The man who has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars turning himself into a real-life version of a Ken doll has claimed that his nose was attacked by a terrifying flesh-eating disease. But this is not his only problem with the procedures he went through, and now shares what is his bigger regret.
You see Ken has embarked on his latest journey…removing his ribs. If you didn’t know, removing a rib or two will make it so that you can have an even smaller waist. Even to the point of making you look un-naturally skinny. Read on to see this journey that has left him bedridden, and what he plans to do about it…
This D-list celebrity was once simply a fresh-faced child called Rodrigo Alves, who was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Due to his family background, he is actually a British national.
His childhood was fraught with body insecurities. But what had caused this timid boy to feel the need to change his look in such a drastic way? And to such an extent that it very nearly killed him?
As Rodrigo experienced puberty, he realized that he was not developing in the same way as his friends. Something was very wrong. In fact, the problem became the trigger for his transformation.
It was something that caused him to be bullied for several years and teased relentlessly. He was verbally and physically abused when others saw how he was developing.
At the tender age of 16, when the change from boy to man is hard enough, Rodrigo was diagnosed with a hormone dysfunction that had terrible results for the already insecure boy from Brazil.
His hormones were behaving incorrectly and his breast tissue started to grow at the same rate as his female friends. He was distraught as he noticed his breast area grow uncontrollably.
By the time Rodrigo was 16, his voice had dropped, he was starting to grow facial hair and other male features of puberty, yet his breasts were extremely prominent. It caused the fragile teen to be mocked mercilessly. He dreaded going to school, where his cruel peers would tease him for having “boobs”, but that was only part of the bullying campaign.
They picked on him relentlessly for having a big nose – they would call it a “potato nose”. They poked and prodded his stomach whilst calling him “jelly belly”. And it wasn’t just verbal abuse….
The hormone abnormality caused weight gain that he could not control. As much as he tried to exercise and curb his eating, he simply grew and grew. His frame was much wider than his classmates and he couldn’t cover up the flab no matter how hard he tried.
He recalls that he had his “face pushed against the urinal because I had a wide nose.” Bullies pushed down a flight of stairs, seeing him as a target because of his physical differences. No-one at school empathised or help him. He was alone and desperately unhappy. The bullying was happening daily and there was no escape for the teen.
Growing up this way, Rodrigo avoided as many social situations as he could. He felt like a freak and no-one wanted to be his friend. Most people would go out of their way to avoid him. He doesn’t like to dwell on these awful days but it’s obvious that it had a profound and life-changing effect on him.
He dreaded going to school each day. The taunts and abuse grew worse and worse and he prayed for the end of his education so he wouldn’t have to face the bullies ever again.
Fast-forward to today and this mild-mannered Brazilian is now in his mid-thirties and has morphed into an uncanny resemblance of a Ken doll. His face looks plastic and his features are like those of Barbie’s boyfriend in the ever-popular Mattel toy range.
He has used his freakish looks to carve out a career of sorts. He endorses products, appears at premieres and loves to work the red carpet for the media. He relishes being in the spotlight and doesn’t mind striking a pose whilst in giant-sized doll packaging boxes. Some might call it tacky but Rodrigo basks in the heat of the lights.
Rewind to when Rodrigo was merely 17. He saved up $3,500 to have his breasts reduced to a normal size for a man, but the scars never truly healed – both physically and mentally. It led to more and more trips to the operating theater as he tried to eradicate all the faults he saw in the mirror.
The list is truly shocking and the cost of each procedure was not only financial, as each operation had potentially deadly consequences.
Since 2004, Rodrigo Alves has had a shockingly huge amount of nips, tucks, tweaks and cuts. Here is a list of just some of the drastic work he’s undergone, after such a traumatic childhood:
Botox, fillers, several nose jobs, liposuction to alter the shape of his jawline, pectoral implants, fillers in his arms, hair transplants, and perhaps the strangest of all, a fake six-pack. That alone set him back $27,500.
Rodrigo has spent a small fortune on his transformation. Hardly any part of his body remains untouched by the surgeon’s knife. He admits to having had a fat transfer operation to obtain the look of a “Brazilian” bottom. His calves have been reshaped and he has had liposuction on his legs to achieve the “Ken” look.
It’s claimed that he has undergone approximately 57 procedures. So how much has it cost him to date?
The answer is a staggering $880,000. He earns money from endorsements, magazine appearances and has received some inheritance over the years. In addition, he received payment and notoriety for appearing on “Celebrity Big Brother” in the UK.
The hugely popular reality show did not gain him more fans; as he was abruptly evicted after using the “N-word” live on television. He claimed he had uttered it when drunk but the producers were having none of it. He left in disgrace and the footage was never aired.
They say that there is no such thing as bad publicity and Rodrigo continues to amass followers on his Instagram account. It currently stands at 815,000, though not all of them are kind with their comments.
Several are incredibly rude and seem to think that it’s okay to bully him online. Even after all these years and all the changes that Alves has made, he cannot outrun the bullies.
One of his extremist procedures was this: Rodrigo famously had four ribs removed. Yes, taken out of his body. He did it because he wanted his waist to look smaller and to achieve a 20-inch waistline. In 2018, when he did it, he claimed that he had gone through the $24K procedure in order to look more special, and not in order to match conventional beauty standards.
Rodrigo told Barcroft TV: “Having my ribs removed is not important. What’s important to me is to look a certain way “I like to look different. I like the fact that I have reinvented myself, with the help of plastic surgery, and that I don’t look like any other man, I don’t look like anyone else and I do like that.” After the surgery he did lose five inches from his waist, but there were other things that he didn’t expect when he went under the knife.
Now, over a year after his ribs surgery, he reveals he has one big regret about the countless procedures he had gone through. He shares that he suffers the most not from the nose or the other surgeries, but from the removal of the ribs. Speaking to MailOnline, Rodrigo said: I am in pain in the evenings. It’s not unbearable but it’s on my mind and now I wonder what I was thinking. I’ve been left with two scars on my back, but the worst thing is, I don’t feel any smaller than I did before.
Other than the pain and the scars, Rodrigo also says he has to wear a corset all the time and even though he did the surgery to achieve a 20-inches waistline, he admits: I only look smaller when I’ve got it on. As soon as I take it off, I feel like I am back to normal. Although most people thought that it would make Rodrigo stay away from the knife for a little while, he had one more procedure that almost cost him his life.
It was in 2016, after his fourth nose job, that things began to go terribly wrong. Everything seemed to have gone smoothly and it was only after all the swelling had subsided that he noticed that something out of the ordinary was happening.
Rodrigo says that the fillers that were used to reshape his nose that sixth time had moved from their intended position. Instead of being positioned on the bridge of his nose to change the shape in the way he had hoped, they had moved to the tip. For a man with such low self-esteem, this was horrendous for the insecure Brazilian.
Unable to stare at himself in the mirror, Rodrigo was desperate to have repair work done immediately on his misshapen nose. He booked himself in for another nose job straight away to reset the misplaced fillers.
As with any trip to the hospital, there is always a risk of side effects and the chance of picking up an infection. Of course, Rodrigo knew about all of the dangers of cosmetic surgery, but his obsession to look perfect in his eyes meant that he glossed over these cautions each and every time.
During the recovery process, Rodrigo was not feeling well. He was used to the pain and discomfort from all of his previous work, but he was low on energy and not bouncing back as he usually did.
In what must have been a truly horrifying moment, Rodrigo noticed a hole in his nose. He raced to the hospital where doctors diagnosed the potentially fatal disease known as necrosis. This infection causes skin tissue to die and simply wither away. It can spread quickly and can result in the entire face simply rotting away. Rodrigo was scared that his body image problems were about to kill him.
So now he was sitting in the emergency ward in Spain, with skilled doctors acting swiftly to try to save Rodrigo’s life. They informed him that they needed to remove most of his newly constructed nose to stop the spread of the necrosis. The disease was literally eating him alive.
Rodrigo was filled with horror as the severity of the situation began to sink in. If the team could not stop the spread of the necrosis, it would slowly and painfully consume the skin and tissue of his nose, then his cheeks and finally, the rest of his face. He would die from the pain if they could not stop the rot.
The operation was done quickly and Rodrigo endured months of pain and panic as doctors rebuilt his nose over the course of another four reconstructive nose jobs. They even used cartilage from his wrist to rebuild certain sections of it. Now fully healed, he has revealed that this life-saving series of operations has left him unable to breathe through his nose. He has to inhale via his mouth for the rest of his life.
Despite this, he had four more reconstructive nose jobs — one involving cartilage in his wrist being used to rebuild his nose.
He had to get some control on this obsession for perfection that was causing him such pain, depression and deep-rooted unhappiness. Having struggled with his self-image for so many long and unhappy years, Rodrigo visited a psychologist at the age of thirty and was finally diagnosed with body dysmorphia. This is a mental health condition that causes the sufferer to overly-obsess about their looks. They see flaws where they are none and will spend hours studying themselves in the mirror trying to work out ways to improve how they look. It’s often accompanied by anxiety and depression.
The awful thing about this mental issue is that no matter how much work is done and how many changes are made, it will never be enough for someone who suffers from this cruel disorder. This is evident in the fact that the necrosis wasn’t the only nearly fatal problem Rodrigo has encountered in the search for physical perfection.
During another dangerous procedure, Rodrigo had gel injected into his arms that was supposed to give them a more muscular look. But things took a life-threatening turn for the worse. He contracted a deadly bacterial infection that left him paralyzed in both arms. He was unable to feed himself or even shower his body without assistance. He was unable to work in his regular job as a flight attendant and fell into a deep depression as the doctors fought to save his arms from amputation.
He spent his days praying and crying, wishing for an end to the torment but his condition grew worse and worse. Eventually, the potentially lethal infection was cured with strong antibiotics and the skill of the medical team. It took a long thirty days before he regained feeling in his arms. The relief flooded through his body as he took stock of just how lucky he had been.
Incredibly, Rodrigo still wants more surgery, despite how close he came to death. He says that he doesn’t regret what he’s done to himself or how dangerous the surgery can be. As he states, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder and when I look in the mirror, I look beautiful.I’m the fruit of my imagination; I am exactly what I wanted to be. I am perfection in my eyes.”
He goes on to say that his body is his pride and joy and that “male perfection is to me having symmetry. So a chiseled face, broad shoulders, a lean figure, a prominent jawline, defined abs and a chest in proportion.” It seems that there is no stopping his desire for more work.
Despite all the near-death experiences and hideous pain levels, Rodrigo continues to change his body. His latest drastic procedure saw him spend $35,000 on an operation that would repulse most people.
In an effort to have the smallest waist possible, Alves has had four of his lower ribs removed. He accentuates his new shape by wearing extremely tight corsets. And it’s evident that he adores the attention from passers-by. He says,
Rodrigo has since revealed two incredible reasons behind his latest work. Firstly, he has said that the doctors will need some of the cartilage from his ribs to perform yet another nose job in an attempt to alleviate some of his breathing problems.
But the second reason is to prepare for the next phase of his life. Now aged 35, he has recently admitted on an Italian TV show that he wants to have a sex change in his late 50s. Why would he want to turn himself from Ken into Barbie?
In a move that has stunned many, Rodrigo seems to think that his idea is logical and rational. He explains, “I am very happy to be a man for now but I don’t want to an old saggy man. I will do what Caitlyn Jenner did. When I reach my late 50s, I would rather be a sexy old lady than a saggy old man”.
It seems apparent that he will be happy with the way he sees himself. He will probably only ever see the flaws.
Today, this television personality, jet-setting fashionista lives in London but also has properties in Los Angeles and Marbella. “When I look in the mirror, I don’t see what other people see. I see flaws that I want to fix. It takes me ages to leave the house in the mornings because I have to correct everything.” So each and every morning, he takes three collagen tablets, scrubs his whole body before applying fake tan, before spending a staggering two hours doing his make-up.
Rodrigo insists that surgery has been the right decision for him, despite people sometimes still calling him a “freak” and “ugly”. As he defiantly says, “I did what was right for me.” One can only hope that maybe one day he will finally look at his reflection in the mirror and be satisfied. In reality, it seems that will never happen.