A GROWING number of young Irish models are getting boob jobs in a bid to get work abroad.
Rachel Wallace gave herself the gift of cleavage this Christmas, and the Dublin beauty says she's not alone.
"I had my boobs done a couple of weeks ago," she told the Sunday Independent.
"I'm being quite open about it. I did it for a number of reasons, but a big reason was that it will help me get more work in the UK and in LA eventually too, I hope."
"There is so much competition in the UK because so many of us probably look the same, but I think a big part of it is standing out personality-wise as well as everything else," Rachel added.
"It's not all just about the boobs. I'm going to have to keep the rest of me in really good nick too, but I definitely think they will help."
Rachel, who is represented by the Andrea Roche Modelling Agency, believes that it is better to be honest about having had cosmetic surgery than denying the obvious.
"Each to their own, but I just think it's easier to be open about having these things done," she said.
"Even with Georgia Salpa, after her time in the Big Brother house, it was all people talked about, instead of focusing on her work, but for the record, I think hers are real," Rachel added.
"For so long, people in Ireland have been afraid to talk about cosmetic surgery, but so much of it is happening; it's become the norm now. I can't speak for everyone, but I know lots of people who have had little bits and bobs done. I suppose you could call it preserving yourself, as it's not as if these girls were not beautiful beforehand."
As a former gymnast, Rachel has always been fit, but since taking up modelling and hitting the gym, she felt her modest assets were fast becoming non-existent.
"I've always been around a 'B' cup," she explained, "but after starting at the gym, they literally disappeared and I was really unhappy, so why wouldn't I do something about that? I've always had quite a boyish figure, so I thought it would help me look more feminine. I researched various sizes and surgeons over the last year and had about four consultations before eventually picking where I got them done."
However, Rachel was apprehensive about the procedure when the time came.
"I was very nervous," she admits. "People give out and say it's just for vanity, but it is still a serious operation."
The model's only regret is that she waited for so long before having her 'D'-cup enhancing surgery, which she hopes will boost her career.
"I wish I had done it sooner to be honest," she said.
"It really has been my little Christmas gift to myself. I'm so happy with the results and my family and boyfriend are delighted for me because they've seen the difference it has made to me. I just feel much better now with them done and I think when you feel much better, automatically you look better."