‘Human Ken’ dies at 20

Published: June 9, 2015

‘Human Ken’ dies at 20, Even before he found global fame as a human Ken doll, Celso Santebañes’ physical appearance had made him a star in his native Brazil.

As a child, Celso Borges Pereira (the name he was born with) was feted for his beauty, his perfect features refusing to fade with each year that passed. At 15, he started entering – and winning – modeling competitions, eventually catching the eye of a Sao Paulo talk show talent scout.

The show gave him entry into the world of celebrity, and within a year, he’d taken up acting and changed his surname to Santebañes after his favorite Mexican sitcom character.

It was around this time that people started telling him he looked like a Ken doll. It happened so often that Santabañes became fixated on the toy, lining his bedroom shelves with dozens of the plastic figurines. He later explained that his family’s endorsement of the bizarre comparison inspired him to recreate himself as a “human puppet.”

“Obsessed with the perfection of physical beauty, Santebañes started to identify features of his face that didn’t look like the Mattel brand doll,” the Latin Times said.

“(He believed) his nose was too wide and his philtrum – the crease of the upper lip – simply too natural.”


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