For ten years, we’ve been falling in and out of love with the men and women of Bachelor Nation. One of those women, Canadian sweetheart Jillian Harris, has always been a favorite. With spunk and grace, she has dealt with the ups and downs of falling in love on America’s favorite reality dating show (take note, Fifth Wheel, disease-free dating is where it’s at).
Although Jillian has been off the dating radar for a wee while (she's happily dating boyfriend Justin), she’s been on the interwebs’ most watched list for years, mostly because people love a good story — especially when it involves an endearing protagonist blossoming in the public eye. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, ever since Interior Designer Jillian moved on to hosting gigs on shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and her new gig on Vancouver’s Love It or List It, her own “extreme makeover” has been discussed but never addressed by the petite Alberta native.
In her first public interview on the subject of plastic surgery, Jillian spoke exclusively with Wetpaint about what she really has had done, why she chose to do it, and why she wants to thank the shit-talkers.
Wetpaint: You’re in the spotlight all the time, with your various shows and your Bachelorette history. Do you feel like you have fan support following you around from one project to the next?
Jillian: Yeah definitely, but it’s so funny because people are always on one end or the other. They’re either like “I want to be you” or “She needs help — she’s the trashiest person alive!”
The littlest things are blown out of proportion when you’re on TV. Like, if you break up with someone — which happens every day — it’s totally ripped to shreds. Anyways, I have a thick skin now and I just laugh about it. I’d say 98% of people are such darlings and are so sweet about it.
You guys have been so supportive of all of us. But I was just on the Wetpaint facebook page and I was so upset because I actually did get a nose job last year but I never really talked about it, and it was just one of those things where it wasn’t anybody’s business. So apparently my own family — my aunt and uncle — never even noticed. But all of the fans on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette forums were like “she’s had her whole face done.” And I’m like “Calm down, guys, it’s not that big a deal. It was just my nose. Calm down.”
Did you keep quiet about the surgery because you didn’t want that judgment, or did you just not feel like anyone would care?
People like to judge me because I’ve had my nose done and I’ve never actually talked about it publicly. But it was a personal decision and it’s my choice and I’m extremely, extremely happy about it. I kept it very natural. It’s not a fake nose.
What inspired you to go “under the knife” as they say?
Well, I had had my nose broken before years ago and my mom said a few times that my nose was different than it had been, and I guess I was just used to it and so it didn’t really bother me. And then sadly, actually, when I was going through my breakup with Ed (Swiderski), I was really sad and was reading someone’s blog and this person was really nasty and was posting really mean comments about my nose.
Honestly, it really got to me and I broke down and was crying. So I was talking to my mum about it, and my mum was like “What do you think?” And I said “I guess it does bother me a little bit, I don’t know.” So I went and got a consultation and the doctor was like “Yeah, your nose was broken. We can fix it and make it back to your normal nose.” And I was really concerned and wanted it to look natural and I wanted it to still look like me. He did a really great job. At the time, I was working with Extreme Makeover, and nobody noticed there. I didn’t tell anybody. And my family didn’t really notice. I recovered quickly and I was thrilled with my nose.
How did you deal with the negativity when you realized that people had noticed and were talking about you? Have there been any weird instances?
We do read all the websites, we see what people say about us. I think the weirdest thing is when other people get involved in my personal decisions. Everybody has an opinion but I do believe regardless of whether I chose this career and this lifestyle, I would never, ever, ever have the audacity to publicly say something about somebody that could hurt their feelings. To me, that’s just the strangest thing when people talk about them, whether it’s me or Ali (Fedotowsky), or the hurtful things they said about Emily (Maynard). And regardless of why we went on the show, it hurts, it stings. I mean, you can only have so thick of a skin.
I’ve talked to all the girls and guys on the show and you know, it is frustrating. And we don’t get paid a lot of money. And yes, we did decide to do the show, and we did sign up for it. But that doesn’t mean you have a heart of stone after it. You still have a heart and you make mistakes. Everybody has an opinion but I think it’s very odd and strange that people make assumptions and judge. But you know, having said that, you move on and you realize that you have to have a thick skin. And I’m so grateful for the people who do support me. For every 98 people that say something fabulous, there are 1 or 2 people who say negative things. And I think the focus should be on the people who say something kind.
What do you say to fans or critics who say that you do look a lot different than when you were on the Bachelorette?
I do realize I look different. Ever since I have been in this industry, I have been taking incredible care of my skin. I get microdermabrasion every three months, I do my makeup differently... I do think I look a lot different than I did when I was on the show. I was a little bit chubbier when I was on it, I wasn’t as lean, so my face looked a little bit wider. My eyebrows were shaped differently, my nose was different... I understand it.
Have you ever had any other plastic surgery done? Are you planning on getting more?
I’ve never had any other plastic surgery done, no. No, I have no plans. Maybe when I’m 40, I’ll reanalyze the situation. But for now, I’m happy. Someone was posting about me and was like “Oh yeah, she got her cheeks done, and her chin done...” and I was like “Oh god. I don’t make enough money for that.” It’s crazy. Second of all, I’ve never done any of that. I’m 33 years old! I’ve never gone to that extent. That would be awful.
Did you read Trista’s interview with Life & Style about undergoing plastic surgery a few months before 40? How did her point of view affect your decision, if at all?
It’s exactly what Trista said, “this is me, this is my decision,” you know, I put my family first, I’m a hard worker, I give back to the community. You know, frick, this is my decision, if I want to get my nose done, or someday I want to get my boobs done, that’s my decision.
And I just want to say, whoever that person was that was saying those nasty things, I want to thank them, because I love my new nose. It’s just unfortunate that it was for all the wrong reasons. But you move on.