With features like porcelain cheeks and that perfectly chiseled jaw, people who have seen can’t help but ask: “Is this a real person?” Fans know him as “The Human Ken Doll”, and his story is nothing short of heartbreaking. But after going under the knife countless times, he’s not done — and is about to make his most monumental decision yet. Here’s an in-depth look into the face of a person with infinite masks.
The world was first introduced to Rodrigo Alves under the guise of an outlandish concept: a real-life “Human Ken Doll.” Anyone who had grown up playing with Barbies got quite the shock when they say that Barbie’s plastic beau actually existed, standing 5’7” and hailing from São Paulo, Brazil.
Rodrigo was happy to show himself to the world in that light. He seemed proud of his decision to become a living, breathing toy. It may have taken him 72 plastic surgeries, as well as $512,000, to get there — but in his eyes, it was worth it. However, behind that artificial facade was a painful story waiting to get out.
Soon enough, it became clear to Rodrigo that he wasn’t necessarily getting the kind of attention he wanted. Up until a certain point, the world thought that he’d always dreamed of transforming himself into a Human Ken Doll. For that reason, he became a spectacle, something to look at and gawk over for shock value. But that’s not what Rodrigo desired.
Eventually, Rodrigo was to make a massive life-changing decision. When that happened, he revealed to the world that he’d been living a lie. He explained the true reason that he’d undergone all of those plastic surgeries. These reasons take us into the mind of a child dealing with a traumatic upbringing — and the truth is nothing short of heartbreaking.
In an exclusive interview with publication The Sunday People, Rodrigo reflected on the emotional turmoil of his childhood: “I was bullied at school because I was very feminine. I was physically abused — I had my face pushed into the urinal and was thrown down the stairs.”
Rodrigo was mercilessly picked on because of his tendency toward items and objects deemed feminine, such as clothing, Barbies, and an infatuation with Disney princes. When the boys in his class went to go play sports, Rodrigo preferred hanging out with the girls. This came naturally to him, but the bullying made him rethink his decisions — and things were about to get even worse.
The worst experience of Rodrigo’s childhood took place when he was 13, and undoubtedly affected him for the rest of his life. He bluntly stated, “At the age of 13 two boys at school sexually abused me. I was very feminine and weak. I couldn’t defend myself. It was very traumatic.”
This painful experience was clearly the pinnacle of the horrors of his childhood. It made him reconsider everything he’d thought was true about his life. It made him wonder if he should in fact try to be more like a man. Perhaps if he were to appear more manly to the outside world, such things wouldn’t happen to him anymore. So he came up with a plan.
Rodrigo’s first plastic surgery was at the age of 17. It was a breast reduction, which he got because he claimed to have more estrogen than most men, and thus had a larger chest. When he was 19, he got himself a nose job. In those early days, he was just getting a taste of plastic surgery — but did he expect to take things as far as he did?
During this time, he had also moved to London. He claimed he was just trying to “forget his feelings” and continue being a man — through medically altering his appearance. But no matter how many surgeries he got, it never seemed to be enough. And soon the world took notice, though it was not to be in the way he wanted.
Rodrigo had never dreamed of becoming a Human Ken Doll. The transformation simply happened as a result of having had so many rounds of plastic surgery. The idea of becoming a celebrity was something he embraced with open arms, but the problem was, they were giving him attention for the wrong reasons.
He didn’t want to be perceived as a freak, or a clown, but there were many people who questioned his choices. Indeed, Rodrigo spent over $512,000 on plastic surgery alone, and was even dubbed “the face of plastic surgery.” For better or worse, he had become a viral sensation. But there were deep psychological issues yet rippling beneath the surface, and he would have to come to terms with them.
At one point, Rodrigo decided to go see a psychologist. After the therapy sessions, he was diagnosed with a condition called body dysmorphic disorder. A common mental condition in this day and age, it meant that Rodrigo perceived physical flaws in himself that just couldn’t be seen by others. This raised a handful of questions to consider.
Rodrigo now had medical proof that he had a condition, but coping with it and trying to improve his mental state was easier said than done. Even though he realized he could pinpoint his problem, it didn’t stop him from getting procedure after procedure to help transform his body into something he would finally be comfortable with. One procedure in particular raised a handful of eyebrows.
One of the more dangerous procedures Rodrigo underwent was to have four of his ribs removed, all simply so he could fit into his blazer. He actually wanted to get rid of six ribs in total, but the doctors wouldn’t do it. On the British talk show This Morning, Rodrigo described the experience: “I visited three different doctors, and they said, ‘Well, we can only do four.’”
Unfortunately, Rodrigo would later come to regret this decision. He confessed to the digital publication MailOnline, “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.” To make matters worse, medical professionals were now warning Rodrigo about his future.
Many doctors have warned Rodrigo that it’s more than just his mental health that could be in danger. If he doesn’t stop the surgical procedures any time soon, there are serious physical repercussions he may have to face. They say his multiple rhinoplasties may come back to haunt him — and the predictions are frightening to hear.
After so many facial surgeries, Rodrigo’s face has suffered much tissue damage. As a result, the doctors say his nose is “sinking.” They continue to say that it may one day collapse completely, leaving a visible hole in his face. So how did Rodrigo respond to these warnings?
“I am scared, to be honest,” the Human Ken Doll admitted. “Each time is riskier than the last.” Clearly he’s aware about the ramifications of his actions, which makes it all the more alarming that he continues to modify his appearance. But where did everything go wrong? At what point did it become clear to him, if at all, that he’s taking things too far?
Respected plastic surgeon Dr. Alan Matarasso explained, “Plastic surgery is safe. It’s effective. It’s ubiquitous. But it’s not a haircut.” Matarrasso went on to point out that these surgeries always come with risks, and that he often turns patients away when he feels it’s unnecessary. Shockingly, Rodrigo was far from done. What’s more, he was about to make a dramatic change in his personal life, too.
By this point, Rodrigo had done everything in his power to make himself look more like a man. But still, something was missing in his life, and finally he was starting to be able to put his finger on what it was. “I have tried my best to behave like a man but deep inside I was never happy,” he reflected.
He started to get jealous of other women’s appearance. He found himself envying their feminine beauty. This was different than what he was used to, because up until then, all he’d wanted to do was to look more masculine — and that’s when the straw came that broke the camel’s back.
Rodrigo wasn’t expecting his moment of epiphany to happen, but when it did, his life was changed forever. He was in New York doing a photoshoot, when someone gave him a dress to try on just for fun. When he put it on, he marveled that “it was an awakening. It finally all became clear to me.”
Rodrigo then brought the women’s clothing home and started to toy around with it. “It made me feel beautiful,” he stated. Clearly this wasn’t some random occurrence; this was something he’d been waiting for his entire life. But he had to be sure, so he decided to go see another psychologist about it.
After seeing a psychologist, and a psychiatrist as well, Rodrigo was diagnosed again, but with a different condition this time. “Within a month I was diagnosed with gender dysmorphic disorder, and given the option to start the appropriate medication to transition.”
Finally, all his past memories of playing with dolls and wearing his mother’s clothing were beginning to make sense to him. Rodrigo embarked on the process of realizing that he was, and always had been, a woman. He described the revelation as such: “I think like a woman, I act like a woman because I have always been one deep inside.” And that’s when he decided to make it official.
After coming to terms with being transgender, Rodrigo decided to make the transition to become a woman. Since then, he requested that “he” should now be referred to as a “she”, and that she was to be called “Roddy.” She joked, “I’m known as Ken but inside I’ve always felt like Barbie.”
Roddy also explained on The Sunday People that she’s always had a “feminine brain,” and that the only difference is that now her body matches her mind. However, the process of transitioning is easier said than done. To do it properly, she would need to undergo a series of challenging medical procedures, on top of the endless plastic surgeries she already had undertaken. Could she even handle it?
From hormone injections, to extensive plastic surgeries, to hair extensions and fake eyelashes, transitioning genders was a very complex process. However, Roddy believes her body has responded fairly quickly to the changes. She attributed this to the fact that her body had already produced more estrogen than most males.
“The differences are already very noticeable,” she observed, demonstrating the various physical changes her body has already gone through. “My skin is softer, my breasts and hips are more feminine. The fat distribution in my body is very different now, so my face is becoming rounder.” But it’s not just her physical appearance that’s changed — it’s her entire way of life.
After she’d made the transition from a physical standpoint, it actually took Roddy a long while to tell the world. Here’s how she described this exciting period in an interview with The Sunday People: “Behind closed doors, I’ve been living as a woman for the last three months. I love it and everything that comes with it.”
Roddy continued, “Going to nice hair salons and getting my nails, eyebrows, and eyelashes done. Buying dresses and high heels and wearing sexy lingerie.” She did all these things in secret for three months. But why did she wait so long to tell people?
Roddy opened up about how hard it was to tell the world that she was transgender. After having been called a “freak” and a “weirdo” her whole life, she anticipated some harsh reactions. In fact, it was those hurtful words as a kid that had caused her to try to be more masculine in the first place.
When she was younger, people bullied her and destroyed her confidence, so why should this time be any different? Sure, times had progressed, and people were more accepting of different ways of life. But those traumatic memories from her childhood were still present, and raw. Finally, Roddy decided she was ready to reveal her new life to the world.
When Roddy finally told the world that she was transgender, she received a handful of mixed reactions. Sure, she received an unfair share of negative feedback from trolls. But to her surprise, the positive comments seemed to outweigh the negative — especially from the way people looked at her when she’d walk down the street.
From Roddy’s perspective, she’s receiving “a totally different type of attention” now. “Men look at me because they desire me. And women look at me because they want to copy what I’m wearing.” Clearly Roddy is feeling confident in a whole new way! However, she wishes to quell some inaccurate perspectives people have regarding her sexuality.
When she came out as transgender, Roddy wanted to put a few issues to rest: “People always thought I was gay and initially I did too. But I was never gay. I have always been attracted to straight men because I am a straight woman.”
When Roddy was younger, she never identified herself as part of the gay scene, and she still doesn’t. In her mind, she is a woman attracted to men, and thereby she is technically a straight woman. Sexual preference aside, her romantic history is scarce, and she’s not currently looking to date anyone. She wants to tell the world about her journey — and she had only just begun revealing more about herself.
“I finally feel like the real me,” said Roddy. “For years I tried to live my life as a man. I had a fake six-pack put in, I had fake muscles in my arms, but I was lying to myself.” She’s now more confident that she’ll be accepted by the world for her bravery.
“People are more aware of what being transgender means,” Roddy elaborated. “A few years ago I could never have done this but it feels easier now.” Yet even though Roddy seems content with how she looks as a woman, she’s actually far from done with her plastic surgery.
Roddy still has more plans to cosmetically enhance her features: “I’m having face feminization surgery. It will be an incision at the top of my scalp, and through that the doctor will reshape my forehead, give me an eye lift, lip lift, and middle face lift.” But that’s just the beginning.
She’s also getting breast implants, removing her Adam’s apple, and taking care of everything below the belt, if you catch our drift. Based on the doctors’ warnings from years before, you can imagine how they probably feel about it. But Roddy’s mother actually had some interesting opinions about her now-daughter’s choices.
From an emotional standpoint, Roddy’s mother is completely there to support her. If Roddy identifies as a woman, her mom is accepting of that, and loves her daughter all the same. But there are other major elements that Roddy’s mom is concerned about. Roddy explained, “My mom was more worried that I will need to have more surgery than that I was transitioning.”
Roddy’s mother seems to agree with the medical professionals who have already discussed the health risks of going under the knife too often. And considering that Roddy has had 72 plastic surgeries so far in her life, there may be some weight to her momma’s concerns. But what’s the main issue here?
Clearly the need for constant surgery is a mental health issue more than anything else. Many doctors believe that plastic surgery, like anything, can turn into an addiction. They compare it to a Pandora’s box of sorts, where one must continue going under the knife in order to get their fix, believing that the next surgical procedure will be enough.
Psychologist Charlotte Markey added, “Self-acceptance is not just about how we look. Data suggests that cosmetic procedures don’t have a lasting effect on people’s positive body images nor their general well-being.” To support these statements, Roddy eerily admitted, “It used to be a want, now it is a need.” And she was under scrutiny for other reasons too.
Back in 2018, when Roddy was still considered a “he,” she was a contestant on the popular reality show Celebrity Big Brother. On the show, Roddy was asked what kind of sexual partner she preferred. Her response was so egregious that it shocked people to their very core.
In her response, she used an offensive racial slur used to describe African Americans — leading to over 1,000 complaints from fans. Eventually Roddy was kicked off the show for her inappropriate comments, and it remains an unfortunate chapter in her legacy. That said, she still is unimaginably famous. So how much is she worth all in all?
According to finance website Spears, Roddy is worth an estimated $37 million. Considering the fact that she’s not a professional actress, musical artist, comedian, nor any other form of entertainer for that matter, this net worth is shockingly high. But ultimately, it all traces back to her original claim to fame: being a Human Ken Doll.
Doctors may not recommend it, and certainly not everyone will agree with it, but Roddy’s orchestral progression of plastic surgeries is the reason she’s worth so much. People are still flabbergasted yet fascinated by these modifications, and if she keeps them up, she’ll continue to capture the world’s attention. But the question she’ll need to face is, is the juice worth the squeeze?
Sources: Mirror, Twenty-Two Words, The Sun