A model whose prominent chin led even her own family to nickname her “Bruce Forsyth” is now preparing to take part in a beauty pageant after going painful corrective surgery.
Sofia Mayers says she was left looking like a “turnip” after surgeons sliced open her gums, broke her jawbone, and then screwed the bone together with metal plates.
But Sofia said it was all worth it as she struggled to breathe and chew due to her misaligned jaws and teeth.
Sofia said dating was "impossible" for her because she always worried that food could drop out of her mouth at the wrong moment.
Sofia, from Ashford, Kent, 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…”
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Sofia's underbite had helped her get modelling work as she had "strong, angular" features that photographers loved.
Those unusual features led to issues with her teeth, though: "I wasn't necessarily really self-conscious of it but it was something my orthodontist and dentist were aware of," she says.
"Unbeknown to me it was affecting my breathing, my chewing and all my eating and digestion."
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After several years in braces to straighten her teeth, Sofia underwent surgery at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, last September.
Maxillofacial surgeons sliced through the gum line, broke Sofia's top and bottom jaw, removed excess bone and then fixed her jaw in a new straightened position using metal plates and screws.
They then attached box elastic bands to her braces to ensure her teeth lined up properly.
After spending three days in hospital, Sofia was allowed home where she was looked after by family.
When the swelling finally subsided the marketing and sales support executive joked that she looked “like a turnip” due to the green and purple splotches of bruising on her face.
"My face quadrupled in size, both of my eyes were black and were closed,” she said.
"It looked like I'd been in a fight with Mike Tyson and The Rock!"
"I couldn't really open my mouth," Sofia added, "but it wasn't wired shut. They did box elastic bands – they were the bane of my life.
"The worst thing of the whole surgery wasn't them breaking my jaw, it was them shoving two giant medical 'tampons' up my nose."
But now five months on, after winning a beauty queen title for Kent, Sofia is still healing and is setting her sights on a national pageant later this year.
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