Valeria Lukyanova could pass for a living Barbie doll: When you think about Barbie, Ken follows closely behind. Barbie and Ken may be the very first love story (between dolls, that is). Although there are several men who have gone under the knife to resemble this iconic doll, the most recognized human Ken doll is probably Justin Jedlica.
The Nickname ‘Human Ken Doll’ – Compliments of 20/20
During an interview for OWN’s series, “Where Are They Now?” Jedlica opens up about how he came to be known as Ken. While Jedlica states that he never actually set out to look like Barbie’s Ken, in a 2012 interview, “20/20” referred to him as the ‘Human Ken Doll.’ Jedlica makes it clear that he is not complaining about his nickname because the Ken doll phenomenon has been very positive for him. Jedlica says that his resemblance to Ken has given him a new purpose and a new career. He states that he will be called the Human Ken Doll forever.
There Are Worse Things in Life Than Looking Like Ken
Although he never set out to look like Ken, in an interview with The Daily Beast, Jedlica admits that there are worse things in life than looking like Barbie’s man: He continues stating that when children play with Ken dolls, they assume that his features represent the way a handsome man should look.
Jedlica’s Initial Inspiration – Japanese Anime Manga
Japanese anime manga was actually Jedlica’s inspiration for the numerous plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures he chose to endure. According to Jedlica, the characteristics of Japanese anime manga resemble an over-stylized, cartoon-like version of the human form.
Jedlica’s Plastic Surgery Journey
As a teen, the popular television series “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” introduced Jedlica to the world of privilege: He considered body contouring procedures and cosmetic surgeries as a symbol of the type of lifestyles he wanted to emulate. Therefore, at 17-years-old, Jedlica began researching plastic surgery procedures. His parents disapproved of cosmetic enhancements, so he had to wait until he turned 18 to have his first plastic surgery procedure. Four days following his eighteenth birthday, he underwent a rhinoplasty (surgery to reconstruct the nose). Since that time, he has had a combination of nearly 200 plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures.
Some of the procedures that he has undergone include:
- Buttock augmentation
- Brow shaving
- Brow lifts
- Lip augmentations
- Cheek augmentations
Jedlica identifies as a gay man. After dating for five years, in 2014, he wed his partner (a successful businessman) in a civil ceremony. Since then, for business purposes, the couple has relocated to Chicago.
Rodrigo Alves and His Quest to Become Barbie’s Ken
Rodrigo Alves has had 42 surgeries in an attempt to look like a living Ken doll. Alves was hospitalized in April of 2016 for a condition called skin necrosis. Physician’s believe that Alves’ body rejected the cartilage used during his most recent rhinoplasty and that this rejection caused the tissue to begin rotting. This condition is referred to as necrosis. Left untreated, necrosis may spread to the surrounding tissues.
Rejection Can Lead To Necrosis
Following a surgery to sculpt his nose, Alves noticed a hole in his recently redesigned nose. The hole turned out to be the result of his body rejecting his new nasal cartilage. According to The Daily Mail, Alves states that the hole initially appeared in his nostril, then, the infection began to eat away at the rest of his nose: He was told that if the necrosis was not addressed, his entire face could be affected.
Necrosis May Lead to Gangrene
Necrosis can occur anywhere on the body and is generally caused by some kind of an external factor (injury, chemicals or infection). When a significant area of tissue dies, the condition is referred to as gangrene. Gangrene can trigger poisoning in the blood; therefore, it is considered a medical emergency.
Treatment for Necrosis
Alves was given antibiotic treatments intravenously every eight hours to help him fight off the infection. In addition, any tissue that was already affected by the necrosis was untreatable, therefore, it had to be removed. At the time of the incident, medical professionals stated that his best option was to replace the destroyed tissue in the hopes that his body will not reject it; however, if the damage is too great, or the replacement tissue is rejected, doctors may need to remove his entire nose. As of yet (May 10, 2016), there is no new information available related to how Alves is recovering or what procedures he will endure to correct the issues created by the necrosis; however, this is not the first time that Alves has dealt with a life threatening issue related to plastic surgery.
Silicone to Enhance Alves’ Upper Extremities Leads to Health Problems
Three years before he suffered with skin necrosis, Alves had a procedure that used silicone to enhance his triceps, biceps and shoulders. The silicone began leaking into his system: Several days later his arms swelled to the point that he was unable to bathe or feed himself. Dangerously close to death’s door, Alves ended up in the hospital with an infection (caused by the leaking silicone). His treatment involved draining liters of fluid from his body. Throughout treatment, physicians told Alves that they may need to amputate one of his arms; furthermore, if the infection reached his heart, he would die.
Alves $400,000 Worth of Procedures
As of 2016, Alves has spent approximately $400,000 on his head-to-toe plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures.
These procedures include:
- Arm fillers
- Leg liposuction
- 6 Nose reconstruction surgeries
- Facial fillers
- Hair transplants
- Calf reshaping
- Leg liposuction
- Imitation abs (to resemble a six-pack)
Alves has been diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), which is an anxiety disorder that affects approximately 1 percent of the population. Individuals who suffer with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have a distorted view about the way they look.
Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
We all watched in horror as Michael Jackson continued to change the way he looked, to his detriment: Unfortunately, by the time of his death, any remnants of the ‘real’ Michael were long gone. Although there is no medical documentation available that states Jackson had BDD, the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation does list him as one of the Famous People with BDD.
Alves is receiving treatment for BDD, upon beginning treatment, Alves said that he hopes it will help him stop changing himself. However, Justin Jedlica denies having any kind of mental illness and compares his desire to change his body to a fashion designer who creates clothes by following trends.
Our society is captivated by beauty, many times to a fault. The perfect beauty we see today is created using innovative tools like Photoshop: Meghan Trainor addresses this issue in her song – All About That Bass. We all want to look our best; however, in my opinion, looking our best should not include fretting over every hair that is out of place or totally reinventing ourselves until we are virtually unrecognizable.