“As a woman, you want to feel sexy and it’s just made me very self-conscious,” Jessi Peralta says in PEOPLE's exclusive first look at Monday's Dr. 90210 premiere

By Maria Pasquini
September 28, 2020 01:07 PM
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Jessi Peralta is taking ownership of her body.

In PEOPLE’s exclusive first look at the premiere episode of Dr. 90210 — a new reality series following four female plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills — the former member of the Pussycat Dolls and So You Think You Can Dance alum meets with Dr. Cat Begovic for a consultation.

“I had some tearing on my labia,” she explains of her injury, which occurred in 2016 when she gave birth to her daughter. “They tried to sew it up. I could feel the thread being pulled through the skin, but because I didn’t have any pain medication I pretty much wimped out.”

“As a woman, you want to feel sexy and it’s just made me very self-conscious,” she adds.

Explaining why she is consulting a plastic surgeon, Peralta says in a confessional that although “everything functions well, it just looks a little crazy.”

“Let’s say a hook ripped your cheek in half. Could you still eat? Yeah, I can chew on the other side of my mouth. Can you still smile? Yeah, but it looks really crazy,” she adds. “If you can have it fixed, why not?"

Jessi Peralta
E!

In addition to making her feel self-conscious, the injury has also impacted Peralta’s sex life.

“Prior to the injury I was much much more free sexually with my husband. Ever since, I am not confident enough to allow the access that he wants,” she says in the clip with a laugh. “Access has been denied.”

But Peralta says her past efforts to seek medical help haven’t been met with respect.

“I did have an experience with a male OB/GYN who told me, 'Oh why would you do that? It’s not worth it. You just look like any ol' woman that’s had a baby, and who cares?' And it’s like, I care and that’s enough of a reason,” she tells Dr. Cat.

“Exactly, and I’m so glad that you didn’t let that discourage you or make you feel bad in any way. You caring is enough,” the plastic surgeon says.

“See, you understand because you’re another woman," emphasizes Peralta.

Peralta goes on to say that a man in a similar situation wouldn’t think twice about seeking surgery. “If a man were to experience some crazy penile experience, I’m sure he would have that fixed immediately. So why can’t women feel that same sense of urgency?” she asks in a confessional.

The E! show follows four powerhouse female surgeons in Beverly Hills as they take on the traditionally male-dominated field.

"In general, women in surgery are portrayed as one of two things: aggressive and difficult, or passive and a lightweight surgeon,” Dr. Kelly Killeen previously told PEOPLE. “It has been a challenge to break those stereotypes and develop a reputation for being a stellar surgeon, and a fun person to work with."

Killeen also noted that she hopes the show will help people see "plastic surgery as more than superficial fluff."

"It is truly life changing and there is nothing wrong with making changes to your body so that you can live the life you want," she added.

Dr. 90210 premieres Monday at 10 p.m. on E!.