Barbies, Makeup & Tights: 10 Sex Change Secrets From Richard Simmons' Childhood

//Richard simmons sex change childhood secrets memoir

Jun. 9 2016, Updated 12:00 p.m. ET

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Richard Simmons' recent sex change has shocked his fans. But in a copy of his 1999 memoir, Still Hungry— After All These Years, the workout pro spilled secrets about cross-dressing, playing with dolls and other stereotypically female behavior.

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//Richard simmons sex change childhood secrets memoir

Richard Simmons' recent sex change has shocked his fans. But in a copy of his 1999 memoir, Still Hungry— After All These Years, the workout pro spilled secrets about cross-dressing, playing with dolls and other stereotypically female behavior.

ARCHIVE: Richard Simmons Archival Photos Over The Years

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Splash News

Guys and dolls: As a young boy in New Orleans, Simmons, now 67, said he went through a "Barbie phase" after playing with a gal pal's collection. In a head-scratching turn, he revealed he started an "obsession" with stealing Barbie doll heads from a toy store and hiding them from his father in his bedroom drawer.

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Richard Simmons Portrait Session

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Getty Images

When his father discovered the bizarre bunch of doll heads, he promptly punished Simmons. "My father's look put an end to it," he wrote.

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Richard Simmons attends the LA Pride Parade

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Splash News

In college, Simmons stuck with girl friends, and even began borrowing their clothes. The overweight art student loved his pal Mindy's overalls, he recalled. She eventually made him his own pair. "They became my new uniform," he wrote.

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Third Annual Nutrition Advisory Council Symposium

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Getty Images

As an adult in Los Angeles, Simmons quickly lost weight and opened a workout studio, Slimmons. Ready to show off his trim new figure, the fitness star bought a black leotard, size small, and "flesh-toned" tights. "I went everywhere barefoot, in my leotard and tights," he claimed. "As I dressed every morning, I'd think to myself, 'I'm going to eat healthy, I'm going to exercise, and I'm going to fit into this tiny little leotard.'"

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Richards Simmons goes to his class at Slimmons Studios

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Splash News

While starring on General Hospital in the '80s, Simmons donned full makeup for his first photo shoot.  The session "was a blast," he wrote.

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Celebrities Arrive At The Late Show With David Letterman

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Getty Images

However, after his long day modeling, the star was pulled over by a cop and promptly handcuffed.

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ARCHIVE: Richard Simmons Archival Photos Over The Years

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Splash News

The officers combed through his entire cosmetics collection: "Max Factor, medium base. Mascara, sable brown. Blush, Revlon raspberry. Lip moisturizer, strawberry-flavored," he recalls of his makeup bag.

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ARCHIVE: Richard Simmons Archival Photos Over The Years

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Splash News

Fortunately, a few hours after he was thrown into a holding cell, Simmons was released. (The entire incident had been a case of mistaken identity, he explained.)

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87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs
Source: Getty Images

Now, 30 years later, Simmons is transitioning into a woman named Fiona, sources exclusively told The National ENQUIRER. According to the report, the recent recluse has been hiding from the public eye while he undergoes hormone treatments and even a breast augmentation.

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Richard Simmons Sex Change Childhood Memoirs

Though a rep for the star denies the transition, friends told The ENQUIRER that Simmons appears to feel "totally nature and comfortable" as a woman.

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