Iranian teenager Sahar Tabar became a social media sensation on Instagram after reports claimed she had undergone 50 surgeries to look like her idol Angelina Jolie.
Though that figure ended up being a bit of an exaggeration, Tabar wouldn’t be the first youngster to go under the knife in a bid to look more like one of their heroes.
Back in 2003, an 18-year-old called Martin from Austin, Texas spent over $26,000 in an attempt to look like one of his idols: Ricky Martin.
A star on the short-lived MTV reality series I Want A Famous Face, Martin’s ordeal would end up being overshadowed by Matt and Mike Schlepp, the 21-year-old twins that spent £15,000 a piece going under the knife to look like Brad Pitt – but it’s well worth revisiting.
“I wanna look like Ricky Martin because Ricky Martin is this really confident attractive person,” Martin explained in the episode. “He has the hair, he has the style, he has the good looks, he has the ladies,” he added, evidently oblivious to the fact that Martin was in the closet at the time.
Martin felt the pair had loads in common too: “We’re both of Latin descent, we both like fun, up tempo music and, after my surgery, we’ll have a lot more in common.” A college student, Martin had another reason for getting the surgery done: he wanted to win the heart of Marita, a girl who he has been friends with for some time.
According to Martin, Ricky’s strong features were exactly what he needed to overcome her lack of romantic interest in him. Meeting Marita ahead of his various surgeries, however, it soon became clear that she was opposed to the idea and a little concerned about Martin’s motives.
“Are you getting it done for someone? I hope not,” she told him on the episode. “If you are going to get it, get it for yourself, not for someone else.”
Undeterred, Martin went under the knife. He had his ears pinned back, got a nose job, had liposuction done on his cheeks, got some pockets of fat cut from around his mouth, and rounded things off with a chin implant and brow lift. All told, the procedures ended up setting him back around $26,500.
“Maybe after all these things are done to my face and I look like Ricky Martin maybe I’ll be living La Vida Loca,” he said before surgery.
He’s not exactly Living La Vida Loca in the immediate aftermath though, covered in bandages, groaning and occasionally vomiting what appears to be blood.
When the bandages are finally off, it was also immediately obvious that Martin didn’t look a whole lot like Ricky Martin. “I don’t think I look exactly like Ricky Martin,” he admitted. “But I do feel like I got a lot of Ricky Martin’s features from the surgery.”
His sister, Tammie, wasn’t impressed with the results either: “I don’t think they did a great job with your ear and your eyebrows look all high. I thought it was going to be for the better but I guess I was wrong.” Still, he got the girl at the end of it all, right? What do you think…
By the time he’s recovered from his surgery, Marita has started dating someone. She also insisted she had never seen Martin as anything more than a friend, which was clear from the moment she pops up on the show. Martin was left feeling a little more confident about his appearance though, so at least there’s that.
It’s difficult to know what happened to Martin – his surname isn’t mentioned on the episode or in any of the publicity material – maybe he looks more like Ricky Martin now than he did then.
Somehow we doubt it though…
Check out Martin’s story and relive his episode of I Want A Famous Face, in three parts, below: