Ashley Tisdale is recalling her rhinoplasty procedure in her 20s, and the ensuing judgment from others.
On Thursday, The Masked Dancer judge, 35, wrote a blog post on her lifestyle website Frenshe on a still-sore topic: her 2007 nose job. As a 22-year-old starring in High School Musical, she had the procedure for medical reasons, she told People during her recovery period. “Growing up I always knew I had a deviated septum on the right side of my nose, which caused trouble breathing. The older I got, the worse it got. I went to get it checked out, and the doctor told me the septum was 80 percent deviated and that I had two small fractures on my nose.”
At the time, Tisdale insisted her motivations weren’t superficial. “I didn’t do this because I believe in plastic surgery,” she told the outlet. “I did this to help my health. I literally almost could not breathe out of the right side of my nose.”
However, 13 years later, emotions are still fresh. “I have to be honest, I wasn’t ready to write or publish this post just yet, however, a question asked in an interview this week triggered some emotions,” she explained in her blog post. “I was caught off-guard and felt like this part of my story was taken away from me. This is a topic that’s far from new, and while I love being honest with my community, I haven’t touched on this yet. The bottom line: it was a very traumatic experience for me and it makes me very emotional to this day.”
Two weeks after the procedure, Tisdale performed at the Z100 Jingle Ball in New York and fans couldn’t reconcile her new aesthetic. "People were saying I was 'unveiling my look,' but I was still recovering! That's not what I look like right now," she told People, according to the Associated Press, noting that her face looked "practically paralyzed" post-surgery.
“At the time, it didn’t feel like THAT big of a deal to me because the decision was based on serious health issues I was having,” she wrote in her Thursday blog post. “...On the other hand, I have ZERO judgment towards anyone who does look forward to that day—your body, your choice.”
However, wrote the actress, the media trivialized her choice and “constantly tried to paint a picture of me as someone who didn’t like their appearance. I loved myself, but I was just a very unaware person at that time (as you all have seen my wardrobe choices LOL!). I was proud of who I was back then, and still proud now.”
She added, “Plastic surgery wasn’t culturally accepted then like it is now. When I got it done I was scrutinized, judged, and made to feel ashamed over my decision. I made a decision that was no one’s business (and is STILL no one’s business) and for that decision, I was constantly made to feel bad about it.”
Tisdale, who is pregnant with her first child with husband Christopher French, wants a better experience for her daughter. “I hope her choices aren’t met with judgment or shame,” she wrote. “It’s taken years for me to process this experience—an experience that I didn’t think was that big of a deal either.”
“I’ve been very open and honest about my mental health, my breast explant, and everything in between,” she wrote. “It’s not easy being vulnerable...I’m glad I have this platform where I can share my experiences and hope that you can learn something from them — including the negative aspects of plastic surgery.”
In August, Tisdale wrote on Instagram that she had removed her breast implants, after getting the surgery because she viewed her body as “less than.” But gastrointestinal issues pointed to the effects of her implants, so she reversed the procedure.
“We all make mistakes in life, and part of my self-love journey was to forgive myself for making a quick decision,” Tisdale wrote on Frenshe. She added, “If only other women could approach this subject the same way,” she wrote, “we could probably feel less shame and a lot more love.”
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