If you think extreme cosmetic surgery includes Sheyla Hershey’s 38KKK breasts or Heidi Montag’s ten procedures in one day, you’re right. But there are examples that go much further than this. There’s a dark fringe of cosmetic surgery that’s pretty scary, where the subjects’ motivations range from wacky to deeply disturbed.
Dr. Martin Donohoe, a lecturer at Portland State University and a physician on staff at a Portland Kaiser hospital, authored a paper a few years ago that explores the dark side of cosmetic procedures and where the field may be heading. Leveraging international research sources, Donohoe reviewed treatments that may have you shaking your head, such as breast implants for teens, circumcision revision, and others you may find quite upsetting. Here are some of the most odd and extreme procedures you’ll ever hear about.
You may have heard about “furries,” people who consider themselves part of the “Furry Fandom,” a group that celebrates anthropomorphic animals and animal/human creatures. A recent outgrowth of the science fiction and fantasy communities, these people may simply admire anthropomorphic cartoons and literature. Others invent characters for themselves; some creating costumes to wear at furry conventions. The extreme furry, noted Donohoe, may go even further. A person with a tiger for an alter ego, he explained, may have stripes tattooed on their bodies, sharpened canine “fangs,” implanted whiskers and surgically altered faces.
There are others who choose plastic surgery to mimic the look of animals—people who are not part of the Furry Fandom. Probably the most famous is Joyce Wildenstein, who has undergone too many procedures to count in her quest to resemble a cat. Then there’s the Lizardman, a performance artist who has has modified his body to complement his act. He had his tongue split by an oral surgeon. He elected Teflon implants above each eyebrow to give the appearance of horned reptilian ridges. A cosmetic dentist filed his upper teeth into points. And to date, he estimates he’s undergone about 650 hours of tattooing.