We’re all works in progress, every one of us.
We all have areas of ourselves we want to work on, whether it’s our attitude, our outlook, our waistlines, our earning power, our intellects, or our skills. Some people take cooking classes, or take up crochet, or start jogging, while others go back to school. Regardless, everybody has a goal in mind, a finish line they’re looking to pass. If you’re not moving forward, you’re stagnating — and that’s not living.
And when that finish line looms especially large, people will go to extremes to reach it. It happens every day. There’s a great big lineup of people who want to climb Mt. Everest or win an Olympic gold medal, and they all have to put in punishing workouts daily to achieve their dreams.
But sometimes chasing a dream comes with unexpected costs.
In her quest for perfection, Fulvia Pellegrino has spent more than $76,000 on plastic surgeries.
But her quest for perfection has cost her more than just money. She has lost many of her friends and family as well. She and her wife, Marisa, live as outcasts in the small Italian town of Peveragno.
After a startling number of surgical procedures including four breast augmentations, two rounds of liposuction, a nose job, and more than 150 lip and cheekbone injections, she’s still pursuing her perfect look.
She says she wants to look like American transgender adult film star Alannah Starr.
Fulvia knew from the age of 15 that she was transgender, but she hid her true self from her family.
Her father, a clergyman, would not have approved. “He had three sons and he wanted three sons only,” Fulvia told the Daily Mail.
She grew up as Fulvio and learned to compensate with a typically masculine lifestyle.
“You try to mask it in every way, playing football, drinking beers, buying American 4x4s and go shooting to feel like a man,” she said.
But of course, it didn’t last.
Sixteen years ago she cast her mask aside and admitted to Marisa her desire to transition.
Naturally Marisa found it difficult at first, but she supports Fulvia and they continue to live together, now more as sisters than a married couple.
Her family had a harder time with it. Her father even tried to have her committed to a psychiatric ward.
When Fulvia’s father passed away, she was barred from the funeral.
Fulvia’s neighbors in her home town turned their backs on her as well, calling her “the clown of Peveragno.”
“They point at me, they talk about me, they start inventing stories about me that I am a prostitute,” she said.
For the time being Fulvia and Marisa struggle financially, having to live off of Marisa’s income as a holistic therapist.
The guns and expensive cars are long gone, sold along with a house to pay for her surgeries. But Fulvia’s not done with surgery yet. “I won’t stop here,” she says. “I want to go ahead because it’s not perfect. If I reach perfection, maybe I will stop.”