Bruce Forsyth – rest his soul – was known for his ‘nice to see you, to see you nice’ catchphrase, as well as his somewhat prominent chin.
When 22-year-old Sofia Mayers was compared to the compere – with her family joking that she looked like him due to her underbite – she took drastic action, going under the knife for gruelling surgery to ‘correct’ her jaw.
The procedure saw her gum line sliced and her top and bottom jaws broken, before they were realigned and secured in place with meal plates and screws.
Shocking photos show how Sofia’s face quadrupled in size and she was left looking like she’d been brawling ‘with Mike Tyson and The Rock’.
Despite the pain, however, the model from Ashford, Kent, is pleased with how the surgery went, and she’s now preparing to enter a top beauty pageant to show off her new look.
Sofia said: ‘I’ve always had an underbite and when I was younger it was very endearing.
‘My family would say “ooh Brucey, it’s [the underbite] really cute” as in Bruce Forsyth, it was a really sweet family joke.
‘It was always really funny but as I got older I was like “I don’t really want to have a big chin and be compared to a man in his 80s”. He was a national treasure – but still.’
There were other issues caused by Sofia’s underbite that prompted her to look into surgery, and her orthodontist and dentist warned her it could be affecting everything from her breathing to her digestion.
It wasn’t an easy decision either, as the misalignment of her jaw was a selling point for her modelling, with photographers saying she had a ‘strong, angular’ look.
But years of wearing braces pushed Sofia’s bottom teeth forwards and upper teeth backwards that much it created a massive three-finger wide gap. This meant she was unable to chew properly, keep food in her mouth or speak without a lisp.
Sofia said: ‘I had a very definite nose and a very sharp and angular face – perfect for modelling, they loved it – but it was very angular.
‘I didn’t choose to have the surgery for cosmetic reasons, it was more the medical benefits from it…
‘Before I had the surgery I could fit three of my fingers in my mouth with my mouth open normally, it made eating impossible because my teeth were in the wrong position.
‘It also made going on dates impossible as I wasn’t able to eat anything in case something fell out of my mouth, which would be really embarrassing.
‘I was told “if you don’t have the surgery done by the time you’re in your late 20s you might not have any front teeth – they might have worn away”.’
Sofia underwent surgery at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford in September last year, spending three days as an inpatient during recovery.
It was a difficult time, and she suffered with extreme swelling on her face that forced her to sleep upright for four weeks in a desperate bid to reduce it.
‘I looked like a turnip,’ said Sofia. ‘My face was purple but there were patches of my normal skin colour and there was green on there too, it really was a look.’
Due to being on a predominantly liquid diet, naturally petite Sofia’s weight also plummeted from 8st to 6.5st in a matter of weeks.
She said: ‘I’m vegan, which makes it really hard, and I’m allergic to gluten so trying to find foods that were easily liquidised, had lots of calories in them that were vegan and gluten-free [was difficult].
‘I’m put off mashed potatoes for life because I had liquid mashed potato, I highly recommend not eating it because it’s disgusting.’
Looking to the future, Sofia is focusing on her pageant ambitions and has her eye on a national title that would see her flown to Indonesia to compete.
The model wants to share her stunning transformation to inspire others suffering with extreme under or overbites to take the plunge and seek help – but warns it isn’t a ‘quick fix’.
Sofia said: ‘I can breathe a lot better now, I’m still learning to chew but it’s a long process – they said it could take a year to recover.
‘I’m glad it’s over and done with. Cosmetically speaking I do like my side profile now, I think it suits my face a lot more…
‘I’ll always look back and still love my little wonky face, it’s a very big change and I’m still getting used to it.
‘It’s not just an overnight quick fix. Anyone considering having it done needs to consider these different aspects of it.’
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