We usually hear of women going through bizarre surgeries in an attempt to look like Barbie, but it deems some men want to turn themselves into dolls as well. A Brazilian air steward living in the UK has spent a whopping $150,000 over the past 10 years, to become a living, breathing Ken doll.
30-year-old Rodrigo Alves has had over 20 cosmetic procedures done on various parts of his body, like Botox and fillers, laser comb hair treatment, abdominal and pectoral implants, liposuction, arm fillers and even calf shaping. Today, Rodrigo says that his quest for the perfect body is still ongoing, even though the surgeries almost killed him at one point.
His long list of surgeries includes 12 major operations and eight smaller procedures. He has spent about $50,000 on nose jobs alone, $15,000 on implants and $40,000 on a fake six-pack, among others. He also indulges in Botox and filler top-ups twice a year and takes collagen pills, anti-water retention pills and hair growth tablets every day. His role model is Barbie’s boyfriend Ken, whom he admires greatly. “With Ken everything is in the right place, his back, his biceps, his jawline. So of course I’d like to look like him. He’s perfect,” Rodrigo says.
It all started with just one nose job 10 years ago. Rodrigo had struggled with the way he looked all through his childhood. “I’ve never felt comfortable in my own skin. When I was little, I was always teased about my nose by my classmates and my family,” he said. “Growing up in Brazil, I hated the way I looked. I’m a naturally smiley person and my nose would spread all over my face. My family would say: ‘Where did you get that nose from?’ They said it’s the biggest nose they’d ever seen.”
So when he grew older Rodrigo was tempted to spend his inheritance on getting rid of the one thing he hated most – his nose. But when that surgery was done, he found himself wanting more. “I hated my nose so much and when the swelling went down I was delighted with the results,” the steward remembers. He just kept going back under the knife, hoping that someday, he would achieve perfection. “I just want to enhance and better myself, that’s what I’m striving for,” he said. “I tried working out to get the results, I went to the best gym in the country, had personal trainers, but it never worked for me. So I went for the quick fix.”
Unfortunately, the ‘quick fix’ turned out to be almost fatal in January, when a Brazilian doctor injected silicone gel into his arms to make them more muscular. The procedure went horribly wrong, the chemical leaked into his system and within days the infection got so bad that Rodrigo’s arms were extremely swollen. He had to go back to the hospital to have liters of fluid drained from his body.
“On the second day, I was left paralyzed in both arms,” he said. “I was relying on my family to look after me. I was crying every day, I was extremely depressed, it was very shocking. I would just pray and cry. It nearly got to a stage where they were talking about chopping my arm off. The doctors said if the bacteria had gone to my heart I would have died.” Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary. Three weeks later he flew back to the UK, fully recovered.
You’d think that with a terrible experience like that, anyone would stop the beauty treatments, at least for a while. But not Rodrigo. “I can’t say I won’t have any more surgery, because I probably will,” he said. “I haven’t yet found an answer to my addiction. It’s just so difficult to control. I’d like to make my shoulders bigger, my bum rounder, my pecs larger and probably another nose job. The fact that I nearly died has made me think twice, but on the third time I always think: ‘Just go for it.’”
But Rodrigo isn’t exactly proud of what he’s done to himself. “It’s nothing that I’m proud about and I don’t encourage anybody else to do it either.” He admits that he’s addicted to plastic surgeries, and he’s even being treated for Body Dysmorphia. The disorder, affecting one percent of the human population, makes people extremely anxious about their appearance. “Hopefully the therapy will help me not to have this desire to keep enhancing and changing myself and having fillers. It’s all very painful,” he said.
I wonder how Justin Jedlica, the world’s most famous human Ken doll feels about a little competition.