Body transformations via plastic surgeries have been a common occurrence this century. Celebrities are resorting to such surgeries to refine their facial and body features. But some people have taken it a little too far. We are all familiar with the real-life Barbie and Ken doll. Well, they are not the only unique kids on the block. From transforming to become a real-life vampire, to wanting to look like the Marvel Supervillain Red Skull, we present you with 10 such people who have broken the accepted societal norms and have undergone extreme body transformations to be their “real selves.”
1. Dennis Avner, “Catman” or “Stalking Cat,” has undergone extensive surgeries to look like his totem animal, the tiger. Avner underwent full-body tattooing and had transdermal implants to allow whiskers to be worn. He embedded subdermal implants to change the shape of his face and filled and shaped his teeth like a tiger.
Dennis Avner was born in 1958 in Michigan. Dennis started tattooing his body as early as the 1980s because of his affinity for tigers. He stated that his passion to alter his appearance emerged from his belief in an ancient Wyandot tradition. Growing up in a tribe, he said he was asked to change his form to a tiger by a medicine man.
The first artist to start the extensive tattoo art on Avner was Larry Hanks. But the majority of Denver’s body modifications were performed by Arizona-based artist Steve Haworth. Avner had over 14 modifications. These include facial, subdermal implants to change the shape of his brow, forehead and the bridge of his nose. There were modifications to flatten his nose with septum relocation and silicone injection into his lips, cheeks, and chin. He split his upper lip and filled and capped his teeth. He surgically shaped his ears to make them pointy and made the earlobes elongated. Avner also installed transdermal implants on his forehead to facilitate wearing whiskers. He used to wear green contact lenses with slit irises and a robotic tail.
On November 5, 2012, Dennis died alone in his garage. Shannon Larratt, the founder of BMEzine, posted that his death was a suicide.(source)
2. Erik Sprague, commonly known as “The Lizardman,” is an American performer. He is best known for his body modifications including his sharpened teeth and a full-body tattoo of green scales like that of a lizard. He has subdermal implants, a bifurcated tongue, and green-inked lips.
It took years for Sprague to get all the body modifications. His entire body is tattooed with green scales and it took around 700 hours of his life. His tongue is surgically bifurcated. He had his teeth filed and possesses subdermal implants in his eyebrows.
The best thing that has come out of his transformation is his ability to build a career on his reptilian skin. He has been touring as a freak-show performer who specializes in sideshow acts like weight suspension from body piercings, swallowing swords, and pushing a giant corkscrew through his head.
“The Lizardman” currently has the Guinness World Record for lifting and spinning the heaviest weight from his ear piercings – a 16kg beer keg which he spun in 360-degree circles.(source)
3. “The Enigma” is an American sideshow performer, musician, and actor. He has undergone extensive body modification including ear reshaping, body piercings, and horn implants. He has a full-body tattoo in the form of a jigsaw puzzle. More than 200 tattoo artists worked on his body. Once, artists were working on 23 tattoos at the same time.
Paul Lawrence, better known as “The Enigma,” began tattooing his body in 1992. Katzen the Tiger Lady worked on his tattoo transformations whom he married, and later divorced as well.
One of his extreme modifications was implanting horns on his forehead. He shaped his ears and has multiple piercings. But the most notable part of his transformation is the tattoo in the form of a jigsaw puzzle that covers his body from head to toe.
Lawrence, as a sideshow performer, was a founding member of the Jim Rose Circus. He toured with his ex-wife Katzen playing music and performing sideshows under the name “The Human Marvels.”
Lawrence also had numerous mainstream media appearances on programs like The X-Files, and Penn & Teller: Bullshit! He also appeared in the movie Firecracker and the music video for Fallen Leaves by Billy Talent.(source)
4. Lucky Diamond Rich, or just Lucky Rich, is a New Zealand man who holds the record for being “the world’s most tattooed person.” He has tattoos that cover his entire body, including his mouth, the insides of his eyelids, ears, and foreskin. He has held the certified Guinness World Record since 2006 for having 99.99% of his body tattooed.
Rich (real name Gregory Paul McLaren) was born in New Zealand. As a child, he was really fascinated by the men and women who had extensive tattoos. His interest turned into a passion when he got his first tattoo – a juggling club on his hip.
Once he began tattooing, he didn’t stop until every crevice and intimate area of his body was covered. The majority of his bodywork is heavy blackwork but also features a number of unique pieces using white ink. One such unique piece is the word “Karma” written across his throat. He even added other colors atop the already existing tattoos. It took over a thousand hours to ink the tattoos over his body, and hundreds of tattoo artists worked on them.
He makes his living as a street and an international arts festival performer. His acts include sword swallowing and juggling a variety of items while on a unicycle.(source)
5. Katzen the Tiger Lady is the stage name of a female performance artist. She is also a tattoo artist and her full body is tattooed in the theme of a tiger. She even wore tiger whiskers attached via piercings on her face. More than 227 different tattoo artists have inked her up, including 23 at the same time.
Katzen is a performance artist whose tattoo theme on her body is that of a tiger. When she was just five years old, Katzen dreamt of herself being covered in tiger stripes. When she asked her mother if she could get a tattoo, her mother responded, “Wait until you’re 18.”
Katzen received extensive tattooing on all parts of her body. More than 227 tattoo artists have worked on her body. On one occasion, 23 artists were working at the same time. The pain was so intense that Katzen fainted a couple of times during the procedure.
Apart from the extensive tattooing, Katzen also wore tiger whiskers. The whiskers were attached via piercings to her face. She finally removed her whiskers after wearing them for 14 years because of distortions in her field of vision.
Katzen was once married to a male performer named “The Enigma.” She collaborated with him in a musical show called “The Human Marvels.” She bore one daughter with him, Caitlin, who was raised by her mother. After divorcing “The Enigma,” Katzen had a son, Felix, and married another man. That didn’t work out either.
Currently, Katzen works at a tattoo shop in Austin, Texas. She also acts as a sideshow performer for the 999 Eyes Freakshow.(source)
6. Vinny Ohh has had over 110 procedures to transform into a “genderless” extraterrestrial being. He has spent more than £40,000 for his procedures. However, the surgery he wants next is his most extreme yet – getting his genitalia removed entirely so he is neither male nor female.
In Vinny Ohh’s words, “My goal in regards to my look is to become an exact, scientifically proportioned, sexless human being.”
This wannabe alien has had over 110 procedures which include 35 whole-body and face laser treatments, 12 cheek fillers, two brow fillers, 15 lip fillers, and 10 fillers for random wrinkles. He has also had six botox sessions, five nose procedures, five facial peels, and 20 cryo-facial freezing. For the final jaw-dropping touch, he sports large black contact lenses and covers his hair with striking colors.
Vinny next plans to have his nipples, bellybutton, and his genitalia removed in order to become a blank canvas. And despite warnings that Vinny has received from medical professionals, he is adamant about going ahead with the surgery to remove his genitalia. According to him, this is what he needs to become his “true self.”(source)
7. Maria Jose Cristerna, better known as “the Vampire Lady,” had body transformation that featured titanium horns injected into her head. Her entire body is covered with tattoos and extensive piercings. She even had her teeth filed to add to the effects. But beyond the scary look, lies a caring mother with a good heart.
A mother of four, 90% of Maria’s body is covered with tattoos and has been modified with subcutaneous implants. Known as the “the Vampire Lady,” she has a total of 49 body modifications. She has titanium horns embedded in her skull and fangs implanted into her gums to portray a real-life vampire look. Maria first began to modify her body after she found the courage to leave her abusive husband of 10 years.
But beyond the facade of her interesting look, Maria is a loving mother. She is also a trained lawyer in a conservative society like Guadalajara. The women in her neighborhood respect her and come to her for advice. Maria shares her story in women’s groups, and the women share their concerns with her. Maria takes advantage of her image in the media and challenges authorities to address the problems that the women in her neighborhood go through.(source)
8. Herbert Chavez went through 16 years of plastic surgery to change into his comic book hero Superman. He has had nose jobs, skin whitening, and lip liposuction. Chavez even had jaw realignment, pec implants, and abdominal implants to become a real-life Clark Kent. He has invested around 300,000 pesos (£4,400) on his obsession.
Herbert Chavez fell in love with Superman when he was just five years old. His love turned into an obsession and he indulged 300,000 pesos (£4,400) to become the real-life Superman. He is also the Guinness World Record holder in 2013 for having the largest collection of Superman memorabilia with 1,253 items.
Chavez says that is is hard to live up to people’s expectations of a real-life superhero. His body requires extensive maintenance. He says in a DailyMail correspondence, “My cleft chin is formed of hydrogel, but it does not always appear balanced. The more dehydrated you get the smaller it gets, so you have to keep adding to it.”
Apart from the 19 surgeries he has already had, Chavez plans to keep improving his look with more surgeries. He wishes to make himself taller and beef up his abdomen and bum. But he is willing to stop if his doctor recommends so.(source)
9. Luis Padron spent £25,000 of plastic surgery including full-body hair removal, skin bleaching, and eye coloring to look like a real-life elf. He is planning surgery to make his ears pointed, hair implants for a heart-shaped hairline, and a limb lengthening operation to make him 6-feet-5-inches tall.
Luis Padron is a fantasy fanatic who dreams of becoming a real-life elf. Luis became obsessed with the fantasy world after being bullied as a kid. He spent more than $47,000 (£36,000) on procedures like cheek liposuction, rhinoplasty, full-body hair removal, Botox, and fillers to transform his appearance.
His most recent surgery was a $12,000 procedure to transform his hairline into the distinctive, heart-shaped “widow’s peak” seen in many depictions of elves and vampires.
He has around $80,000 worth of more surgeries planned that would involve teeth transformation into fang-like dentures, pointed ears, a diamond-shaped jawline, reduction in the appearance of his Adam’s apple, and eyelift to make the shape cat-like.(source)
10. Henry Damon is slowly transforming himself into Marvel comic book villain Red Skull. He had part of his nose removed and subdermal implants placed in his forehead to resemble Red Skull. He has also tattooed his eyeballs black and undergone substantial red and black face tattoos.
Henry Damon chopped off his nose to resemble the Marvel villain Red Skull. He also has subdermal implants embedded into his forehead. Henry’s surgeon, who revealed that Henry now prefers to be referred to only as “Red Skull,” said the married father underwent extensive physical and psychological tests to ensure he was ready for the surgery.
The next step for Henry, or Red Skull, will be to embed silicone implants into his cheeks. He further plans to undergo facial tattooing to complete his final transformation into the Marvel supervillain.(source)