Rebecca Maguire: 'Having breast implants has given me such a lift'
Belfast beauty Rebecca Maguire is a young, stunning former Miss Ireland with the brains to match her looks. So what has driven her to go under the knife to have her breasts enhanced? She reveals all to Una Brankin.
Within minutes of meeting the truly gorgeous Rebecca Maguire, it's clear to see why her mother was so forlorn when she - her only daughter - moved out of the family home. The former Miss Ireland is full of natural charm, has brains to burn and impeccable manners, and seems every bit as beautiful on the inside as she is outwardly.
The good news for mum Charlotte (41), a bank clerk, and Rebecca's dad Declan, a tiler, is that their 23-year-old is now back at home in Andersonstown, Belfast, having decided against a move to Dublin, the home town of her photographer boyfriend (whom she prefers not to name).
"Mum and I are really close - we're more like sisters - and she was devastated when I had to go off travelling with Miss World. I don't know what she'd do if I moved out again!" she laughs.
"She was with me every step of the way with my breast augmentation six weeks ago and she was so impressed she's thinking of having one herself. She was as flat-chested as I was when she was younger but she filled out a bit after having me and my brother Mitchell (12). Now she and my auntie want exactly the same boobs as me!"
Warm and vivacious, the pharmacology student has dashed over from her part-time job in a city centre shoe shop on her lunch break to join me in Starbucks for a chat about her recent breast enhancement with River Medical, a cosmetic surgery and non-surgical beauty clinic opposite Belfast's City Hospital.
Blessed with high, wide cheekbones, perfect skin and a slender 5ft 11ins frame, she turns heads as she emerges at the top of the stairs, without the aid make-up or glitzy clothes. In fact, she's well covered up and rather self-conscious about her implants, which have taken her from a 30A cup to a small 30C.
She moves her scarf to the side, briefly, to reveal a very natural looking bust-line under a modest top.
"This is something I had always thought about - it's not for my career at all," she says, in an unmistakeable west Belfast accent. "I was a real tomboy and geeky at my school, St Dominic's Grammar School; a bit of a swot. I was very flat-chested in school and I didn't wear a bra until I was in my late teens - and even then there was nothing to fill it with!
"I was teased by friends getting changed for PE - they called me 'No Boobs' and stuff like that. It was a joke with a jag and by the time I was in my 20s, I knew there was a no hope in that area for me!
"My friends were all getting their hair and make-up done and they had boobs. We'd go on holiday and I'd be sitting like this," she adds with a giggle, crossing her arms over her chest.
"I still have a bit of extra volume on the top half from the post-surgical swelling but they've dropped a bit. It's not that I want to show them off - I don't wear low-cut things. It was just for me."
Although she insists career reasons didn't figure in her decision to have surgery, Rebecca wouldn't say no if Playboy came knocking, especially after former Miss World Rosanna Davison - schoolgirl Rebecca's idol - posed naked in the German edition of the famous magazine in October 2013. The shoot prompted speculation that Rosanna had undergone breast augmentation, but the model denied surgery, saying her breasts were an "optical illusion".
"Well, I've had no offers yet but Playboy would be great if it came my way. Why not? I wouldn't be shy about it and my family would be right behind me. I do lingerie and swimwear modelling, whatever jobs come in. This will open doors for me but I still want to practice pharmacy. That's another side of me."
Excelling at science at school, and obviously a people person, Rebecca chose pharmacy over medicine after doing some work experience.
"I loved it - pharmacists interact with the public on the high street and I think it's a great idea to bring us in to GP surgeries. I graduate on the fourth of July; the studying is going really well."
Being studious and conscientious, the CMPR model did her homework on breast augmentation and its providers, here and in the Republic. She went for a consultation at River Medical, which has clinics on both sides of the border, after receiving several recommendations.
Still, given the recent controversy over implants containing industrial-grade silicone made by French company Poly Implant Prothese and given to an estimated 47,000 British women - never mind Katie Price's well publicised breast implant infection in the Big Brother House - I wondered was she nervous opting for surgery.
"Nervous but excited," she admits. "I did a lot of research and I was completely reassured River Medical were totally professional. I was determined that they had to be natural and that's exactly what River Medical wanted too. They turn away girls who want excessively large implants - that goes against the grain of what they're all about.
"There was absolutely no pressure, no big sales talk. They told me the risks with any surgery and said 'It's totally your decision'. I felt really well taken care there and I found the after-care brilliant.
"I'm delighted with them." And she jokes: "No more chicken fillets, they're HORRIBLE!" she says, referring to the bra inserts that some women use to give them a larger cleavage.
As Fiona Dunning of River Medical confirmed, Rebecca's implants are size C and made from the American FDA (Food & Drugs Administration) approved Natrelle silicone implants from Allergan.
"They are the safest implants available," said Fiona. "From start to finish it can take up to 12 days to manufacture a Natrelle implant, during which time it will undergo almost 100 quality control tests.
"An increase in size isn't the only reason for choosing to undergo breast surgery, by the way. The majority of breast surgery procedures carried out in Ireland are augmentation procedures, but an increasing number of women are choosing to undergo breast reduction, breast uplift and breast asymmetry procedures. Less than 10pc of women have identical breasts and those that are, are usually A/AA size. In these cases breast surgery can be life changing."
Asymmetry was not Rebecca's problem. In fact, her perfectly symmetrical face makes her an ideal canvas for different looks, a beautiful chameleon for make-up artists to transform as required on fashion and beauty shoots. She can go from a pretty girl-next-door, as her sweet nature suggests, to a pouting sultry vamp, all with a few strokes of eyeliner, a slash of lipstick and slicked-back hair. But no cleverly engineered Wonderbra was going to make much of a difference in the cleavage department.
"I've gone from a size eight to a six through training at the gym," she announces, beaming (she looks healthy despite being such a tiny size for a tall girl). "I train a lot which didn't help my boobs especially when you work to reduce your body fat. Essentially I always wanted to just have a more womanly figure and feel more comfortable as a young woman.
"I know it's still a sort of taboo thing, especially when you're a woman in the public eye. There's so much stigma attached to women who get work done - but not for men. It's not fair.
"And when you're in the public eye, it can be even more negative. I just wanted to boost my confidence a little and everyone was delighted for me - even my Granny Maguire. She was really on for it, and once Granny Maguire gives her stamp of approval, that's it!"
I wondered at someone so intelligent, attractive and charming lacking confidence.
"Well, when you see models like Victoria's Secret Angels, they're really toned and slender but they have a shape. I didn't," Rebecca counters.
Rebecca attended River Medical clinic on the Lisburn Road in Belfast and had her surgery carried out by their resident surgeon, Dr Labros Chatzis, at Kingsbridge Hospital, just down the road.
"You just know that he knows what he is doing - he's a real expert, and let's face it, the results speak for themselves! The hospital was like a five-star hotel - I didn't want to leave!
"That morning I looked down and thought, 'This is really the last time I'll see me like this!' But I knew I was in good hands."
The surgery took 40 minutes and Rebecca was back in her room within an hour.
"I came round and didn't know where I was; I thought I was in a bar. The nurse asked would I like a drink and I said 'A gin and tonic please'. Mum still laughs about that! I was full of beans. I do pharmacy so I know some people can have a bad reaction to anaesthesia.
"I was a bit restricted in my movements but I wasn't in a lot of pain," she adds emphatically, swinging her toned torso round to demonstrate. "Suddenly you have these two mounds of flesh that weren't there before and you have to get used to them! You're given painkillers for a week but once I was two days in, I was doing really well.
"Mine were so small, I didn't have to have drains in - I've heard that can be uncomfortable. I just had large plasters beneath mine and I wear a sports bra, which is really comfy."
She'll see the final results in a couple of months, just in time for the Miss Belfast competition she has been asked to run by her Belfast agency, CMPR, in the China White venue on April 30. The winner will go on to the Miss Ireland competition in Dublin, organised by her Dublin agent, Andrea Roche.
"I'm looking forward to having a better shape in nice dresses and so on," she chirps before going on her merry way. "I'm so overwhelmed with the result - it really is exactly what I wanted. I went for one of the smallest implants and I couldn't be happier with the result, they look amazing!"
- To arrange a private and confidential, free consultation, contact River Medical, tel: 028 9560 7585 or visit rivermedical.co.uk
Rebecca's best beauty tips
I use Clarins range Day and Night creams - they feel very fresh. I try to wear no make-up when I have some down time, to give my skin a chance to breathe. I like Clarins Body Shaping Cream, too.
I love Elizabeth Arden Foundation in Toasty Beige and Make-Up Forever HD Foundation - it doesn't budge. I always need a good highlighter, too, so I use the Mary Lou from Makeup Forever range, which doubles up as an eyeshadow.
I love defined brows as well and I always use Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake. I also have an amazing HD brow artist in Belfast in Bellaire Hair & Beauty who's brilliant.
I apply St Tropez body moisturiser every other day to give me a lovely glow. I think people look better with a bit of colour.
My best bargain buy is Primark's false eyelashes - for a pound! I don't think you can get a better bargain than that.
I have a set of sleep-in rollers which saves going to the hairdressers all the time for a curly blow-dry on nights out
My favourite hair care brand is Great Lengths.I have their extensions so I use all of their products to keep my hair in top shape.
I love Chanel No 5 and Thierry Mugler fragrances.
And apart from all that, I'd love to get a first in my Pharmacy degree!
Why size matters for these 'enhanced' celebs
Katie Price claims to love her new tiny bosoms, which will no doubt prove great assets in her publicity fuelled career. They're getting her up on the catwalk and into fashion editorials, so expect a KP clothing range especially for the less well-endowed on the high street any minute.
Drew Barrymore - The cute little girl from ET posed nude for the cover of Interview magazine at 17, before undergoing breast reduction surgery in 1992.
"There's something very awkward about women and their breasts because men look at them so much," she said afterwards. "When they're huge, you become very self-conscious. Your back hurts. You find that whatever you wear, you look heavy in. It's uncomfortable.
Victoria Beckham - The former Spice Girl recently admitted she "may have bought" the two tennis-ball shaped mounds that protruded from her tiny frame, before she became a successful fashion designer. In an industry where the top echelon seems to prefer women to have the slight bodies of young boys, Victoria's new streamlined look fits in well, making her the perfect mannequin for her own elegant collections. So much so, that Katie Price has gone from branding her "ugly" to "always looking the dog's b******s". Nice.
The Subtle Upsizers?
US Weekly claimed that Kate Hudson had a breast augmentation in 2010, taking her from a washing-board AA to a small B-cup. The suggestion came as a surprise in Hollywood, as the actress had always been proudly flat-chested, boasting how she could "wear a plunging neckline and have it be elegant."
Hudson's refusal to confirm the story sparked a did-she-or-didn't-she debate in the American showbusiness media, with some claiming her new slightly curvier look was down to pregnancy. No baby appeared. Whatever is the case, she looks great.
Dita Von Teese - The burlesque star, famed for her petite but hourglass figure, had a natural-looking breast augmentation at 21, after losing weight in the early Nineties. "I don't know why everyone makes such a big deal about my boobs," she said. "Plastic surgery has been happening since the 1700s and many 1940s movie stars had it. It's a taboo that should be let go of. I don't see the point in denying it as I would only get found out in the end, and besides, I don't have any interest in making people think I'm naturally perfect." Just right.
Nicole Richie - Lionel Richie's skinny daughter shocked the world a decade ago when pictures emerged of her skeletal figure in a white bikini. The reality star's body has fluctuated a lot over the years, between extreme weight loss and two babies, so in in late 2011, she reportedly boosted her A -ups to a medium B, which looks fairly natural and flatters her small frame.