When Matty J was 20 years old, he underwent cosmetic surgery because of a long-standing insecurity.

I think we can all agree that Matty J[honson] is attractive. We know this because a) his face, and b) a commercial network cast him on a prime-time dating show without any sense of irony.

But it turns out the former Bachelor didn’t always feel quite so comfortable in his own skin.

As an adolescent, Matty was so self-conscious about his appearance that he elected to undergo an otoplasty, a cosmetic procedure more commonly known as ear-pinning.

The media personality exclusively shared childhood pictures with Mamamia to illustrate the results.

Image: Supplied.


But before we get into the details of all that, can we please take a second to acknowledge that ridiculously adorable bow tie?


OK. Thanks. Back to it.

In a conversation with Clare Stephens on Mamamia's podcast, But Are You Happy?, the 36-year-old spoke about the moment he felt insecure as a child.

"I think it might have been grade four [or] grade five and there was this girl who tapped me on the shoulder at assembly. She was like, 'Hey', I turned around and said, 'Yeah', and she goes, 'You've got really big ears,'" he recalled.

"And I remember waiting until we got out of assembly and I went to the bathroom and I cried."

The surgery isn't one he regrets, but upon reflection, he knows it dates back to the "trauma" from that day. 

"It was something as a kid that just kind of stuck with me," he said. "I guess it was just always something that I wanted to kind of rectify."

"I think now I could laugh about it," he continued. "I think I got [an otoplasty] done when I was 20 or so and as a 20-year-old I was nowhere near as robust as I am now."

Image: Supplied.


The reality star also touched on his experience back in 2019 on Weekend Breakfast with Matt, Sarah and Matty J.

"Now, you may look at me and think, 'Wow, Matt's a real natural beauty,'" he joked (but also didn't, because truth.)

"However, I have to confess I've been surgically enhanced. I'm not going to lie to you."

The discussion came after a stranger contacted him on social media with a decade-old photo taken at the Brisbane agricultural fair, the EKKA. Matty had worked there as a promo guy handing out chocolate milk.


"It was a photo of me as a 19-year-old," he said. "In this photo, I'm wearing this hat, and one thing that you really noticed that's changed about me is my ears."

Listen to this episode of But Are You Happy with Clare Stephens. Post continues after audio. 

About six months after the photograph was taken, Matty J chose to have surgery — an "excruciating" procedure in which a segment of cartilage is removed from behind the ear to allow it to sit closer to the head.

As the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery notes, it's most commonly performed on children and teens for psychological well-being: "Some may have experienced teasing and taunting as a result of their appearance. Ear surgery may be able to assist in making the ear appear more normal and restore self-confidence."

Matty J at 19. Image: Supplied.


And that was precisely the case for Matty.

"As a kid, I was given the name Dumbo. That name stuck; it really did," he told co-host Sarah McGilvray. "That's what drove me to get my ears fixed. But I'm thankful for those words I was called as a young child, because it drove me to try and be...

"Hotter?" she teased.

Despite Matty's story, Sarah wasn't about to whip out the tissues.

"I can't feel too sympathetic for you Matty J," she said. "All it took was a little bit of ear work, and suddenly you're one of the best-looking blokes in the country."

This story was originally published on October 2, 2019 and has since been updated with new information. 

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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