We all know someone who has had plastic or cosmetic procedures done on themselves. Usually, it is something barely noticeable, like a nose job or some botox injections, and most of the time we wouldn’t bat an eye. However, sometimes we run into someone who has undergone so much plastic surgery that their appearance gives us pause. Rodrigo Alves is such a person; he has undergone more than fifty plastic surgeries and countless other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Now in his 30s, he looks nothing like he did a decade or two ago, and almost exactly like a Ken doll, hence the nickname. This is his story.
Most people have a little something in their appearance that they don’t particularly like. From more noticeable things, like a scar on the face, to tiny things, like unusual nail beds. We would maybe get some cream that purports to make everything perfect, or go to a salon to have a professional do all the work so we don’t have to bother with it.
But many of us wouldn’t rule out plastic surgery if something really bothered us. How often do you hear about a colleague or a friend getting a nose job? Or getting work done on unusually damaged teeth? Or removing a scar or a mole that had been bothering them for years? It’s not weird at all.
Most people, however, draw a line before what Brazil-born Rodrigo Alves has done. Most of you will have heard of him already by another name, as news outlets have dubbed him – “Human Ken Doll”. We have been hearing about this individual for about a decade, each time seeing a shocking new photo of him, and learning of a new procedure he had done somewhere on his body. We have all wondered what was bothering him so much that he had to keep making changes, what he looked like in the beginning before all the changes, how the people closest to him felt about the changes he was making, and how (in the world) he could afford to spend so much money on things most of us feel are unnecessary (over half a million dollars at the last count).
Join us as we attempt to assuage our curiosity and look into Rodrigo’s astonishing life and try to understand a little how he got to where he is now, and where he intends to go from there. Along with all his silicone, plastic, and botox.
Plastic, Human Ken, Let’s Hope Barbie Approves… These are the kinds of headlines that head stories about Rodrigo Alves, a 34-year-old from São Paulo, Brazil. Alves garnered worldwide attention due to his extensive plastic surgeries and aesthetic enhancements. He appears in conventions and television shows about aesthetics to discuss his own changes, as well as his views regarding this field, and is frequently seen rubbing elbows with world-famous celebrities. He has recently returned to the UK (where he lives) from Bucharest, where he had a facelift and an eye-lift.
Alves had his first plastic surgery in 2004, at the age of 19. He went for the classic nose job, that wouldn’t make anyone bat an eye. Unfortunately, he was not very satisfied with that operation, and soon after went back to have another nose job done. He has said that the shape and size of his nose gave him much grief growing up. “I’m a naturally smiley person and my nose would spread all over my face,” he said. “My family would say: ‘Where did you get that nose from?'”
As a student in London, Alves underwent quite a few plastic surgeries. It was enough to startle his family members when he saw them after flying home to Brazil after he finished his studies in London. Reportedly his family staged an intervention, as they were very concerned with his rapid changes, and they eventually talked him into going to see a psychiatrist. Though therapy clearly didn’t dissuade Alves from having additional procedures, it did help to understand what he was experiencing.
A few months ago, Alves was all set to undergo a procedure he had never tried before – operation on his eyeballs to alter their color. This is a pioneering procedure that has only become possible in the last few years, and is approved in very few countries. Therefore, Alves travelled to New Delhi, India, hoping doctors there would perform the surgery, and change his eye-color from its natural brown to gray. Unfortunately for Alves, following examinations preceding the procedure, his eyeballs were deemed too small to adjust to the artificial iris that would be put in. Oh, well. But what procedures did Alves have done?
Extent of surgeries (so far)
Rodrigo’s list of operations is extensive and keeps expanding. At last check, Alves had liposuction in multiple locations, several rhinoplasty procedures, pecs implants put in, a fake six-pack done, hair transplant, calf shaping, fat transfer to his rear end, a facelift, eye lifts, eyebrow lifts, ears pulled back, chin implants, lips augmented, and more botox injections and fillers than we could keep track of. He even had the skin behind his upper lip cut, so his smile would be wider.
Rodrigo Alves thinks of himself as a self-confident person and he is proud of his looks, but that doesn’t stop him from repeatedly changing them. He idolized Disney princes as a boy, and aspires to look like one himself. He looks at his actions as efforts to become the product of his own imagination, and to become what he always wanted. “I get a lot of attention due to my artificial looks”, he said. “But I finally love myself and that is the most important thing of all.”
With over 50 operations to his name, and countless other non-invasive cosmetic procedures, the cost could add up to a substantial amount no matter what. But even more so when each operation Alves chooses to do is more expensive than the next. The costs of the operations he’s had done so far run from 3,000 British pounds a nose job (of which he’s had ten, at last count), to 22,000 British pounds to create a fake six-pack.
As we all know, plastic surgeries are never cheap (unless you don’t care how botched the results would be). So how can Alves afford plastic procedures worth over half a million dollars? Well, we know he worked as an air steward, but at first he could only really afford the procedures because of inheritance he received from his grandparents, as well as income from renting his properties in Spain. In recent years, since he became a celebrity of sorts, he started paying for his operations by doing endorsements and promotions, as well as working on tv shows.
If you are considering plastic surgery, make sure to watch Botched to make sure you know what not do. Botched is an American reality tv show that focuses on botched plastic surgeries. The show follows two doctors and their attempts to repair badly done plastic procedures. Rodrigo Alves will soon be appearing on this show to get consultation and assistance with his nose; during his last appearance on the show, the doctors told him not to get any work done on his nose for a while, but he didn’t listen, and now they will help him deal with the consequences.
Dealing with comments
On what he thinks of hateful comments online, Alves has said that the people making them should take a look at themselves before judging him, and that he is very content with his life. But as self-assured as that sounds, Alves still checks online comments and is not always left unaffected. For instance, he said once: “people attack me online for having a huge head because my chin implant is too big.” Soon after, he changed his chin implant so it wouldn’t be as big, indicating that perhaps other people’s opinions do matter to him more than he said.
Friendships are often formed between people who share common interests, so it should come as no surprise that Rodrigo’s friends are often fellow enthusiasts of plastic surgery. His friends include the “mildly altered”, like Danniella Westbrook, to other “high rollers” like Alves, those who sometimes also receive the label of “human Ken/Barbie” in the media, like Justin Jedlica. He also recently formed an unlikely friendship with someone whose name is not associated with plastic alterations – well-known rapper, Tyga.
Alves recently returned from Iran, where he had a series of plastic surgeries done. One of the procedures he underwent is having porcelain veneers put in; this procedure was actually necessary, as opposed to Rodrigo’s usual endeavors, since doctors accidentally broke his front teeth during his most recent rhinoplasty procedure. Unfortunately, Alves didn’t get to enjoy the new veneers for long, since barely a month after the change, after an incident that apparently involved him getting mugged and his drink “spiked”, Alves woke up to several of his veneers broken.
Diagnosis – part 1
Many have wondered whether extensive, elective plastic surgery means that the person choosing to have them is suffering from some kind of psychological disorder. Well, at least Rodrigo Alves does. After his family staged an intervention when he returned from university, he was sent to therapy since his parents feared that he had body dysmorphic disorder. When asked about this, Rodrigo said: “After one year of treatment, the doctors agreed that I was perfectly sane but that I just had a mirror image issue.” According to Alves, that means that he feels like he was born in the wrong body.
Diagnosis – part 2
But Rodrigo’s mental treatment didn’t end there, and years later he was finally diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder. This disorder is characterized by the patient being fixated on what they perceive as defects in their own appearance, and this often serves as driving motivation to undergo repeated plastic modifications. From an outsider’s perspective, it certainly seems that Alves fits this description perfectly, and apparently his therapists think so, as well. The American Psychiatric Association defines body dysmorphic disorder as a mental disorder, and Alves has been receiving treatment for it for a while.
One of the methods that is recommended for people suffering from body dysmorphic disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. This is a type of treatment that includes no medication, only sessions with a therapist and discussions. The point of this treatment is to change the manner of thinking and behaving directly, which would result in the patient’s problem being resolved. Alves himself is being treated with this method, so he would hopefully learn to handle his disorder better.
Another human Ken doll
Even though Rodrigo Alves is very distinct in the extent and amount of plastic procedures he underwent, he is not the only human Ken doll out there. Justin Jedlica, currently a model and a consultant on plastic procedures, is also famous for his repeated plastic procedures (over 500, at last count). However, while Alves is solely focused on himself and the outcome he likes, Jedlica is involved in nearly every part of the preparation for the procedures, since the artistry involved is a major part of what draws him to plastic surgeries.
Rodrigo Alves has been suffering from weight issues for years (mostly consisting of his own dissatisfaction with his weight), which made him decide to undergo many liposuction procedures. Unfortunately, he has been handling recent pressures in his life by overeating. This has resulted in a rapid gain of about forty pounds, which inhibits Alves from wearing his tight-fitting designer clothes. Alves recently said: “I have been stuffing my face like crazy and I’ve gained more weight than ever!” He can’t resort to his usual method of weight-loss, either, since doctors say any additional liposuction would be too dangerous for him.
Alves attributes his weight gain to crippling anxiety. He said: “I have been suffering from anxiety lately, which lead me to gain nearly over forty pounds.” While his body dysmorphic disorder is in itself an anxiety disorder, Alves said there are other issues causing him anxiety nowadays, from a recent mugging, to doctors telling him recently that the risks are too high for him to undergo most plastic surgeries. He has been advised to take a break, otherwise he would be risking his life.
Alves is often featured on many tv shows and programs in several countries, including the UK and the US, as well as Germany, Romania, Turkey, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Poland, Brazil, and Colombia. Alves is a vastly popular subject for style and fashion programs to interview, with his extensive knowledge in plastic procedures, and his clothing line for men. He is such a prominent figure in this industry that he received an award for being the most inspirational personality of 2016 by The Aesthetic Academy.
Hopes for the future – work
Alves is very passionate about style and grooming. So much so that he hopes to have his own chat show, where he could discuss these things and lead the conversation of plastic surgery to a more accepting place. He has also decided to develop his own brand of male grooming products, as well as a line of clothes. Most recently he has started working on a documentary to explore the culture of plastic surgery in different places around the world.
Hopes for the future – aesthetics
While for many years Alves has dealt with his weight by undergoing repeated liposuction procedures, his doctors warned him that there is too much scar tissue in his body following these procedures, and he could risk his life if he continues. He planned to have a gastric bypass done before realizing how severe the side-effects could be. Therefore, he has decided he wants to lose weight “the natural way”, and for the first time in his life he is going to the gym.
There are many risks to undergoing multiple plastic surgeries, and Alves has experienced quite a few of them – infection, bacteria, scar tissue so damaged it dies off… For example, in April of 2016, Alves was hospitalized with necrosis (a form of premature cells’ death) after yet another rhinoplasty resulted in an infection; a hole formed in his nose and got increasingly bigger, to the point where Alves had difficulties breathing. He spent hours on antibiotics via IV drip, and doctors warned that the infection could eat through his nose.
Very recently, Alves faced yet another consequence of multiple plastic surgeries, but one of which no doctor had warned him. He was detained for hours while trying to get through the airport in Dubai, since officials saw that his face was very different compared with his passport picture. Reportedly, this had happened to him before at JFK airport in New York, so he was not very surprised; however, on this occasion he was detained for quite a while, certainly longer than ever before. In the end, he was allowed to enter the country.
In spite of the repeated incidents, and the possible risk to his life, Alves should consider himself lucky that at least he doesn’t have Neven Ciganovic’s problems. Ciganovic is a fellow plastic-surgery enthusiast, who flew to Iran recently to undergo rhinoplasty. He claims that he had a bad reaction to the anesthesia, and that after he returned home he noticed that he was suffering from erections that last for hours at a time. Apparently, this medical condition can happen if damage is done to the nervous system, and it could cause long-term damage if not treated properly.
If you are considering plastic surgery and searching for a doctor, Rodrigo Alves would be the person to ask for recommendations. Alves has said in the past that he regretted his first plastic surgeries, the ones he had done in the UK, since he mostly paid attention to whether the doctors were expensive, or not. He later said that cost doesn’t indicate experience, and experienced doctors are what’s important. Since then, he has gone mostly to doctors in Brazil, the US, and Iran, where plastic surgeries are more common than in the UK, and where doctors would have more experience.
Plastics of Hollywood
For those who cannot get enough of Rodrigo Alves, you will be glad to hear that he will soon be featured in a new major reality show called “Plastics of Hollywood”, which puts the most plastic people in Hollywood in the limelight. The show will feature 12 plastic-surgery enthusiasts, including human Ken and Barbie dolls, but also individuals who model themselves after curvier figures, like Jessica Rabbit and Kim Kardashian. Between them, these individuals have spent almost 3 million dollars on various procedures and surgeries.
Vowing off surgery
Despite having had nearly $540,000-worth of plastic surgeries on his body in order to look like a Ken doll, Rodrigo Alves now claims that he will never get plastic surgery again. The reason for this is because he realized that his appearance is so radically different from his official documentation that he has begun to have legal trouble – most notably when he went to Dubai and was almost denied entry into the UAE.
Except for fixes
Well, as it turns out, he will not stop with the surgeries 100 percent. Alves claims that in order to maintain his appearance as it currently is, he needs to have constant upkeep of his face and body. This includes botox injections, liposuction, veneers on his teeth, and many other procedures. What do you think? To us, all of those sound like surgeries. Hopefully he will be happy with how he looks soon.
Attacked by night walkers
Rodrigo Alves was with a lady friend one night when he was robbed. Well, kind of. He was in the posh city of Mallorca on the southern coast of Spain at a nice lounge. When he went to pay the bill, he discovered that his tab was $600. He asked how that could be, and the bartender told him that a group of Spanish escorts who were sitting on the other side of the bar had ordered drinks onto his tab.
Going to Iran
With the number of surgeries racking up and the cost coming out to astronomical figures, Rodrigo Alves needed a way to cheaply get his plastic surgery fixes. He started looking around, and he realized that all of his plastic surgeons in Los Angeles were Persians who were originally from Iran. So, the first chance he got, he flew out to the Islamic Republic in order to get some touch ups done.
Loving the country
Alves flew from Dubai (he ended up getting into the emirates after a three-hour-long interrogation) to the Iranian island of Kish, which situated in the Arabian Gulf. Kish is unique in that you do not need a visa to visit and it is one big free trade zone. With its numerous malls, luxury hotels, Persian hospitality (and, of course, the Persian food), Alves has gone on record saying that he loves the country.
Rodrigo Alves does however note the vast differences between his open and warm Brazilian culture and the culture in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He says that he was shocked to learn that there was no alcohol in Iran and that women must always keep their hair covered. He also was shocked to learn that there are no public displays of affection in the country and that generally people do not touch each other – the complete opposite of Brazil.
Safer in Iran than NYC
In a recent interview with the popular news network Russia Today, Rodrigo Alves said that he felt completely safe in Iran. He said that he did not feel safe in New York City and that Iran was a safer place to be in than even London. This is in complete contrast to what we have been hearing about the Islamic Republic for years. When most Americans think of Iran, they think of the hostage crisis. But it turns out the country seems quite safe.
The way that Rodrigo found the perfect cosmetic surgeon on the Iranian island of Kish was not in the way that you might think. No, he did not ask for recommendations from his Iranian doctors in Los Angeles. And no, he did not do tons of research on the internet. It turns out that he was scrolling through Instagram and happened upon the clinic’s Instagram ad. The clinic’s name, you may ask? Persian Beauty Clinic.
Cheaper in Iran
Cosmetic surgery is a whole lot cheaper in Iran. And not just cheaper by a few dollars, rather we are talking about a fraction of the price in the US. The average price of rhinoplasty (or a nose job for those of us who are not doctors) in the United States can be anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on where you go. But in Iran? The same surgery costs a measly $2,000. Wow, what a bargain!
Rodrigo Alves had to spend more time than he wanted to when he was in Iran waiting around. Not because he had to wait in line in order to get surgery, and not because he was being held up by the authorities. It turns out that he had ordered a chin implant to the doctors on Kish island, and the implant had simply not gotten there in time. Just like when we are waiting on our latest online purchase to come, so too was Alves waiting on a new chin.
Unhappy young adult
Rodrigo was certain that he was born in the wrong body. He said: “In my dreams I look a certain way, but then getting up in the morning and looking at myself in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself.” He was severely unhappy, and kept finding so-called flaws in his appearance that he wanted to change. In spite of all the procedures and operations, he is still on a quest trying to reveal his true self.
From Ken to Barbie
Alves recently surprised his fans by announcing that he would like to undergo a sex-change operation. He said he made this decision not for the reason people usually do, because they feel that they were born in the wrong gender, rather because he would rather be an old woman than an old man. He said he is happy as a man for now, but when he is older, he would like to go the same way as Caitlyn Jenner. He said: “When I reach my late 50s, I would rather be a sexy old lady than a saggy old man.”
Another human Barbie doll
How can we discuss Kens so much without mentioning a Barbie? One of the most famous human Barbie dolls is a young Moldovan woman named Valeria Lukyanova. Her videos and photographs have been drawing much attention in the past few years due to her unusual appearance. However, as opposed to Justin and Rodrigo, Valeria claims to have done only breast-augmentation, with the rest being her natural Nordic-Baltic appearance that she is so proud of, along with some creatively-applied makeup.