the form of a new set of boobs

The current size of her breasts was making her unhappy. So she decided to do something about it. 

"I have a thing. One of my pet peeves is when people complain about things that can be changed. I realised when I was 26 or 27 that I had been saying my entire life that I wanted boobies. I had a very small B cup size, but given I'm a tall, curvy girl I could have pulled off a bigger pair. Plus, I love boobs!" Kelly said on No Filter

Her decision didn't have anything to do with men. Nor did it have anything to do with women.

It had everything to do with Kelly, her choice and her desire

"It wasn't because of blokes. I love looking at boobs and always wanted them. So in a really split decision, I decided I would get a boob job. 'Stop whinging about things you silly billy and go get them' I said to myself."

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At the time of her decision, Kelly wasn't in a serious relationship with anyone. She had also just started seeing her now-husband Luke. 

After doing a bit of quick research via social media, Kelly called up a clinic, booked a consultation and away she went. 

"I had been on the Instagram and the forums hunting around for a couple of weeks. I did it really stupidly - I don't want anyone to ever do this - I went with a dodgy company that ended up on A Current Affair because several people died... They were doing cheap boob jobs and I went looking mainly at the price, because I was very young and very silly," Kelly said.

Of course, we've come to understand recently just how crucial it is to opt for a professional and quality procedure, rather than one that is the cheapest. Especially when it comes to plastic surgery.

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But at the time, Kelly's mind had been made up, opting for the $7,000 boob job instead of the $15,000 or $20,000 option. Luckily for her, she came out relatively unscathed. 

"Once I decide to do something I'm like that's it I'm done. Ready: because we're going full steam ahead. I can be very efficient when I want to be. Another really clever decision was that I got a loan for a boob job, as I didn't have enough money for it. My parents were very proud..."

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The next step was seeing if she was eligible for a consultation or to even have the procedure. So to do that, she was asked to send through photos of her chest. 

Kelly happened to be at work that day - with an office full of young women - so she asked one of her colleagues to take the photo for her in the office bathrooms and away they went!

In the consultation, the surgeon talked Kelly out of getting the smaller size, and recommended bigger. So she went with it.

"You're not supposed to go in with a size in mind apparently, but I had done a lot of research so I went in saying 'I want 330ccs'. I listened to what he suggested, and went with the under the muscle option because it would look more natural. But he laughed when I told him I wanted 330ccs. He said: 'You're looking at petite women with smaller frames than you. If you get 330cc in your chest, it will look boney.' So for a nice, full natural boob with my broad shoulders he gave me 560. And he was right."

Kelly tried on a bra with the 560cc implant size in it to give her an idea of what she could expect.

"I wanted people to look at me and go 'she's got a great rack - real or fake?' That was the goal."

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After the surgery, Kelly didn't feel great, which is to be expected after such a big procedure.

"It felt like a large truck was sitting on my chest: the pressure. If you think about it, I didn't have much skin or fat there, so when they stretched what was there it was intense. Initially, they felt like a hard orb and was really compressed. You can feel like there's something in there. For a while it doesn't feel like it's a part of your body," she explained.

And for a while too, Kelly said she couldn't help but recognise how people's actions around her changed too.

Just like people going up to touch a pregnant woman's bump, Kelly felt as though some thought it would be okay to come up and man-handle her boobs too.

"When you first get your boobs done, everyone touches them. And luckily, I don't give a sh*t about that. Within a few days, my female boss had motorboated me. I didn't care about that sort of thing. But it made me think that if I did care, gosh it would feel like they don't belong to me anymore - they are this public spectacle."

Kelly was completely fine with her female friends touching her boobs. But when it came to the intense male gaze, it made her uncomfortable.

"It was just weird. Boys that I dated came out of the woodwork, like you've never seen boobs before? There were a couple of corporate events or situations where head honcho men in companies went a little bit creepy, and looking back it feels a bit disgusting. They would want to get photos with me and that sort of thing."

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For Kelly, pregnancy and giving birth hasn't impacted her boobs too much, and for her, breastfeeding with implants has been okay. 

"I've had really good milk supply and they didn't get too much bigger. Apparently it can be quite difficult for some people. I've never had any issues with my implants. They look really good, I just wouldn't recommend the place I went to get them."

And looking back on the decision, Kelly said it was definitely the right one for her. 

"I love them. Luke loves them, although he's never really cared though. I've never been a boob person in terms of my sex life - I'm not into nipple play so it's never been a sexual thing. It's just that I like how they look and feel."

And then in early 2021, Kelly decided to get a nose job. 

"It was something I had always complained about. I think some people look at plastic surgery and see it as a huge deal, but for me personally at least, it wasn't. Yes, I'm changing my body and going under general anesthetic, but for me it felt right," she said on No Filter.

After getting a free Zoom call consult through a PR agency via her work, Kelly decided to go ahead with it. 

"I remember being in a lot more pain with my face, compared to my boobs. It looked messed up for quite some time, and it threw me. But once again I didn't care what people thought - eight days after the procedure I went out to a boat party with a cast on my face still, and the bruises."

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For some people, they see getting plastic surgery as 'a slippery slope' - with one procedure, a person might become more inclined to get another, and then another. And while for some, this may be an accurate tale, for Kelly she doesn't think it is specific to her experience.

"It depends on someone's personality. I've never had an addicted bone in my body, other than caffeine. I understand that it can happen. I've had Botox, I've had filler, but as a host on You Beauty podcast I enjoy doing those things and trialling new procedures," Kelly said.

"80 per cent of the time I pay for the procedures I get, and 20 per cent is PR. Once I got Botox for a story at 26 and it looked ridiculous. With an experience like that, I'd say that's why I like to pay for things so that I can be completely honest about what I write about."

As for the future, Kelly said never say never. 

But at the moment she has nothing on her wishlist - just plenty of facials and as much sleep as she can mangage with her her five-month son Lenny!

Listen to the bonus episode of No Filter with Mia Freedman and Kelly McCarren now. Exclusive to Mamamia subscribers, listen here.

Feature Image: Instagram @kelly_mccarren.