A MUM-OF-TWO has revealed she was labelled "selfish" for getting bum implants, while her fiance battles cancer.
Charlene England, from Chelmsford, Essex, has always felt self-conscious about the size of her bottom – and says she needed the £4,500 op after months of caring for everyone else.
The 34-year-old, who works in retail, is delighted with the finished look – and says it was definitely worth the money to boost her self esteem.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, she tells her story…
When I was 19, I remember a man making a comment about the size of my bum on a night out. He was walking behind me and just shouted out, “Well you need to grow an arse”.
I’m 5ft 5ins, and I’ve always been a petite size 8. But his remark stayed with me and from that day, it made me feel self-conscious and depressed about the size of my bum.
Back in the day, it always used to be a case of “small girl, small bum” – no-one really expected you to have a big bottom if you were slim like me.
But now it’s fashionable to have a bum like Kim Kardashian and, gradually over time, I became more and more aware of how flat mine was.
I’d only wear clingy clothes, like leggings or jeans, which accentuated what curves I did have.
I did get some people telling me I was selfish for having it done during the pandemic and when Dan’s ill
I didn’t feel womanly while wearing a dress as I felt there was nothing there.
Eventually, it started to affect my self-esteem, and even more so after I gave birth to my son Ronnie, eight months, ago via a caesarean section.
I began to feel really low and developed post-natal depression. I was even having panic attacks just at the thought of going shopping.
I’ve been facing other challenges too. I’ve been with my fiancé, Dan, 28, for eight years, and we also have a daughter, Sienna, who’s four.
About two years ago, he started to lose the feeling in his hands and they became numb.
Baffled, he went to the doctor and was shocked to be diagnosed with testicular cancer.
I spend all my time looking after everyone else and I needed to do something for myself, to boost my confidence and self-esteem
It might sound odd, but at the moment he’s on steroid treatment in order to grow the size of the tumour slightly so it can be removed.
It’s a balance as they don’t want to make it too aggressive, but they need it to be a certain size so they can go in and grab it.
In the meantime, the numbness in his hands and arms won’t go away and he’s been told he might have to live with it for five years or so until they remove the tumour and the feeling returns.
It’s so sad and upsetting. He can’t lift the kids up and play around with them like he used to, and that’s so hard for him, but he’s a great dad.
“No-one knows what I’m going through,” he says – it’s such a rare complication that the consultant had only ever come across one other case like this in his career and this is the worst case he’s seen.
It was hard for him to bond with Ronnie at first as he couldn’t pick him up when he was tiny, but I’d lay him on his chest and then the bond came, and now he’s more confident picking him up.
But Dan says he feels like a boy not a man because he can’t do anything on his own. It horrible as it makes him feel useless.
It’s been tough, as I have to do everything around the house whereas Dan used to be able to help me.
As the pandemic wore on, I was desperate for something to raise my spirits.
I prescribed anti-depressants for the PND, and that helped, so when I started to feel more like myself I began to think about having surgery on my bum.
It’s up to me what I spend my money on, and I’ll pay it off gradually
Normally, I work in retail, and luckily Dan is a supervisor in a construction company so he can continue to work with his illness.
But at the moment, he’s on furlough and I’m on maternity leave. It seemed like a good time to have the surgery.
I found Dr Lucy Glancey’s clinic and she advised me as I’m so slim, bum implants would be a better bet than a Brazilian bum lift.
They’re guaranteed for life, whereas with fat transfer you have to keep getting it topped up.
She put bags of rice in my jeans so I could get an idea of what the implants would look like and so they can select the right size.
The op is usually around £7,500, but I got a reduction to £4,500 as I’m doing some modelling work for the clinic.
The doctor put bags of rice in my jeans so I could get an idea of what the implants would look like
As soon as lockdown eased, I booked in to have my op, which was around eight weeks ago.
It took four and a half hours under an epidural and I was back home the following day. My sister Paula helped Dan with the kids while I stayed at my mum’s for a week to recover.
Yes, I did get some people telling me I was selfish for having it done during the pandemic and when Dan’s ill.
But in my opinion, it’s none of their business and it’s between me and my other half. It’s up to me what I spend my money on, and I’ll pay it off gradually.
No-one has the right to call me selfish. I’d say to anyone that it was important for me to do this for my mental health.
I spend all my time looking after everyone else and I needed to do something for myself, to boost my confidence and self-esteem.
As for the virus, there was more chance of picking it up in a supermarket than in a sterile operating theatre.
Of course, Dan’s first reaction when I told him I wanted to have to done was to say he loved me however I looked. But he understands why I wanted to do it.
After the operation, he was a bit worried as I was quite swollen – it all looked a bit Kim Kardashian and OTT – but now the swelling has gone down it looks lovely and he thinks so too.
The hardest bit about having bum implants is not being able to sit down for four to six weeks.
I’ve had to lie on my side and sleep on my front in order to let the scars heal, and make sure my implants don't go out of shape.
But it hasn’t stopped me from being active with the kids. It was short-term pain for long-term gain.
Bum implants: the facts
Bum implants are silicone products that are inserted into a "pocket" made by a trained surgeon, who slices an incision into their client's bum.
The implants are firmer than those used during boob jobs, and the op costs between £4,000 and £8,000.
Some people get bum implants following weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy – which can affect the bottom's elasticity or cause the cheeks to droop.
The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic, and takes around two hours.
Implants should last for a minimum of 10 years, although you will be left with a small scar which will be red for the first few months.
Clients are normally kept in hospital overnight, and advised to take a fortnight off work and avoid exercising for five weeks.
Walking and sitting can be difficult afterwards, and patients need to avoid putting strain on the buttocks for six weeks.
What is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
A Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is an invasive surgical procedure under general anaesthetic, and involves liposuction, normally from the waist/inner thighs/back.
Doctors purify the removed fat, before inserting it into the bum and hips to create the perfect hourglass figure and round bum.
A BBL can cost anything from around £3,000 (if done abroad) to £10,000.
Now, I definitely feel sexier. Of course, because of what’s happened with Dan, our sex life has suffered, and it’s been hard for him not being able to feel my body. This gave us both something to look forward to.
I also had my boobs done after giving birth to Sienna, going to a DD from a B-C.
They’ve sagged a bit after the second pregnancy, but now I have no more plans for surgery and I don’t use Botox or fillers.
I’d rather concentrate on saving money for the kids.
Now I’ve got my big bum, I’m more confident about my body.
It’s made me feel 100 per cent better in myself, and I can wear whatever nice clothes I want.
I’m not feeling sad any more – I can just get on with life.
We previously spoke to a mum who got a Brazilian butt lift to look more like her daughter, 18, and says "people mistake us for sisters when we go to bars together".
See Dr Glancey Clinics for more information.
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