Rachel Recchia has revealed how her former large breast size negatively impacted her The Bachelorette experience starring on the series alongside Gabby Windey.

"My triple Ds weren't fitting my frame or lifestyle, and it never got better... For years, my large chest caused me pain and suffering. When I went on TV, it only got worse," Rachel wrote in a personal essay for TODAY.


Rachel had a breast-reduction surgery on March 7, and she's been documenting her recovery process on Instagram ever since. Earlier this month, she attended Coachella 2023 in a white crop top, and her confidence was apparently through the roof.

"My chest was never something I wanted to show off," Rachel admitted. "As a teenager, I didn't want to be sexualized more than I already was. Then, as I got my degree in aviation and entered a male-dominated field, I felt I had to cover up."

"Then there was the physical pain of having large breasts on a small frame," she continued.

"I wanted to fly high as a cheerleader, but struggled with back pain. Not to mention the inconvenience of wearing three sports bras when everyone else was wearing one."

Rachel -- who first competed on Clayton Echard's The Bachelor season in early 2022 -- said her "discomfort came to a head" when she was selected to star on The Bachelorette's nineteenth season last year.

"I was the star of a reality TV show and couldn't find a dress to wear. Or I could, but it wasn't the dress I wanted to wear," Rachel lamented.

"When you're dating 32 guys at the same time, self-confidence is a must... and sometimes it felt hard to shine while wearing clothes that decidedly weren't me."

Rachel recalled how she and her The Bachelorette stylist, Cary Fetman, often "joked" about how she was giving "mother of the bride" vibes during the show due to the high-neck gowns she'd wear during Rose Ceremonies.

"He's great and was so patient with helping me feel the best I could," Rachel explained.

"When the episodes played back and people made the same jokes online, it didn't seem so funny anymore."


Rachel tended to be covered up on The Bachelorette or in flowy dresses, while Gabby generally wore sexier, more revealing clothing -- and many viewers noticed the difference in their wardrobes on dates and at cocktail parties.

"Throughout the process, I was reminded that my life didn't have to be this way. The other women on the show didn't have the same problems with their chest that I did," Rachel shared.

"I went through racks of dresses that would look awesome on the other contestants, but I couldn't wear them. I was like, 'I don't want to live like this.'"

Rachel wrote about one moment in particular that really bothered her.

"I'll never forget when I was given a bag of bathing suits for options. I tried on every single one and not one fit me, or was flattering," Rachel disclosed.

"Cary had to order specific tops for me. I admit I had a fit that day -- but it just felt like the encapsulation of a journey."

Rachel explained that while she had plans to get the surgery even before her The Bachelorette stint, her experience on the show "made it all the more urgent."

Since she had "waited years" -- since age 17 -- to alter the size of her large "uncomfortable" chest, Rachel called her March breast reduction a "life-altering" procedure, which changed her Triple-D breasts to C-cups.

Rachel said it was "a privilege" for her to have the surgery, especially since she couldn't afford the out-of-pocket cost during her high school and college years.

"The moment I opened my eyes and got off the table [from surgery], I knew my life had changed -- for the better. My body felt different. Lighter. For the first time in over a decade, I didn't have back pain (and I haven't since)," Rachel wrote.

Rachel went on to reveal why she decided to be so transparent and detail her breast-reduction journey for the public.

"I decided to post about my journey on social media because, growing up, I never heard anyone talk about this procedure, and I felt so defeated by my body. Still, I was scared to hit post, thinking people would drag me for getting work done," Rachel explained.

"Instead, the opposite happened: I was met with a wave of support, especially from people who had had the same surgery. Already, my decision to go public is paying off. When I was at Disneyland recently, a 17-year-old girl came up to me and said she wanted to get the procedure done, too."


Rachel said she's had other cosmetic work done, such as fillers and Botox, and this is "no different."

"I'm supportive of women who want to change something to make themselves happy, even if it is only aesthetic. If it improves your life and well-being and happiness, I'm 100 percent behind that," Rachel said.

Rachel also wrote in her essay how she feels "lucky" to be surrounded by people who support her.

No one else in Rachel's family shares her problem, but she gushed about how her relatives have stood by her from Day 1.

"My friends who have gotten breast augmentations gave me advice and told me what pillow to get, for example. And the biggest shoutout to my roommate and The Bachelor co-star Genevieve Parisi, who brought me to surgery. Afterward, she gave me a bell I could use when I needed something," Rachel boasted of her pal.

It's only been about six weeks since the surgery, but Rachel said she's feeling like "a new me."

"Luckily, I already have a wardrobe for this new me prepared. I haven't told many people this, but I've always bought and saved clothes for this moment," Rachel shared.

"I kept them hidden away, knowing one day, I'd get the surgery, and could swap out my flowy shirts for tiny tops. Another perk of my new C cups? Fitting into any bikini I want at Target."

The blonde beauty concluded, "I've always been insecure -- and I'm not anymore. Who knows? Maybe my newfound confidence will translate into my dating life. But for now, I'm just super excited to be the same me, but more comfortable."

Rachel told Us Weekly in December that she's "grown so much" since competing for Clayton's heart on The Bachelor's 26th season and then starring on The Bachelorette.

Rachel also revealed on the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast in November how she had begun dating again following her broken engagement and split from The Bachelorette 19 winner Tino Franco, "I'm obviously taking it slow."

When Rachel spoke to Becca Kufrin about her love life, she said she'd only be interested in a stint on Bachelor in Paradise if her bestie Michelle Young would join her on the beach in Mexico.

"I will not go without her," Rachel said.

But Rachel said she'd "absolutely" star on The Bachelorette again if it meant finding The One.

Rachel explained one month earlier on the "Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe" podcast how she just wants a commitment from a man and to be done with dating.

"The fact that I find myself now in the same position [as I was in before The Bachelor], I'm like, 'I don't want to do this.' I wanted to find my person," Rachel vented to Kaitlyn Bristowe.

"I want to get married, I want to start a family. That's where I'm at in my life. I don't want to go back to the streets, and now I'm forced to! Literally!"


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.