A reality TV star has called for more mental health support for people undergoing cosmetic procedures as he described going to ‘deep despair’ after a nose job gone wrong .
Charlie King has described how his career took a hit after his cosmetic surgery didn’t go as planned.
The 36-year-old star who appeared in The Only Way is Essex appeared before MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee to share her experience with body dysmorphia.
He said he became ‘obsessed’ with his nose during lockdown and booked for an operation which ‘went wrong’.
Mr King suggested he might not have had the surgery if there were better mental health support for people undergoing cosmetic procedures.
He told MPs he had been bullied at school and had also ‘struggled with his sexuality for years’.
“I had spent many years in my teens and 20s with internal turmoil and a struggle with my own identity, so it was quite difficult.
“One of the things I could control was my image.”
He added: “I got into The Only Way Is Essex which was a reality TV show which mainly focuses on the fabulous lives of us Essex people and all the glitz and glamor that go with it.”
Mr King said the experience was ‘alien’, adding: ‘Image was everything, popularity was everything and I was just going to go for it.
“At that time in my life there was a lot of focus on my image and I was very judgmental. I noticed that I wanted to be like the cool guys, I wanted to fit in with them and I tried my best to do everything I could to achieve that,” he said.
About his experience with body dysmorphia, he said: “I just thought I was a very self-critical person and I knew I was quite compulsive.
“I felt these pressures to look a certain way because I had seen through social media, when people responded to me the most was when I had my top on and I had a six-pack .
“And if I didn’t get that validation, it was that constant battle that I had to keep that way.
“During lockdown and being isolated and being alone, my obsession turned to my nose as it had been broken 15/20 years ago. I just became obsessed with (thoughts of), ‘it has to change, I have to fix it, I have to go see a plastic surgeon’.
“So I did that and the surgeon agreed ‘we can improve that’, and with my nature as a person, I got the validation I needed to do that.
“I had a…I don’t mean a botched nose job…I had a nose job that didn’t go as planned,” Mr King said.
He said plastic surgeons should have a duty to care to provide patients with mental health resources
Mr King said that after his operation did not go as planned, he had to wait for a second operation which sent him into the “depths of despair”.
“I had to move and live with my mum because I couldn’t earn money, I was depressed, I’m still not myself.”
He added: “There’s no way for me to get my money back right now. If that’s the route I want to go down, it’s going to have to take legal action and it’s going to get nasty, which I don’t. don’t want to because my mental health, my career has been damaged.
It comes as the committee’s own research suggests that four in five (80%) people who took part in an online poll believe body image has an impact on mental health.
Asked about Mr King’s experience, Mental Health Minister Gillian Keegan suggested her cosmetic surgeon might not have followed best practice had he not considered vulnerabilities and needs psychological.
Asked about the survey, she added: ‘Poor body image can and will affect most of us at some point in our lives.
“And it’s a risk factor for mental health problems.”
She added: “Eating disorders in particular are something that we have seen a massive increase in demand for, especially among young people.
“One of the things we’re going to focus on is trying to expand services as quickly as possible to meet the needs, because we know we’re not meeting all the demand.
She added: “As a society we have changed a lot in terms of how we talk about mental health, the impact of social media on our mental health and what we need to do about it.
“Being much more open about our mental health (has led to) an explosion in demand. And we’re really racing to try to maintain that ability.