Justin Jedlica earned the nickname "the human Ken doll" because of the almost 1,000 cosmetic procedures he's undergone.
Plastic surgery has become far more widespread and affordable in the past few decades. Most customers typically request to have one or two areas fixed that have bothered them. Justin Jedlica, meanwhile, has undergone up to 1,000 cosmetic procedures and surgeries that altered virtually his entire body — and is now known as the “human Ken doll.”
“In some respects, people assume that this is like the pursuit of perfection, that Ken is the optimal form of how a male should look, right?” Jedlica said. “And it all sort of revolves around looks and superficiality. I think that title, is typically what people take away from it. But, I wouldn’t say that is something I strived for in my life.”
From rhinoplasty and brow lifts to pectoral, buttocks, shoulder, triceps, and biceps implants, Jedlica has spent $1 million over the past two decades. While some mock Jedlica for his hobby, he has a dedicated following of fans — and even a new reality TV show, Men of West Hollywood.
Justin Jedlica's Early Life Before Cosmetic Surgery
Justin Jedlica was born on Aug. 11, 1980, in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was the eldest of four raised by Slovak-American parents. Jedlica was a child when they moved to Fishkill 12 miles downriver before settling in Cary, North Carolina — where his curiosity in cosmetic procedures bubbled to the surface.
"From a young age, I was infatuated with people like Joan Rivers, Dolly Parton, and Michael Jackson, and plastic surgery was something that ticked a couple boxes for me," said Jedlica. "First and foremost, I grew up in sort of a lower-income family, and to me, plastic surgery was something rich people did."
Jedlica recalled sitting in front of his mother's mirror and using an eyebrow pencil to draw potential alterations onto his face when he was 13. Heavily influenced by TV shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, he grew unhappy with his nose and found plastic surgery itself symbolic of success.
"That's how they showed their wealth, and I wanted to be like them," said Jedlica. "Maybe if I can have that, I can fake it till I make it and use this as a tool to slag my way into the one percent. Then marry a rich husband or find a boyfriend in the upper echelon group of society and schmooze my way in."
Eager to get a nose job while enrolled at Apex High School, Jedlica's devout Christian parents disapproved. Their divorce and his mother's subsequent breast augmentation, however, only emboldened him to forge ahead. With savings from a country club job and birthday money he never touched, Jedlica underwent rhinoplasty three days after he turned 18.
Whether he knew it or not, Justin Jedlica's $3,500 nose job would only be the first of hundreds of cosmetic procedures and surgeries. As for his interest in the performing arts, meanwhile, he would become known around the world as the "human Ken doll" — and actually succeed in schmoozing his way up the societal ladder.
The Human Ken Doll's Rise To Fame
Jedlica soon found more seeming imperfections on his body and followed up the rhinoplasty with augmentations to his lips, cheeks, chin, and buttocks. When he moved in with an older man in Hoboken, New Jersey, in his 20s, he no longer had to finance these procedures on his own.
"He asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said, 'pecs,'" recalled Jedlica. "I don't know how people have a full-time job and also go to the gym."
Jedlica's wishes were certainly fulfilled when he underwent 12 procedures to place silicone implants into his upper body. With three in each shoulder and the others bolstering his biceps, triceps, and pecs, he began resembling the human Ken doll people know today — and garnering the attention of kindred spirits.
Jedlica had undergone nearly 200 procedures by the time he met Moldovan model Valeria Lukyanova in 2013. Despite her impossible waistline, Lukyanova claimed her body was entirely natural aside from a breast enlargement. Press immediately dubbed the pair the "real-life Barbie and Ken" — to Jedlica's chagrin.
"Valeria presents herself as a real-life Barbie doll, but she is nothing more than an illusion who dresses like a drag queen," he said. "Unlike me, who has spent nearly $150,000 permanently transforming myself into a human Ken doll, Valeria just plays dress up ... And in all honesty, I think I make an even prettier Barbie than she does!"
Where Is Justin Jedlica Today?
Jedlica's abundant surgeries have garnered him substantial social media fame and an Instagram following of 155,000. He has since appeared on shows like Botched and The Doctors and been interviewed by Dr. Drew. In July 2014, he married his boyfriend of five years only to get divorced in 2016.
Things truly worsened when his brother Jordan was found unresponsive in his prison cell on May 6, 2019. The 32-year-old was serving a 19-month sentence at the Warren Correctional Institution for breaking and entering and reportedly died of excessive water consumption.
"This is my baby brother," said Jedlica. "I'm the oldest of all of our siblings. I feel like this was my kid."
Jedlica hoped to shed light on the matter as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but never got invited. Forging ahead, he has since been cast in the Men of West Hollywood reality show which premiered in January 2020 — and hopes to dispel a few myths once and for all.
"Those ideas that I'm going to be narcissistic, judgmental, or overly superficial because I chose to have body modification as a hobby and a passion in my life," he said. "People just assume that I'm going to hold others to some weird perfectionistic standards that I don't even hold myself to."
"That's not what my journey was about. It was about customization, creativity, and being an innovator in the field of plastic surgery. I hope this show will help make me a little bit more personable and make people realize that what they see of me in those short tidbits on television isn't all that I am."