Mr King, 36, who starred on The Only Way is Essex until 2013, told MPs how he ‘felt pressure to look a certain way’ based on the reactions his posts got online (pictured today)
Ex-The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) star Charlie King has revealed how a botched nose job plunged him into the ‘depths of despair’.
The 36-year-old, who starred in the ITV reality TV show until 2013, opened up to MPs today about his battle with body dysmorphia.
Mr King told how he ‘felt pressure to look a certain way’ based on the reactions his posts got online.
The influencer, who now models his own clothing brand, claimed that he became ‘obsessed’ with his nose during lockdown, which had been broken when he was 18.
Mr King, who dated reality star Gemma Collins in 2012 before coming out as gay in 2014, added: ‘The surgeon agreed, “we can improve that”.
‘And with my nature as a person, I was like “I’ve got the validation I need, let’s do it”.’
But he revealed that the nose job in July 2021, on London’s Harley Street, ‘didn’t go to plan’.
He was left with scar tissue, a collapsed nostril and told he faced a 12-month long wait before it could be operated on again.
Mr King said: ‘Every day of my life in that waiting period until I had surgery number two, I just had to get on with it.
‘And I went to the depths of my despair, hence I’ve had to move back and live with mum right now, I couldn’t earn money, I was depressed, I’m still not myself.’
He claimed he has been left with an ‘obvious deformity’, which will need to be fixed ‘another time’.
In a social media post, he said the picture (post operation) shows that the scar tissue in his nose was ‘out of control’ and his nostrils and tip of the nose ‘are not right’ or symmetrical
WHAT IS BODY DYSMORPHIA?
Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance.
These flaws are often unnoticeable to others.
The condition, which mainly teenagers and young adults suffer from, is thought to 0.5 per cent of Britons, or one in 200 people.
Its symptoms include worrying a lot about a specific area of the body – particularly the face and comparing looks with others.
Sufferers also may look in the mirror a lot or avoid them, spend lots of time trying to conceal flaws and pick at their skin to make it smooth.
These symptoms can get better without treatment. If they are mild, patients are usually referred for talking therapy.
Those suffering moderate symptoms may be offered therapy or an antidepressant.
Patients with the most severe body dysmorphia are usually given both therapy and antidepressants.
Mr King detailed his struggled with body dysmorphia while speaking to a Health and Social Care Committee inquiry.
MPs are examining the relationship between people’s perception of their body image and their physical and mental health to determine whether NHS services and Government messaging needs to be altered.
They are also looking into whether people who experience negative body image are drawn to surgery and if there is enough support and regulation in place to ensure patient safety.
In a session in March, Vamps guitarist James Brittain-McVey detailed how his stint on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here worsened his anorexia.
Today, Mr King said: ‘I didn’t really know I had body dysmorphia. I just thought I was a very self-critical person and knew that I was quite compulsive.
‘I felt these pressures to look a certain way because I’d seen through social media when people were responding to me the most is when I had my top off and a six pack.
‘If I wasn’t getting that validation it was this constant battle that I needed to keep like that.’
Body dysmorphia is an anxiety disorder that causes sufferers have obsessive worries about their perceived flaws.
It is thought to affect 0.5 per cent of people in the UK, one in every 200 people, but teenagers and young adults are the most likely to have it.
Mr King said his attention turned to his nose, which had been broken two decades ago, during lockdown when he was isolated and on his own.
He has previously shared on social media that he believed his nose was too big and lacked definition.
He told MPs: ‘It was something that I just became obsessed with. It needs to change, I need to fix it, I need to go and see a plastic surgeon, so I did.
‘And the surgeon agreed, ‘we can improve that’. And with my nature as a person, I was like ‘I’ve got the validation I need, let’s do it’.’
The former reality star said: ‘I think when you walk into a surgeon’s office — I was always told I was quite a nice looking guy but it was never enough.
‘And when I sat there, there was never any analysis on previous history, how my mental health had been in the past.
Mr King, 36, who starred on The Only Way is Essex until 2013 and dated reality star Gemma Collins in 2012 (pictured pre-op) before coming out as gay in 2014, told MPs how he ‘felt pressure to look a certain way’ based on the reactions his posts got online. The influencer, who has his own clothing brand, said he became ‘obsessed’ with his nose during lockdown, which had been broken when he was 18
Mr King (pictured pre-op) said the procedure ‘didn’t go to plan’. He was left with scar tissue, a collapsed nostril and told he faced a 12-month long wait before it could be operated on again. Mr King said: ‘Every day of my life in that waiting period until I had surgery number two, I just had to get on with it. ‘And I went to the depths of my despair, hence I’ve had to move back and live with mum right now, I couldn’t earn money, I was depressed, I’m still not myself’
‘Looking back now, if the surgeon had given me a different approach and actually said to me “you don’t need this”, or unless it’s medical or something, “we need to make sure you’re mentally prepared for this because this a big ordeal to change your face and it can have a big psychological impacts” – for some better, for some worse.’
Mr King said his nose job ‘didn’t go to plan’ and he ‘couldn’t do anything about it’.
He said: ‘There I was with scar tissue, collapsed columella and the surgeon was like ‘we’ll have to wait’.
‘So every day of my life in that waiting period until I had surgery number two, I just had to get on with it.
Mr King added: ‘I had to live with that and there was no resources apart from “we’ll fix it in a years time, when you’ve healed”.
‘That year still us one of the most challenging periods of my life because I took a decision because I thought there was an improvement to be made.’
He called for there to be a period of time between consultations on plastic surgery procedures, with medics providing resources on mental health before Britons ‘spend thousands of pounds on something which may or may not give you the results you are looking for’.
Mr King said plastic surgeons should put patients in touch with body dysmorphia charities.
Mr King said: ‘Body dysmorphia is an appearance disorder.
‘You need to make sure just because you’re touching your nose for example, in my case, that was not going to be the start of something else because was I ever really going to be happy with my nose with my condition? Who knows?
‘But now I have an obvious deformity with it which I will need to fix another time.’