“I went around to all my teachers, told them I was going to be out. ‘I’m getting plastic surgery!’ I’d tell them gleefully,” Rivera says in her upcoming memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, excerpted exclusively in the current issue of PEOPLE. “My art teacher was stoked – when I told her she said that she too had fake tits and that she was very excited for me.”
Rivera – who also chronicles her battle with anorexia in her book – openly admits she has had body image issues, but says deciding to get breast implants had nothing to do with looking good for other people.
“My new boobs were a confidence thing, not a sexual thing,” says Rivera, who paid for the surgery with money she’d saved from childhood jobs on Family Matters and The Royal Family. “I’d never even taken my top off for a guy. I hadn’t had many opportunities to do so, but even if I had, my bra was always stuffed with napkins.”
Not that her classmates didn’t take notice of her new curves.
• For more from Rivera – including the exclusive excerpt from Sorry Not Sorry – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now
“As soon as I went back to school, [the boys] all practically fell over themselves rushing to see who could hold the door open for me,” she writes.
Rivera says her parents did not approve of her choice to get breast implants at the time, but she’s never second guessed herself.
“People have a lot of opinions about plastic surgery, but more than ten years after I got my boobs, they still make me happy when I look in the mirror. It might have even been the best $8K I’ve ever spent.”
For more details about Rivera’s love life, career and more, pick up Sorry Not Sorry, on sale Sept. 13.