A singer who ran up thousands of pounds worth of debt on credit cards trying to get the perfect face says people need to consider the mental wellbeing aspects of surgery.
Liam Halewood aspired to be a celebrity and have a life on the the big screen for years and admired then lifestyles of the stars.
But he believed he needed a new face in order to make the big time and was bullied because he looked like comedian Alan Carr.
After cosmetic procedures to achieve ‘perfection’ he got into serious debt and faced £16k bill in the space of just one year.
He told the Manchester Evening News : “I got one thing done and realised I could get more done and the nurse just did it because I said I wanted it.
“There was nothing about mental wellbeing. You sit in the chair, get it done and go. That’s as easy as it is.”
He was 28 when he began having cosmetic surgery and the need to change his looks came from wanting to make it in TV.
But deep down he says there were bigger problems which he had not addressed.
He had botox, fillers in his face and lips, non-surgical jaw alignment and hair transplants.
Liam agrees with the findings of a parliament committee on cosmetic surgery that there should be more steps involved – which would allow people to think twice about why they’re going ahead with it.
He said: “I just thought there is no room for real people on TV anymore,”
Liam was concerned about getting older and missing out on opportunities, said. “I thought ‘how can I get this quick fix and how can I present myself to the world in a different way?’
“It was at a time when I didn’t think I was getting anywhere with my career and I thought it would catapult me into the limelight.
“But I actually lost bookings and it didn’t do anything for my confidence really. I understand now there is no such thing as perfection.
“I actually feel that it doesn’t matter how much work you’ve had done, you have obviously got a problem inside that needs sorting.”
He paid for his procedures on his credit card and got heavily in debt living alone after splitting with his ex-partner.
This he convinced himself was worth the investment and once he would hit the big time, he would have the money to pay the bills off quicker.
The Mirror reported earlier Using cards to pay for cosmetic procedures, he admitted was not the right way to go.
He said; “Using credit cards and payment plans for it – it has massive implications,”
“People need to think – does it really make you feel more confident when you’ve got it?
“Are you getting it done by a real nurse who knows what they are doing with the needles?
“Is the right aftercare there? And no, I don’t think there is any aftercare in the current system.”
Liam says the extent of his aftercare following treatments was a phone call, warning him not to use sunbeds.
A new committee report also calls for the government to introduce a law so “commercial images” which feature bodies that have been doctored in any way.
This includes changing body proportions or skin tone and practitioners are legally required to carry a logo to let viewers know they have been digitally altered.
MPs said the impact of body image on mental and physical health is “wide-reaching” and that the government is “not doing enough to understand the scale of the risks” linked to body image dissatisfaction.
He also argues ‘Influencers’ on social media should have to notify their followers when they have used a filter.
“They’re doing a job – if they fake it with a filter, it’s false advertising,”
“There needs to be more regulation on Instagram to stop selling the fake dream.”
His mum pleaded with him to stop altering his appearance and instead believe in his talent.
And around three years ago, a friend encouraged him to shave his head and embrace his natural look.
Liam now describes himself as “hairy, bald, with a 38-inch waist,”
He said: “I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘why am I bothering with all this crap?'”
“It doesn’t matter how much you change on the outside…I actually just got a lot happier within myself.”