Raven-Symoné Had "Painful" Plastic Surgeries as Teen Star After Dad Encouraged It
The Disney Channel star said she had two breast reductions and liposuction as a minor.
Raven-Symoné has been in the entertainment industry since she was just four years old, making her debut as Olivia on The Cosby Show in 1989. And while she's still an actor and a host, the now-37-year-old has been open about how being in the public eye impacted her body image, beginning when she was very young, including being body shamed on set and told not to eat certain foods provided for actors. In a recent episode of her podcast, Raven-Symoné revealed that she underwent three plastic surgeries when she was still a minor, partially because it was "suggested strongly" by her father that she do so. Read on to find out why the former child and teen star had two breast reductions and a liposuction procedure before she turned 18, and the scary complication she experienced when she was recovering from one of them.
Raven-Symoné worked steadily through her childhood and teen years.
Raven-Symoné starred on The Cosby Show from 1989 to 1992, when the show went off the air. Her next major role on a TV series was as Nicole on the sitcom Hangin' With Mr. Cooper from 1993 to 1997. She also took on guest TV appearances and roles in movies, including The Little Rascals and both of the Dr. Dolittle movies starring Eddie Murphy. In 2003, the year she turned 18, Raven-Symoné's hit Disney Channel series That's So Raven premiered. Also in 2003, the channel debuted the first Cheetah Girls TV movie, in which she also starred.
She was body shamed on set.
Later in her career, Raven-Symoné joined the panel of the daytime talk show, The View. During a 2015 episode, she remembered being told by people on The Cosby Show set not to eat certain foods because she was "getting fat."
"It was definitely hard," she said, as reported by People. "I remember not being able to have the bagel or anything at—we would call it crafty, where it's just a table of food, ready for you to eat whatever you want. And I remember people would be like, 'You can't eat that. You're getting fat!' I'm like, 'I'm seven! I'm hungry!'"
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Her father encouraged her to get cosmetic surgery.
In the Aug. 7 episode of her podcast, The Best Podcast Ever, Raven-Symoné revealed to the public for the first time that she had two breast reductions and one liposuction surgery before she turned 18. She also said that her father, Christopher B. Pearman, had encouraged her to have a breast reduction.
"There was paperwork involved. My dad suggested strongly that I should get my breasts reduced," she explained to her co-host and wife Miranda Pearman-Maday. "He was like, 'So you don't feel bad, is there anything you want?' I was like, 'What? Yeah, if I get lipo, will people stop calling me fat?' And, so, I got a twofer."
"And it was just like a mess, it was just a mess, just being that young, and the pain of it all, honey," the actor said of the process. She did not pinpoint exactly how old she was when she had the surgeries.
She had a complication after one of the procedures.
Pearman-Maday asked Raven-Symoné what her recovery process was like, and she responded, "I disassociated, so the recover was, you know, a little painful. I have scars, I still have scar tissue to this day. And I actually gained weight after and had to go back for a quick little bit more out, because [my breasts] were still too big for other's feelings."
She went on to explain that she had a frightening experience coming out of anesthesia.
"That first one that I had, I actually had a seizure when I woke up from the surgery," she said. "And I remember waking up and seeing everything, and I was like, 'Nah,' and I started to have this dry mouth and couldn't breathe and then I went back under and they were like, 'Oh yeah, you had a seizure.' I was like, 'Thanks for telling me.'"
Raven-Symoné said she didn't know exactly what caused the seizure. But, she said that remembering the sensation "still freaks [her] out."