This article originally appeared on VICE Germany.
Twenty-three-year-old Giulie has 600 milliliters of silicone in her body—in her breasts, more specifically. She's a bartender at a club in Munich, has a pretty impressive following on Instagram, and this October, she will be starting her law degree. About a year ago, she had breast implant surgery, after which she went from "not even half an A cup" to a C cup.
When I call to ask her some questions about her boob job, Giulie laughs and talks a lot. Not everyone with implants admits to having them, let alone likes getting into detail about the ordeal but Giulie is delightfully open about it. And why shouldn't she be? One in five of all cosmetic surgeries performed on women in the UK last year were breast augmentations.
VICE: When people ask if they can touch your breasts to feel the implants, do you let them?
Giulie: If someone asks me nicely I do, yes. People are fascinated by breast implants, and I understand that. I wish I had known someone with implants before my surgery because I had so many questions. Most women aren't open about it. I now know a lot of people who have fake breasts—but they only told me after I had surgery.
Do you ever think people might just want to sleep with you to know what it's like to touch fake breasts?
I have gotten some attention from guys who weren't interested in me before my surgery, but I obviously never went along with that. I don't believe anyone would want to sleep with me just out of curiosity for my breasts.
Do breasts with implants feel different than breasts without?
I've heard a lot of different opinions on that. Some people say they had no idea they were fake, others say they feel more solid. I personally feel that my breasts are much harder now than when they were natural. They're like trampolines. And when you touch the skin on the side—under my armpit—you can feel the edge of the implant. But I have no problem with my breasts looking or feeling artificial. It's not like I want to hide that I've had surgery. That's why I chose round implants, instead of anatomical implants that are modeled after the natural breast. Those are shaped like a drop and are more expensive. My implants basically look like round Tupperware containers.
Some men say they prefer natural breasts. Are those men lying?
I personally believe that men generally like large breasts and don't care whether they're real or fake. Everybody loves a good cleavage, I think. I feel like I'm getting a lot more attention since my surgery but that could also be just because I'm much happier, more comfortable, and confident now, and that shows.
How much did your new cleavage cost you?
It was a special offer and cost me €3,600 [$4,000]. I bought a new life with that money. I had always been pretty flat-chested, and I really hated that. I work in nightlife and struggled to make it look like I had something there. Oktoberfest was hell for me. When I slept with someone, I was so embarrassed when I took off my bra. My small breasts gave me bizarre complexes—when a guy didn't call or text me back, I assumed it was because of my flat chest. Those days are over.
Did it hurt?
When I woke up after the surgery, it felt as though there was this heavy steel plate lying on my chest. But then the nurses gave me such heavy painkillers that I just got really high. I spent one night in the hospital, and they gave me more powerful painkillers when they released me—you really need those. The worst part was that I couldn't move my arms after the surgery. At first, I couldn't even put on a pair of pants, hold the shower head, or push myself up in bed. And I've so far avoided push-ups or other exercises that involve breast muscles.
Are your nipples less sensitive now?
I still feel everything in my nipples. But below my nipples, in the lower half of my breast, there are some numb spots where I feel nothing. The surgeon told me I will probably be able to breastfeed if I have a child, but they can't guarantee it.
In 2012, it emerged that the health of about 300,000 women worldwide was at risk because of the bad implants they had received. Does that ever worry you?
No. I think you don't really have to worry if you've had your surgery in Germany by a respectable physician. The clinics in Munich really know what they're doing, and I researched the different clinics and doctors extensively before I made my choice.
Isn't it strange to have the same stuff in your body that baking molds, mouse pads, and Silly Putty are made of?
No, not at all. I haven't for a single minute regretted my decision. I'm not afraid I'll be reduced to the 600 milliliters of silicone I carry around. When I take my shirt off for someone, I first have to really like him—and I trust I'll pick men who are worthy of seeing me naked.
Is it true that if you shine a flashlight against the side of your silicone implants, they glow in the dark?
I think I've heard something about that on TV. Wait, hang on while I try it out with a flashlight in the bathroom. Don't hang up.
No, there's nothing. This looks totally—Oh my God! They're glowing! I see it now, this is crazy. The bathroom is completely dark, except for these two shiny red half circles. This looks so creepy.