In a recent essay, Stephanie March got very candid and honest about a horrifying plastic surgery ordeal involving her breast implants, which led to several hospitalizations and intensive medical treatments.
As her editorial has taken off in the days since it was published, the 41-year-old actress and cosmetics entrepreneur recently sat down at her New York City makeup shop, Rouge NY, with ET's Jennifer Peros, and opened up about her deeply personal essay.
"I decided to write it more for myself than for anything else, and I certainly did not think it would get this much attention," March explained. "I'm not a fan of oversharing. I thought the audience would be quiet smaller actually."
For the former Law & Order: SVU star, the essay was a chance to speak out against body shamers and bullying, while also encouraging people to embrace themselves for who they are and what they look like.
"I am in the beauty business," said March, who explained that her store's philosophy is all about "making people feel good about themselves and excepting who we are and what we are and celebrating that."
In her Refinery 29 essay, March explained how she first got implants in August 2014, and was initially happy with the results. But things started to go badly a few months later, when her right implant became infected and the seams of the scar on her right breast burst. Her doctor immediately removed the implant, but March wanted to have it put back in.
"I had a hole in my breast for six weeks while I blasted my body with antibiotics," March revealed in her editorial. "I had the implant put back in. I had another infection and rupture on Christmas Eve. I had it taken out again. I had more cultures and tests and conversations with doctors than I care to recall."
In the end, March finally realized that her body wasn't compatible with the procedure. "I'm allergic to breast implants," she told ET.
"I feel so much more grateful for good health and I have a much greater appreciation for it," March shared. "It is a gift to be able to get up every day and walk a mile in the city and get a cup of coffee and move about and do what I want to do."
"I owe my good health to appreciating that," she continued. "And appreciating what it means to be in charge of your body not because it's beautiful but because it takes you where you need to go."
According to March's essay, her reasons for the breast implants stemmed from a number of different struggles she was facing at the time, including her crumbling marriage, a number of career roadblocks and her inability to find a way to distract herself from what was causing her so much stress. Since she felt she couldn't change her life, she decided to take charge and change her body.
In hindsight, the actress said she learned a lot of lessons through the harrowing experience, the most important of which was, "When you want to fix something in your life, look to your heart, not your body."
"All I want to do is celebrate the handle on my good health that I have now, and to be excited about the fact that I can tell the story and I'm not embarrassed," she added.
As for the lesson she hopes other women learn from her experience, March says she wants people to not feel the need to judge themselves or allow others to judge them about their body or their lives -- and she advocates for more open conversations and honesty about body issues.
"[My essay] isn't about shaming. This isn't about should I have done this? Or should I not have done this? It's about being able to be honest about your story," she said. "Share it with people you love and maybe you can give a little encouragement or support to somebody [else]."
March is now dating hedge fund manager and technology investor Dan Benton, and the actress gushed over her new beau and his love for her intellect and personality, as well as the fact that he doesn't make her feel insecure or embarrassed about her body.
"It is lovely to be at an age and a place in my life where I can say, 'Look, it's my body, this is what happened,' and to meet a person who says, 'Great,'" March shared. "I feel lucky to be with a grownup who cares more about what's happening in my head."