Just last week, Modern Family actor Reid Ewing was greeted with universal praise after he penned a powerful open letter detailing struggles with depression and body dysmorphia, revealing disgust in his own appearance that was so severe, he felt his only option was repeated plastic surgeries. His emotive words touched on his fragile mental state at the time – he was just 19 – and he spoke of his regret at having the procedures done, and in turn questioned the lack of mental health screening that ought to have been a prerequisite to surgery. His op-ed highlighted that issues with physical appearance are as prevalent as ever for both men and women, especially those who work in the public eye.
“Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental illness in which a person obsesses over the way he or she looks,” he wrote in his essay. “In my case, my looks were the only thing that mattered to me.”
“I think people often choose cosmetic surgery in order to be accepted, but it usually leaves them feeling even more like an outsider. We don’t hear enough stories about cosmetic surgery from this perspective,” he added.
The 27-year-old’s essay went viral, and understandably the conversation continued through social media. He tweeted about a Good Morning America feature from 2011 about body dysmorphic disorder that was attached to his story and got a conversation going on Twitter.
In response to Ewing’s tweet calling Eugene Bata, the man who was featured in the story, “hot af,” a Twitter follower questioned his sexuality, wondering, “@media_reid Did you also just out yourself?” to which the actor responded, “I was never in.”
@MichaelJMapes I was never in
— Reid Ewing (@media_reid) November 21, 2015
The actor has been lauded by many for bravely being open about his sexuality and helping to spread awareness about mental illness. His decision to open up about his sexuality via social media is similar to model and upcoming actress Lily-Rose Depp, who publicly participated in an art project that seems to indicate the French-American teenager doesn’t identify as heterosexual but is sexually fluid.
Many then took to Twitter to praise and congratulate Ewing for his words, and indeed he should be commended for being unapologetically himself, and encouraging others to address any possible mental health issues before opting to drastically alter their appearance.
“Before seeking to change your face, you should question whether it is your mind that needs fixing.”