An Italian transgender woman reportedly spent more than $76,000 trying to get the ideal female body after hiding the desire to change sexes for 40 years.
Fulvia Pellegrino, 56, from Peveragno, has endured a round of tough surgeries to attain her current appearance, including more than 150 lip and cheekbone fillers, four breast implants, and two series of liposuction.
Pellegrino was born with the name Fulvio. She had the full backing of her wife, Marisa, in her transition, reports Daily Mail.
Pellegrino was reportedly 15 years old when she first recognized she was trans, but she kept it a secret from her conservative, religious family.
"I never manifested my will because it was impossible with my dad," Pellegrino said, according to Daily Mail, noting that her father was a member of the clergy.
:He had three sons and he wanted three sons only" she added.
Pellegrino kept her gender identity a secret even when she met Marisa 32 years ago.
Shortly after they married, Pellegrino began going to gay bars and cross-dressing privately in her garage.
Pellegrino hid her secret and played up her masculinity in public, buying guns and owning luxury cars.
Sixteen years ago, however, she admitted to Marisa that she wanted to transition.
“Obviously Marisa lost it for a moment, it is not something that is easy to accept," Pellegrino said. "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.”
When Pellegrino started her transition by getting hormone therapy and researching plastic surgery, Marisa went to a psychologist to help her deal with her new life.
But Pellegrino's parents were not as tolerant of her decision.
“My dad asked my wife to sign a paper to send me into a psychiatric institution to make me change my mind,” Pellegrino said.
The family even stopped her from attending her father's funeral.
Despite her family's rejection, in 2004, Pellegrino started to chase her “perfect” look with breast implants, a nose job and a face lift.
Three more breast surgeries were followed by liposuction, fillers in her cheeks and lips, and a $32,000 butt lift, according to the Mirror.co.uk.
Pellegrino, who previously ran a restaurant but no longer works, had to sell her guns, cars and a house in France to pay for her procedures.
Now the couple relies on Marisa's income as a holistic therapist. And while Marisa supports Pellegrino's transition and plastic surgery, residents in their town of Peveragno have shunned the couple.
“I am now the clown of Peveragno," Pellegrino said. "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."
But despite the hardships, Pellegrino is anxious to proceed with more plastic surgery.
“I want to look like Allanah Starr, an American transgender porn star,” she says. “I won't stop here, I want to go ahead because it's not perfect. If I reach perfection, maybe I will stop.”