When the average American thinks about plastic surgery, their mind might jump to celebrities. Success stories like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who have reinvented white beauty standards with their expensive bodies, appropriating traditionally black features like full lips and fuller butts to enormous monetary benefit. Horror stories like Renee Zellweger’s unrecognizable face and Tara Reid’s sunken breasts. But there’s a whole underclass of low-tier celebrities who have made a name for themselves via extreme plastic surgery. Unlike Renee Zellweger or Kim Kardashian, they are not famous for anything else.
These Plastic Surgery Celebs, as I term them, make their living through interviews, social media, reality television bits, and live appearances, all relating to their respective alterations. They are a modern Freak Show; interviewers and social media captions alike frame their entertaining difference with a 21st-century respect for (expensive) individualism. It’s okay to stare: Plastic Surgery Celebs want you to do so. They chose this difference. It is how they pay their rent.
Alternatively, they are framed as addicts, throwing money at the momentary thrill of a new face. When Plastic Surgery Celebs appear on Botched, a reality show featuring two Beverly Hills surgeons who fix sloppy (aka, unnatural-looking) work, Dr. Nassif and Dr. Dubrow invariably say that they cannot treat them in good conscience. Their aesthetic desires lay beyond the pale of physical health, not to mention good taste. Plastic Surgery Celebs receive a stern warning instead of a transformation, but collect their check just the same.
Whether you think plastic surgery is a classist addictive behavior or an important form of modern expression (or all of the above), it takes a good deal of…well, something, to turn cosmetic surgery into celebrity (though what exactly, I’m not sure. Grit? Self-importance? Self-loathing?). In any case, these are ten of many people who have done it.
1. Justin Jedlica, aka “The Human Ken Doll”
Justin Jedlica got his first nose job four days after he turned 18. That was in 1998. Since then, he has undergone over 700 cosmetic procedures; including cheek, lip, and butt augmentations, as well as implants in his chest, shoulders, and arms.
“It’s not bad plastic surgery if it’s what you asked for,” he said to a Metro reporter in 2014. In the same interview, Jedlica says he considers himself to be an artist, constantly re-designing his body to express his changing taste. He uses the language of addiction when he describes his friends, a group of “plastic surgery junkie” types.
Jedlica started appearing on reality television in 2012, beginning with an “Extreme Plastic Surgery” segment on 20/20, then moving on to My Strange Addiction and Oprah: Where Are They Now? in 2014. In 2015 and 2016 he added Botched, Ice & Coco, Celebrity Botched Up Bodies, and Million Dollar Matchmaker. On Million Dollar Matchmaker, he played himself, the millionaire bachelor. (He had just broken up with his husband of two years. They had been living together in Chicago’s Trump Tower.)
As of 2019, Jedlica is peddling recovery kits and design consultations for plastic surgery patients. “Your body is your temple, and Justin is here to act as the architect—your design specialist,” reads the “Consulting” tab on his personal website. Under the “Shop” tab you can buy shirts that read, “PROUD TO BE PLASTIC.”
2. Rodrigo Alves, also aka “The Human Ken Doll”
In the summary block of Rodrigo Alves’s Wikipedia page it reads, “Known for: Extensive plastic surgeries.” In February of this year he appeared on This Morning to reveal his 70th surgery: an eleventh rhinoplasty. At this point, many of Alves’s surgeries are performed to correct past surgeries, like his tenth rhinoplasty, which left him unable to breathe from his nose. He talks about these surgeries for a living; he has appeared on more than 105 television shows in over 16 countries. “And that’s my full-time job!”
Alves’s Instagram bio reads: “Television Personality [television emoji] Celebrity Big Brother UK [British flag].” This is a bold choice on Alves’s part, as he was kicked off the show by producers for a number of events, such as responding to the question of who his type was by dropping the n-word. (Producers only gave him a warning, but over a thousand viewers complained to the UK government.) Still, Alves has over 800k Instagram followers. He also performed his song, “Plastic World” at the opening of the Eurovision party in May of 2019. There are rumors that he was asked to compete in Eurovision proper for San Marino, a microscopic country in northern Italy that has managed to retain independence due to its hilly geography and political irrelevance, but Alves refused, stating that he wanted to maintain international appeal.
The hook of “Plastic World” goes, “Livin’ la vida loca, I’m sexy and hot.” (Though I cannot verify, as no one, fan nor artist, has bothered to write out the lyrics online.) Alves sings through heavy autotune with featured artist Giacomo Urtis, one of Alves’s trusted plastic surgeons. The music video features Alves attempting to dance in step with Urtis and a dozen background performers. One comment from EAB82 has 220 likes: “I am embarrassed for his soul.”
3. Susan Sykes, aka “Busty Heart”
Susan Sykes became “Busty Heart” at a Celtics playoff game in 1986. While the camera was trained on NBA prospect John Salley, Sykes shook her breasts behind him, and her legend was born. She began attending Celtics games for free, and even pranked Jack Nicholson at a Lakers game once by cupping his face in a giant bra. There were five golden years when Busty Heart served as unofficial Celtics mascot. She quit the game after getting fined by the Cardinals for skipping lewdly. Sykes didn’t want to be too distracting; she felt the public’s goodwill slipping.
Busty Heart decided to become Bustier Heart in 1990, when she added 2000 cc silicone implants to her already ample bosom. With these new additions to her body, she discovered a new talent: crushing things with her breasts. It started as a joke with a Styrofoam cup. Sykes eventually learned how to crush bricks with her breasts in Japan. Busty Heart has performed breast-crushing on a number of shows, such as America’s Got Talent (where she received universal no’s), Das Supertalent (a German talent show where she made it to the semi-finals), and The Man Show. Her specialty is pulverizing watermelons.
Sacha Baron Cohen even wrote Busty Heart’s talents into his film, The Dictator, in which Sykes plays a bodyguard whose wields her breasts as weapons. When Busty Heart appeared on Botched in 2015 to fix her liposuction, the doctors focused on her breasts instead. Dr. Dubrow praised her for optimizing her investment. He’s not wrong—when Sykes attended that first Celtics playoff game, she was sleeping in her car. “I parlayed 15 seconds of fame into a 30-year-career,” Sykes told a Boston reporter in 2012.
Nowadays, Sykes’ breasts are insured. She owns a strip club called “Busty Heart’s Place,” a mountaintop, and an island off the coast of Maine.
4. Valeria Lukyanova, aka “Human Barbie Doll”
Valeria Lukyanova never wanted to be the “Human Barbie Doll.” Her fanbase formed around the title before Lukyanova could have a say in the matter. Methinks the lady doth protest too much, given her lifestyle commitment to looking like a human Barbie doll, but in any case, the opportunity for fame presented itself, and Lukyanova, an aspiring Ukrainian model, decided to take it.
Lukyanova claims to have only received plastic surgery in the form of a breast augmentation, and credits extreme dieting for the rest of her body. She’s a raw vegetarian who only consumes food in liquid form (one reporter took Lukyanova out to an Indian restaurant and watched her mix all three chutneys into her carrot juice). Lukyanova has been interviewed and/or profiled by popular American media outlets like Jezebel, Vice, and GQ, though she’s far more famous in Russia, where she currently lives. She even defended herself on Russian news shows after the spate of American attention brought waves of comments calling her body (and persona) fake.
In addition to an otherworldly body, Lukyanova has an otherworldly soul. She practices and teaches astral projection, the art of projecting one’s soul out of their body and through the universe. Lukyanova often writes music when she projects, and has recorded two albums. She refers to herself by her spiritual name: “Amatue.”
One thing Lukyanova doesn’t believe in? Interracial mixing, which she described to a GQ reporter as “degeneration.” She longs for the pure white aesthetics of women from 1950’s and 60’s, back before, of course, people of color existed.
Lukyanova has just under 800k Instagram followers. She describes herself first as a “Metaphysician,” following a row of emojis: the Mexican flag, a purple heart, a purple Om, and white prayer hands.
5. Mayra Hills, aka “Beshine”
The homepage to Beshine’s personal blog reads in all caps: “Beshine loves having the biggest tits in the universe and welcomes you with her record breaking and ever growing breasts on her blog.”
While there is no official record for the universe’s biggest tits, German adult model Beshine, born Mayra Hills, has got a pretty decent claim to the throne. As of 2015 she wore a size 32Z bra to accommodate the 20 pounds of saline in each of her breasts. Nowadays, she tells her fans she’s a size “triple infinity,” because her boobs continue to expand (a 2017 blog post reads: “the boobie greed is still strong so I keep growing and expanding my boobies to even more extreme sizes”).
Beshine’s main site, “Beshine.com,” features adult content: little movies, naughty pics of Beshine lying down with her face almost entirely obscured by her planetary breasts. You can sign up for access to her cache (updated weekly) for only $30 a month. According to the “About Me” tab of her site, she’s just like any other German gal with infinitely-expanding breasts. Her favorite things to do are, “Reading, dancing, rollerblading, doing Sports…” and her favorite place is, “Where the Sun is shining.” That being said, it can be hard for her to do normal things, like shop for clothing (in one blog post, she recalls several store owners insisting she pay for clothing she had tried on and stretched out in the process), or going out with friends (in another post, she knocks over two bottles of wine while out to dinner).
Beshine frames the question of plastic surgery as a question of freedom to express individuality: “I have no time for intolerant people so I’m not interested in those peoples opinions. I do what I like. It would be boring if everyone were the same.” (True, though I imagine some of those “intolerant” people are doctors with her best interest at heart. Perhaps, though, Beshine recognizes this, and still believes to know better. This is the best way for her to live. This is Beshine expressing herself most fully, no matter the physical expense.)
6. Natasha Crown
“My bum is like another dimension,” Natasha Crown, owner of the world’s biggest butt, says in a voiceover on her 2018 episode of Botched. “I have broken chairs with my butt, I have broken beds, I have broken people.” She laughs. Crown’s predilection for bigger everything is in direct rebellion to Swedish beauty standards. (She has lived in Sweden ever since spending her young childhood in Serbia.) “Everyone wants to be a size 0 and I’m a size 50!” Since 2014, she has had three Brazilian butt lifts, one boob job, and chin, lip, and cheekbone fillers.
In addition to Botched, she has appeared on Plastic and Proud, The Doctors, and the German version of the Got Talent franchise—her talent was twerking, she received all three red x’s after a minute of jiggling her bottom and flexing her breasts. The two-minute video of this segment has over 7 million views on YouTube. The comment section is full of diagnoses: overconfidence (“The crazy thing is her confidence weighs 2,000 lbs!!,” “And she thinks she is beautiful [laughing-while-crying emoji]”), lack of confidence (“Poor girl. Someone had to have hurt her self confidence enough for her to get that much plastic surgery”), addiction (“No thanks. She’s that butt injection addict from Serbia who lives in Sweden, right?,” “Omg not this girl, I saw her on a channel about people who get too much plastic surgery.”), and mental illness (“Was she on botched? I think she has extreme body dysmorphia. This was funny though”).
Crown doesn’t necessarily disagree. In her Plastic and Proud segment, she admits, “I think that I have body dysmorphia…When I’m shopping, then I realize that I’m really really big because I can’t find clothes here.” Still, she has no plans on slowing down, despite the shame she receives from social media, television, and her family. (In regards to her family’s opinions, she says in Plastic and Proud, “They are living in another world that I’m not living in.”) Crown runs a personal website where she uploads adult photos and softcore videos. In the words of the Plastic and Proud voiceover, “Her bum is her full-time job.” Crown’s bottom has reached 80 inches—a little over 6 feet around. “I didn’t think it was possible to earn money by having a big butt, but now I see it’s possible. I love my job and I don’t want to do anything else.”
7. Dennis Avner, aka Stalking Cat
Dennis Avner became famous for his body modifications before the age of social media, which is probably why, in his own beloved words, he ‘found fame but never fortune.’ He also differed from other Plastic Surgery Celebs in his reasons for body modification, moored in cultural tradition. Avner was Huron and Lakota. His Indigenous name was Stalking Cat, and his totem animal (or spirit animal) was the tiger. Shannon Larratt, Body Modification e-Zine founder and friend of Dennis, wrote in a tribute piece, “Dennis identified strongly with his feline totem animals and in what he told me was a Huron tradition of actually adopting the physical form of one’s totem, he transformed himself not just into a tiger, but a female tiger at that, blurring and exploring the gender line as much as the species line.”
(Why is crossing species lines so unspeakably worse than crossing gender lines? I whole-heartedly believe that plastic surgery is good and necessary when it comes to gender expression, particularly for trans people. Mostly, I feel uncomfortable when the language of trans gender expression is applied to people who believe they are an animal, or a mermaid, or a baby—clear delusions that are dangerous to conflate in any way with trans narratives. Transphobes certainly don’t need any more ammo for “slippery slope” arguments about what transgender acceptance will lead to. Identifying as another human gender is importantly different than identifying as a make-believe animal. (Though gender is make-believe too am i right?) However, a part of me wonders if these people are actually delusional. Why would they lie about such a thing? Why are there so many of them? What does it cost me to let them express themselves?)
Avner bore an artificially cleft lip, silicone implants throughout his face, customized teeth, tattoos, feline contact lenses, and transdermal whiskers. He often wore a motorized tail. Avner paid for these body modifications through work as a programmer. He didn’t really land on the map until 2008, when he picked up the Guinness World Record for “Most Permanent Transformations to Look Like an Animal.” Avner got a manager and landed some TV spots under the name “Cat Man:” Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Totally Obsessed on VH1, and Weird, True & Freaky on Animal Planet. Avner became a star outside of the insular body modification community, where he’d already inspired others to follow their modification dreams (and the furry community, where he’d also embedded himself). He moved to Nevada in hopes of working in Vegas and living off his body modifications. However, without social media, there wasn’t a sustainable way to monetize his look. Avner eventually committed suicide in his garage.
Avner’s manager, Chuck Harris, appeared on The Wizard of Odd TV to discuss Avner following his 2012 death. “Cat Man, unfortunately, blew his brains out.” Harris continues. “The saddest part about Cat Man? He told everybody I was his best friend. I wasn’t his best friend. He was a client of mine.”
8. Lacey Wildd (born Paula Ann Simonds)
“There’s a million blonde girls with big boobs in this world, but there’s not a million blonde girls with humongous boobs in this world. It just so happens that I am one of those, and one of the only one of those,” Lacey Wildd says in the voiceover of one Barcroft TV segment.
Wildd started off as a pinup model, then pivoted extensive plastic surgery into a career as a reality TV star and “glamour model.” She’s had over 100 surgeries, and has spent over a quarter of a million dollars on her breasts alone. Wildd’s surgeons had to implant an internal bra made out of pigskin to support her QQQ-sized breasts. (Wildd appeared on Botched in 2014 with LLL’s and stated, “I really, really want my triple Q’s. They are so important to me. They are my life, they are the way I make my money, my living, and they’re part of who I am.” After Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Nassif turned her down, fans crowdfunded $23k towards her next boob job.)
Her reality career started in 2011, when she starred in an episode of True Life: “I Have a Hot Mom.” (The episode was from her daughter Tori’s perspective. Wildd was the hot mom in question.) She’s left her kids out of her career ever since, appearing on the usual television shows and YouTube channels that take interest in Plastic Surgery Celebs: My Strange Addiction, Botched, Dr. Drew, Barcroft TV.
In a 2016 Barcroft video, Wildd reveals her next venture as a spiritual medium, which she insists is not a PR stunt—she has long been clairvoyant. She does tarot readings for clients under the name “Ghostbusty.” (Palm, Soul, and In-person Tarot readings are $300. You can also hire Ghostbusty for ghost hunting, which costs anywhere from $300-1200.) Wildd started a YouTube channel for “Ghostbusty TV” in June of this year, posting an amateur intro to the series: “The Wildd, The Weird, The Unknown…” She has not updated the channel since.
9. Herbert Chavez, aka “The Philippine Superman,” or “Man of Plastic”
“If my idol is the Man of Steel, I can be a superhero as the Man of Plastic,” Herbert Chavez tells the camera in his 2015 spot on Botched. Chavez has had over 23 procedures to refashion himself as the Man of Plastic, including multiple nose jobs, a jaw realignment, liposuction, abdomen fillers, and skin-whitening. He first achieved fame in the United States when he was on a National Geographic show titled Extreme Collectors. While Chavez holds no records for plastic surgery (yet), he scored the Guinness World record for most Superman memorabilia for three years straight—2013-2015, before a Brazilian collector inched him out. Only 1,253 of Chavez’s Superman items are certified to count towards the record, but Chavez claims to have over 5,000 items total. He even relocated to a larger house so he could hold all of his memorabilia.
The first movie Chavez ever saw was Superman II, featuring Christover Reeves. The movie struck a note with him, but he wouldn’t explore Superman cosplay more seriously until his adolescence, when a friend gave him used blue contacts for his sixteenth birthday. Around the same time, Chavez started playing with makeup to chisel his face into a superhero shape. For Chavez, extreme plastic surgery is a mere extension of his obsession with Superman: a way to turn himself into a collector’s item.
Chavez does not have a social media following, and has not attempted to expand his Plastic Surgery Celebrity fame beyond a few TV spots he snagged in the mid 2010’s. He has no regrets about his surgeries, claiming that everything positive in his life has happened because of Superman. Chavez plans on continuing with plastic surgery until his body cannot endure it any longer. “I like to show to the people, especially the children of the Philippines, that I’m here. Superman is real.” While Chavez still cannot fly, his surgical transformation is certainly supernatural. Superman is fake, but he is really here.
10. Pixee Fox, aka “The Living Cartoon”
Pixee Fox never really felt like a human. She reveals on one of her episodes of Botched that she feels, “more like a pixie, like a fantasy creature.” This is why she’s had over 200 procedures in pursuit of cartoonish beauty, including four boob jobs, a complete facial reconstruction, six rib removals, and a hair transplant that fashioned her pubic hair into her eyelashes. As always with the extreme surgery patients on Botched, Fox serves as a brief b-plot to the main narrative of tasteful surgical transformations. Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Nassif refuse Fox’s request for a hairline transplant and warn her against future procedures. Dr. Nassif insists to her: “You’re going to look deformed, cartoonish in a goofy, ugly, unattractive way.”
Fox grew up a tomboy. She worked as an electrician in Sweden up until 2014. But, Fox says in her Barcroft TV “Hooked on the Look” segment, “It wasn’t until I started to do the plastic surgery that I find like, wow, this is my thing. I became my own work of art.” Nowadays, according to Fox’s bio on her website, “Pixee Fox is leveraging her millions of views on social media and relationships with the best surgeons all around the world to brand several new companies.” It’s unclear exactly which companies these are, as a quick search yields relatively little brand work, except for something called “Beauty Funder” that links to a dead website.
In any case, Pixee Fox has made a name for herself by starring in television and YouTube videos. She’s been on Botched twice, Tosh.0, Dr. Oz, and The Doctors. Her segments for YouTube channel Barcroft TV have netted millions of views. One such segment featuring Fox and Justin Jedlica introduces Fox as, “one of the world’s most famous plastic surgery addicts.” While the voiceover frames Fox as an addict, the camera frames Fox as a celebrity. Jedlica and Fox walk around Vegas and get stopped by passersby for selfies. Sound from an interview with the two plays over the video. Jedlica says, “What we are really is kind of a lifestyle.” Fox concurs: “Yeah, we are a lifestyle.”
is still figuring it out.