Teen uses loans to pay for liposuction to look like David Beckham

Emma Woollacott
Teen uses benefits to pay for liposuction to look like David Beckham
Teen uses benefits to pay for liposuction to look like David Beckham

A Nottingham teenager living on benefits has had liposuction in his continuing efforts to look like David Beckham.

Jack Johnson, 19, from Bulwell, Nottingham, is already thousands of pounds in debt following Botox and tanning injections, lip fillers and work on his teeth.

He says he's spent more than £20,000 so far - and has debt recovery companies chasing him regularly. But despite this, he's still having more work, looking to liposuction for the next stage of his quest.

Appearing on Channel 5's 'On Benefits' this week, he says he says he's aiming to lose nearly half his 21-stone weight in order to look more like his idol.

"I want liposuction; this is what I have to do to get a body like David Beckham," he says. "It might not give me a six-pack like him but I will be closer to my goal."

On the show, he has a litre of fat removed - although he stops short of the planned two litres because of the pain.

"I am groggy and sore now, but it is worth it as in a few weeks time I will be skinny and feel more confident about myself - so it is worth the pain in the long run to look slimmer," he says.

While it's easy to mock Johnson, it's widely accepted that plastic surgery can be addictive - particularly for people who have little control in other areas of their lives.

Research has shown that between five and fifteen percent of people undergoing cosmetic surgery suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), described as a preoccupation with an imagined physical defect or an exaggerated concern about a minimal defect.

Just this week, we reported on mother of four Amanda Love, who has spent more than £200,000 in a quest to look like a Barbie doll; meanwhile, Brazilian Rodrigo Alves has spent £300, 000 on plastic surgery, including six nose jobs, in order to look more like Barbie's boyfriend Ken.

And the number of men opting for cosmetic procedures has doubled over the last ten years, with 4,614 British men undergoing surgery last year for purely aesthetic reasons.

"Perhaps the decline of the 'hyper-masculine' look fashionable last year which has given way to a sharper, more slimline shape has influenced men – and it certainly appears both genders seem encouraged by a new openness in glamorous celebrities admitting they have had 'a little surgical help' to enhance their looks," says consultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover, former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

"There is a danger, however, that this presents the image of cosmetic surgery as a commodity, so the public must always be warned that an operation is not something that can simply be returned to the shop if you don't like it."