Self-esteem and loving yourself in your own skin has become a huge discussion among female celebrities over the past couple of years.
Stars like Demi Lovato have very publicly discussed self-image struggles so intense that they led to eating disorders and other psychological issues, and Meghan Trainor sang an anthem about accepting yourself, titled “All About That Bass.”
There’s even been a recent movement of makeup-free selfies and celebs standing up for themselves after being fat-shamed, slut-shamed or shamed for anything at all on social media — like when Ariel Winter recently bit back at rude Instagram users for commenting that she looked like she was “asking for it” in an innocent photo of her in a bathing suit.
But what hasn’t been so widely discussed is that the opposite sex also faces all of the same debilitating feelings of low self-worth and not being good enough. Just like women, men also battle with self-image issues that can seriously affect their lives.
Winter’s Modern Family costar, Reid Ewing, wrote a blog on the Huffington Post this week that proves guys, too, have problems dealing with the crushing blow of societal pressures. In the blog, Ewing details how loneliness, a previous history of body dysmorphia and the intense desire to look good in an unforgiving industry led him to fall victim to predatory surgeons and into a plastic surgery spiral.
“In 2008, when I was 19 years old, I made my first appointment to meet with a cosmetic surgeon,” wrote Ewing. “I genuinely believed if I had one procedure I would suddenly look like Brad Pitt.”
Ewing went on to have a horrific and humiliating experiencing getting cheek implants, but this was only the beginning of his surgery journey.
“When I went out, people on the street would stare at me, and when I visited my parents they thought I had contracted some illness,” he wrote of his life right after the implants. “Unable to take this state of living, I began to seek out another doctor. The next one I found was even less qualified, but I didn’t care; I just wanted out of my situation. I told him my story, and he suggested I get a chin implant. I asked if it would repair my sunken-in face, and he said I would be so happy with my looks it wouldn’t matter to me. The same day he brought me into his back office and operated on me.”
Ewing’s cycle continued for years, even during the time he was shooting scenes for Modern Family.
“Much of this was going on during the same time period I was shooting Modern Family,” Ewing wrote. “Most of the times I was on camera were when I’d had the numerous implants removed and was experimenting with less-noticeable changes to my face, like injectable fillers and fat transfers. None of them last very long or are worth the money.”
Four years after the cycle started, Ewing had hit his bottom concerning his addiction.
“At the beginning of 2012, all the isolation, secrecy, depression, and self-hate became too much to bear,” he shared. “I vowed I would never get cosmetic surgery again even though I was still deeply insecure about my looks. It took me about six months before I was comfortable with people even looking at me.”
Ewing’s story also proves that men, just like women, are capable of keeping up a facade for a while, acting — and looking — like everything is fine, when everything is so far from being fine.
Who would have thought while Ewing was on Modern Family playing Dylan, he was going through such a horrific time?
Respect to Ewing for speaking out about his personal experience with self-image, body dysmorphia and plastic surgery. By sharing his story, he’s undoubtedly helping many others.