Fulvia Pellegrino has spent $108,000 on plastic surgery and won’t stop until she has reached ‘perfection’. The transgender woman has had more than 150 lip and cheekbone fillers, four breast implants, and two rounds of liposuction — and has the full support of her wife.
The 56-year-old, from Italy, has spent $18,000 on her bum and is planning even more surgery in her quest for the perfect face and body.
Fulvia’s wife, Marisa, is standing by her husband, although the pair are now more like sisters than a married couple. Fulvia said: “I am not happy with my ‘perfect’ body, because it is not perfect. Perfection is something else.”
Fulvia was just fifteen years old when she first realised she was transgender. But fearful of her strict religious family, and her father who was in the clergy, Fulvia kept her feelings a secret.
She said: “I was living with my family who were very narrow minded and very religious. I never manifested my will because it was impossible with my dad. He had three sons and he wanted three sons only.”
She kept her torment hidden even when she met her wife, Marisa Altare, 32-years-ago. But secretly Fulvia frequented gay clubs and cross-dressed in the privacy of her own garage. She said: “I was feeling trapped in my body. I hid in the garage and put make-up on dressed like a woman.”
“I never showed that side of me because I was ashamed of it.”
Fulvia masked her turmoil and exaggerated her masculinity in public, buying guns and owning expensive cars. She said: “It is difficult to grow up with a body which is not yours. You try to mask it in every way playing football, drinking beers, buying American 4x4s and go shooting to feel like a man. Instead you understand it is a mask and so you need to throw it away and become what you are.”
Finally sixteen years ago Fulvia could not bear to hide and confessed to Marisa that she wanted to transition.
She said: “Obviously Marisa lost if for a moment, it is not something that is easy to accept. Today Marisa and I are nothing more than two sisters. We live together, we argue like two normal people but not like husband and wife.”
Is it worth it?
Walking with her wife
Fulvia began her transition by receiving hormone therapy and looking into plastic surgery. And Marisa visited a psychologist to help her come to terms with her new life. But while Marisa was accepting of Fulvia her parents refused to tolerate it.
Fulvia said: “My dad asked my wife to sign a paper to send me into a psychiatric institution to make me change my mind. It was very hard, when my father passed away they didn’t let us go to the funeral because they were ashamed of us. The only people who accepted me were my brothers.”
But despite her family’s turmoil, Fulvia began to pursue her extreme look with breast implants, a nose job and face lift in 2004. Three more breast augmentations followed by liposuction, numerous fillers in her cheeks and lips and a butt lift.
But Fulvia, who used to run a restaurant but no longer works, struggled financially. She sold her guns, cars and a house in France to pay for her expensive surgeries. Now the pair struggle on Marisa’s wage as a holistic therapist. And while Marisa is happy to support Fulvia’s quest to achieve her desired look, inhabitants in their town of Peveragno have gone of their way to exclude the couple. Fulvia said: “I am now the clown of Peveragno. They point at me, they talk about me, they start inventing stories about me that I am a prostitute.
“My friends have all vanished — they didn’t accept me.”
Taken After Surgery
The latest look
“I couldn’t be without Marisa and do what I do without her. She is always here with me.”
But despite the difficulty she faces Fulvia is desperate to continue her plastic surgery.
She said: “I want to look like Allanah Starr, an American transgender porn star. Plastic surgery is not a drug but its something that people like me need. I am not happy with my face and other parts of my body.”
“I won’t stop here, I want to go ahead because it’s not perfect. If I reach perfection maybe I will stop.”