Sunny Hostin is being open and honest about her cosmetic surgery journey.
‘The View’ cohost has revealed she underwent a breast reduction and lift, as well as liposuction, last summer.
“I feel like a better version of myself,” Hostin tells PEOPLE exclusively of the procedures, which she moved forward with after years of struggling with back pain and body-image issues. “It was a health decision and a self-care decision.”
Now Hostin wants to start a conversation about cosmetic procedures — and to destigmatize them.
“I thought I would feel shame, like, ‘Oh my God, I’m doing plastic surgery like all these crazy celebrities.’ But I don’t feel shame at all,” she says. “And I hope sharing my story will help more people. If they’re feeling so body-conscious, the way I was — they can do what they need to do to feel better.”
Hostin first began feeling self-conscious when she was a young girl growing up in New York City.
“By the time I was 16, I was a double-D,” says Hostin, whose struggles with her body image continued to evolve after she became a mom to son Gabriel, 20, and daughter Paloma, 16, with husband Emmanuel Hostin, 52, an orthopedic surgeon. “I couldn’t imagine my breasts would get bigger with childbirth — however, they did.”
And her insecurities only mounted when she joined The View full-time in 2016.
“My waist was small, but my top was so big I would wear a minimizer bra and a sports bra or a binder all the time,” she says. “Or I would get a very large dress, and then my stylist would put clips on the back of my dress so that everything would fit.”
The catalyst for her procedures finally came last April, as Hostin was getting dressed for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner: She zipped up her Toni Maticevski gown and was shocked to find that the dress’s bra didn’t fit.
“I was crying,” says Hostin, who wound up wrapping her chest in masking tape just to get by. “I sat there and didn’t eat anything. I couldn’t lift my hand because my boobs were going to fall out. [Musical group] Bell Biv DeVoe wanted to take a picture with me. I was like, ‘Oh God, they’re going to have these pictures of my boobs hanging out.’ “
Mortified, Hostin immediately booked an appointment with New York City-based plastic surgeon Dr. Ryan Neinstein and breast specialist Dr. Anna Steve. And on Aug. 22, 2022, Hostin underwent a breast reduction and lift, as well as liposuction on her waist and chin.
“It’s not glamorous,” says Hostin, who hired a private nurse to assist during her two-week-long recovery at home, which included drainage tubes to prevent blood and fluid buildup for three days, along with minimal scarring. “I was up and walking around in three days. I was back to work in two weeks, and I was doing Pilates in two months.”
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, doctors have seen an increasing demand for their services ever since the pandemic began. (A breast reduction and lift can range from $10,000 to $30,000, while lipo can cost from $8,500 to $30,000.) In the most recent study from ASPS, 23 percent of surgeons polled reported “double the business as compared to before the pandemic,” while 47 percent pointed to “slightly more” business overall. Of course, these procedures are not risk-free.
“All surgery has inherent risks,” says Dr. Neinstein. “We’re all striving to look and feel our best. When we do, it impacts all aspects of our lives.”
Indeed, these days Hostin is happy and confident.
“Now I prance around nude all the time at my house — I feel great,” says Hostin, who went from a G-cup to a C-cup. “I don’t know, you may see me naked on The View!”
And Hostin hopes viewers take note.
“I look through magazines and Instagram accounts. I always believed, ‘Oh, they must be clean eating.’ No, they’re not — a lot of them are taking something, or they’re getting plastic surgery. It’s their decision to keep it private,” she adds. “But I wanted to be really honest. And I’m so happy.”
We’re happy she’s happy — that’s what it’s all about.