Justin Jedlica, better known as the “Human Ken Doll,” knows you think he looks weird, and he doesn’t care.
“I’m going to look like a space alien when I get old, and I’m going to love it,” he said with a grin.
Jedlica, 33, is rather proud that he embraces a more open-minded take on beauty — and that it took him 17 plastic surgeries and a total of 140 procedures to get there.
“Maybe my ideal doesn’t fall in with what Western culture dictates to be beautiful,” he told Metro at his vacation rental in New York. “Why is that wrong?”
After all, this is a man who idolizes Jocelyn Wildenstein, the so-called “Catwoman.”
“When you get to that point where you can say I don’t care what anyone else thinks anymore and you stop feeling like you need to look a certain way to fit in and to be in her position — ‘I have $500 million from my divorce’ — I think that’s an amazing place,” he said. “She wanted to look like a lion. It’s not bad plastic surgery if it’s what you asked for.”
Jedlica earned his “Human Ken Doll” moniker on ABC’s “20/20” last year. He was invited to appear on the show after he was featured in a photography book called “A New Kind of Beauty.” When one producer referred to him as the “Human Ken Doll,” Jedlica thought it was catchy and let the name stick.
In spite of his “plastic” aesthetic, Jedlica is not actually trying to look like Ken. In person, he’s nothing like a stiff doll: He’s a silicone ball of energy. He laughs loudly and often, and the silicone injections in his face don’t limit his range of expressions. He makes grand gestures with his hairless arms and proudly shows off sketches of implants he plans to get. His face lights up when he talks about his plastic surgery five-year plan.
Jedlica said he’s not trying to look like anyone else. Instead, he considers himself an artist whose canvas is his own body, and like an artist, his style is always evolving. He talked about his dramatic second nose job, which gave him a “tiny, scoopy” pixie-like nose, but he has since settled on a more “classic Anglo-Saxon” nose, which required adding a new bridge to his nose. He admits that he may not keep this nose forever, either.
Jedlica is so involved in his own surgery processes that he will sketch and revise blueprints for his implants over and over again, hand carve his own implants for hours and even show doctors where he wants incisions.
“It’s paint by numbers for them,” he said. “I look at them as a sensationalized tailor, basically. A lot of them are great surgeons but not all of them are artistically skilled.”
He knows all of the lingo and he talks about how implants look more natural under the muscles than over them, and can tell you about all of the different materials you can use for implants: liquid silicone, solid silicone (“like a dildo”), grafted cartilage, Gore-Tex — the list goes on and on. Jedlica even has a group of “plastic surgery junkie” friends with whom he exchanges information.
It’s no surprise that Jedlica’s fascination with plastic surgery dates back to when he was very young. He said he knew he wanted a nose job from the age of 13.
“I used to sit in front of my mom’s mirror with an eyebrow pencil and draw on my nose, take photos of myself, scan and print them and erase and shade over them with pencil,” he said.
Jedlica had a modest upbringing, first in Fishkill, N.Y., and then in Cary, N.C. He said his family didn’t have much to go around and he dreamed of the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
“I was always really enamored with Michael Jackson and celebrities,” he said. “It seemed intangible to me to have the money for luxury items like that.”
Also not surprisingly, then, Jedlica became fixated on getting a rhinoplasty from an early age. He only became more determined to get the surgery after his mother got a breast augmentation during a rough patch in her marriage. (She is now divorced from Jedlica’s father.)
“It gave her so much confidence in a time of her life she had to be hurting,” he said. “You could see it on her, the self-esteem boost.”
Jedlica saved up his birthday and baptism money – “I got baptized three times and never turned out straight!” – and worked at a country club in high school so he could get a nose job when he turned 18, since his parents would not sign off on the procedure.
When asked how much the surgery cost, he waved his hand, “Cheap!” he practically shouted. “It was just $3,500!”
Jedlica said that nose job was the only “need” and everything else has been a want. He describes his pre-surgery nose as “not cute,” a phrase he uses to describe pretty much anything distasteful in his life, as in: “My dad was kind of abusive — the police were always at our house. It was not cute.”
Not too long after his first rhinoplasty, Jedlica got his lips augmented and got procedures to augment his cheeks, chin and buttocks. He initially funded these procedures with money from his painting business, but by his mid-20s, he was living with an older, more established man in Hoboken, N.J.
“He asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said, ‘pecs,’” Jedlica recalled.
He has 12 solid silicone implants in his upper body: three in each shoulder, bicep and tricep implants and pec implants. He is currently gearing up and consulting with doctors for his next surgery: eight-pack ab implants. He has tried to exercise in the past, but said he hates it.
“I don’t know how people have a full-time job and also go to the gym,” he sighed.
Jedlica said his procedures, which include fillers and laser hair removal, have cost about $160,000 over the years. His husband, an entrepreneur in the aviation industry, funds his pricey habit, though Jedlica is currently working on creating his own line of implants and doles out plastic surgery consultations on the side. He and his husband live in Chicago. Jedlica said his husband has started getting plastic surgery, too. The couple likes to throw two-week-long parties and rent a vacation home and invite a dozen friends to celebrate as they recover from their surgeries.
He said in spite of all of the criticism and backlash, he loves his own creation.
“I’m more proud of myself because I built this,” he said, gesturing toward his body.
He pointed to Valeria Lukyanova, the “Human Barbie Doll” who claims she only has breast implants. Jedlica feuded with Lukyanova after the two met on “Inside Edition” and he dressed up as her on Halloween.
“She’s just wearing drag queen makeup, basically,” he said. “At the end of the day, she can take it and wash it all off. She lives without commitment and conviction.”
Jedlica, on the other hand, considers himself part of the body modification movement. Still, though, the procedures aren’t necessarily permanent.
“I can take it out,” he shrugged. “It’s like a wardrobe.”
Jedlica gave Metro reporter Andrea Park a quick consultation on what plastic surgeries she should get if she wanted to also be a human doll.
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark