November 20, 2015 11:55 am

‘Modern Family’ star Reid Ewing reveals cosmetic surgery nightmare

Reid Ewing as Dylan Marshall on 'Modern Family.'

Adam Taylor / © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection
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From the outside looking in, Modern Family star Reid Ewing seems to have it all. He’s tall, chiseled, and consistently funny on a long-running sitcom. But all isn’t as it seems — the actor revealed in a blog on The Huffington Post that he suffers from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), and it has propelled him to seek multiple cosmetic surgery procedures.

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When Reid first arrived in Los Angeles to pursue his career, he was only 19 and struggling alone with his mental illness. He would frequently spend entire days in his apartment, scrutinizing himself in the mirror and agonizing over every perceived imperfection. His BDD finally forced him to seek cosmetic surgery, which he hoped would make him “look like Brad Pitt.”

“I told the doctor why I felt my face needed cosmetic surgery and told him I was an actor. He agreed that for my career it would be necessary to get cosmetic surgery,” wrote Ewing in The Huffington Post. “He quickly determined that large cheek implants would address the issues I had with my face, and a few weeks later I was on the operating table.”

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Ewing said he regrets all the surgeries he had and would go back and undo them if he could.

“I woke up screaming my head off from pain, with tears streaming down my face,” wrote Ewing. “The doctor kept telling me to calm down, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything but scream, while he and his staff tried seemingly to hold back their laughter.”

Instead of that idyllic Brad Pitt outcome, Reid got one botched surgery after another, including the cheek implants, a chin implant, injectable fillers and fat transfer, then subsequent surgeries to remove the implants from his face.

Ewing notes that not a single doctor addressed his BDD or any underlying issues about why he was seeking the surgeries in the first place, and he contends that the cosmetic surgery industry takes advantage of people like him — especially celebrities in Hollywood chasing fame.

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“Of the four doctors who worked on me, not one had mental health screenings in place for their patients, except for asking if I had a history of depression, which I said I did, and that was that,” he wrote in the blog.

“My history with eating disorders and the cases of obsessive compulsive disorder in my family never came up,” he added. “None of the doctors suggested I consult a psychologist for what was clearly a psychological issue rather than a cosmetic one or warn me about the potential for addiction.”

The neverending cycle robbed him of his “self-esteem and joy,” he said, and finally in 2012 he stopped getting surgeries done. It took a further six months before he was comfortable with people looking at him.

“I think people often choose cosmetic surgery in order to be accepted, but it usually leaves them feeling even more like an outsider,” he wrote. “Before seeking to change your face, you should question whether it is your mind that needs fixing. Now I can see that I was fine to begin with and didn’t need the surgeries after all.”

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