A man who has undergone 30 cosmetic operations to look like Ricky Martin has finally admitted that he has an addiction to surgery after previously denying it.
Francisco Mariano Javier Ibanez, who hails from the city of Benavidez in the Argentinian province of Buenos Aires and who is believed to be around 33 years old, had previously claimed that he was not addicted to surgery, but rather to “how you feel after it”.
But in a recent interview on Argentinian TV channel Cronica HD, the Ricky Martin lookalike acknowledged his cosmetic surgery habit, saying: “I think that, at some point in your life, addiction develops and then gets worse.”
Ibanez spoke candidly about his mental state at the time of the procedures, saying: “When I started to get operations, I knew that things were getting out of hand and that there were things that were not healthy for me.”
The Ricky Martin lookalike opened up about his past, describing his shame at being diagnosed with obesity at the age of 12.
He said “a year passed without me leaving my room” following the diagnosis. He also said that overeating was his defence mechanism against his dad’s violence, revealing that he still has “scars on his body from the blows he received”.
He elaborated: “I ate because I felt that the day my father wanted to kill me with a knife, he was not going to touch me because the fat was going to stop it, and he wasn’t going to be able to kill me.”
As to why his dad was so violent with him, he said: “I have been gay since I was a kid, and that was his greatest torture. I will never forget the day that he found me, I was combing my sister’s hair, and he grabbed an iron and broke it over my head.”
These days, Ibanez is a qualified ontological coach, specialising in neurosciences. He gives online sessions, where he encourages his clients to “develop the best thing you have” and to “go on the right path”.
Ibanez looks like a completely different person these days, but he had previously told reporters that he was still not used to his new body after seven years of changes.
He made the admission after appearing on a 2018 Argentinian weight loss reality show called ‘Cuestion de Peso’ (‘A Matter of Weight’), during which he lost over 90 kilogrammes (198 lbs).
He told the news website TeleShow at the time: “When I went in, I had hypertension, high glucose and muscle aches. As a result of having lost weight, nothing has ever hurt again and I have stopped feeling bad.
“But such a change in life has scared me a bit. It has been a bit like starting everything from scratch. Even today, seven years later, it is still difficult for me to get used to my new body. People tell me ‘you are divine, look at what you were like before’, but it is not that easy.”
Ibanez, who has spent over ARS 1 million (GBP 7,290) on cosmetic procedures, said at the time that he was “born for television and cameras” and that he “feel[s] incredible” when people ask him for a selfie in the street.
He said that his desire to look like Ricky Martin started a long time ago, when people remarked that there was a resemblance between him and the Puerto Rican singer.
Ibanez said at the time: “This started a long time ago, when they told me I had an air of Ricky Martin. I took it as a joke, but I started to make some changes and the likeness increased.”
He then decided to go all the way, saying: “I got a photo of him, I realised that I liked him and, like everything in life, when I like something, I go for it. Now I am able to realise that the ideal thing is to be yourself, not someone else. But It took a while to realise that.”