Herbert Chavez is a 35-year-old Filipino man who has since 1995 endured numerous plastic surgeries in an effort to more closely resemble Superman, the legendary DC Comics superhero. Chin augmentation, rhinoplasty and thigh implants are just some of the procedures Chavez, a hardcore Superman fan, has elected to undergo in an unsettling quest that one psychiatrist has identified as symptomatic of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.According to UCLA's Semel Institute for Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Body Dysmorphic Disorder is:

...a body image disorder in which individuals are preoccupied with a perceived flaw in physical appearance, which can result in severe functional impairment and suffering. Individuals with BDD usually focus on one or more aspects of their appearance, such as skin, nose, hair, eyes (or any other part of their appearance), which they believe to be defective or ugly. Individuals with BDD often feel depressed, anxious and ashamed. Their degree of anguish and distress is such that it interferes with their day-to-day activities such as work, school, or social situations.

A psychiatrist interviewed by the Philippines' ABS-CBN News (video at link) suggested that Chavez, who works as a "pageant trainer," suffers from BDD. While she did not examine him personally, the doctor's diagnosis would seem to fit the apparent facts. According to RealSelf.com, a website dedicated to the discussion of cosmetic treatments, Chavez's surgeries to more closely resemble Superman and specific Superman actors include:

  • Chin augmentation for the cleft
  • Rhinoplasty to simulate the nose of famous Superman actor Christopher Reeve
  • Silicone lip injections
  • Thigh implants

Judging by Chavez's "before" photograph, RealSelf speculates that the man has also undergone procedures to alter his eyes, cheeks and jaw, and perhaps more.

It's generally known that many people who elect to have cosmetic surgery wish to resemble famous actors or musicians, but Chavez's case is unusual in that he's gone through what must be a lot of physical pain and financial expense to look like Superman, a fictional character. In the Filipino news report, you can see that his home is covered in wall-to-wall Superman memorabilia, including several life-size replicas of the character, one of which is modeled after Superman Returns star Brandon Routh.

It is of course within this man's rights to alter his body in any way he sees fit, but it's not hard to imagine the Man of Steel disapproving of Chavez's actions.

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