Is a human Ken doll lookalike the “ideal man”? One Brazilian man thinks so, and he’s doing everything in his power to achieve that look.
Thirty-year-old Rodrigo Alves has undergone nearly 20 cosmetic procedures — one of which nearly killed him — all so he could mold his body into doll-like perfection. Born in Brazil, the flight attendant was once pudgy and plain-looking (despite having nice natural features) — and felt that Ken’s build was good inspiration to model his own form. “With Ken everything is exactly in the right place, his back, his biceps, his jawline,” Alves told SWNS. “So of course I’d like to look like him. He’s perfect!”
Since then, Alves has spent $170,000 on plastic surgery. He’s had three nose jobs, jaw liposuction, calf shaping, and has even had his abs sculpted. He’s undergone liposuction on his legs, and received pectoral implants as well as fillers in his arms. But it doesn’t end there. According to SWNS, Alves gets Botox injections twice a year; he also takes collagen tablets, anti-water retention pills, and hair growth supplements.
The self-described “worldwide socialite” posts Instagram pictures showing himself decked out in rather flashy suits, hanging with tanned babes on the beach, or partying with Britney Spears. “I live in London * I party in Vegas * I sun bath in the Caribbean” he writes on his Instagram.
Despite his media image and luxurious lifestyle, however, Alves’ plastic surgery addiction is a painful one. Earlier this year, Alves experienced a scare when he developed an infection after being injected with gel in his arms. “It nearly got to the stage where they were talking about chopping my arm off,” he told the NY Daily News. “The doctors said if the bacteria had gone to my heart I would have died.”
On top of the physical pain he must endure, Alves’ addiction is actually a mental illness known as body dysmorphia — a body-image disorder in which the person is obsessed with appearance and physical flaws. Most of the time, these “flaws” are imaginary; the person constantly feels the need to change themselves. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), body dismorphic disorder (BDD) is a "severe psychiatric disorder" that is common and "causes significant distress and impairment in functioning. It is also associated with markedly poor quality of life." NCBI notes that the disorder is often missed in clinical settings. People with the disorder are treated with a combo of serotonin reuptake inhibitors as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure, and response prevention.
The disorder was first defined over 100 years ago by Enrico Morselli, an Italian psychiatrist. "The dysmorphophobic, indeed, is a veritably unhappy individual, who in the midst of his daily affairs, in conversations, while reading, at table, in fact anywhere and at any hour of the day, is suddenly overcome by the fear of some deformity... (which) may reach a very painful intensity, even to the point of weeping and desperation."
“I haven’t yet found an answer to my addiction,” Alves told the Daily News. “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.” In the meantime, Alves is attempting to see a therapist in England.
Amazingly, Alves isn’t the first person to have been given the “Ken doll” title. First it was Justin Jedlica, a 32-year-old gay man from New York who likewise spent over $100,000 on 149 cosmetic surgeries since he was 18 years old. Jedlica, however, has stated that Ken wasn’t his inspiration; instead, he was motivated to look like Anime characters. “I don’t even know if I look like a Ken Doll, but if other people want to say I do, it’s flattering,” he said. “As a kid, you play with Ken dolls and kind of assume that is what a handsome guy is supposed to look like.”