Reid Ewing: "Modern Family" Star Talks Body Dysmorphia, Regrets Plastic Surgeries

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Reid Ewing stars in Modern Family opposite Sarah Hyland, in the role of her character's boyfriend Dylan. The 27-year-old is incredibly handsome, but those who have followed his career will notice his looks have drastically changed over the past few years.

This past week, Reid Ewing shared some painfully private parts of his life in an op-ed in the Huffington Post. In it he highlighted his struggles with body dysmorphia and his regret over the many plastic surgeries he has undergone.

Reid Ewing was just 19 when he started down a path of no return.

"I genuinely believed if I had one procedure I would suddenly look like Brad Pitt," he wrote.

Ewing's first surgery--cheek implants--resulted in the need to wear a full facial mask and take pain killers for two weeks. The change in his appearance "was nothing like I had expected," Ewing wrote. "The results were horrendous."

When Reid Ewing's first cosmetic surgeon refused to do more surgery for at least six months, he simply found another surgeon. That doctor suggested a chin implant.

"Only a few days passed when I noticed I could move the chin implant under my skin, easily moving it from one side of my face to another," he says. "I rushed back to the surgeon, and acknowledging he had made a mistake, he operated on me again."

"For the next couple of years, I would get several more procedures with two other doctors. Each procedure would cause a new problem that I would have to fix with another procedure," Ewing wrote, explaining that he paid for the surgeries with money he made from acting. He also borrowed from his parents and his grandmother. That was "when I was most desperate."

"Much of this was going on during the same time period I was shooting Modern Family," he admitted. "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."

In 2012, Reid Ewing vowed that he would never get plastic surgery again, yet he still remained incredibly insecure about his looks.

"It took me about six months before I was comfortable with people even looking at me," he says.

He explained he suffers from a mental illness caused body dysmorphic disorder that causes people to obsess over the way they look. He offers up words of wisdom for other people--especially young people--who are tempted to "fix" themselves with cosmetic surgery.

"Before seeking to change your face, you should question whether it is your mind that needs fixing," he wrote. "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. My history with eating disorders and the cases of obsessive compulsive disorder in my family never came up. 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."

Reid Ewing doesn't totally negate plastic surgery, however. In fact, he strongly believes it can be helpful in the right situations.

"Tt's a horrible hobby," he adds.

"I wish I could go back and undo all the surgeries," he wrote. "Now I can see that I was fine to begin with and didn't need the surgeries after all."

If just one young man or woman takes something of value away from Reid Ewing's heartfelt admission, then it won't have been in vain.

Society has surely played a huge role in this illness, with picture-perfect, airbrushed people on TV and in magazines. No one can live up to the standard. Some even die trying.

Kudos to Reid Ewing. His Modern Family costars and family must be incredibly proud of this huge leap of faith he took by sharing his painful story. It has no doubt served to educate many.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.