On the new Crackle reality show Men Of West Hollywood, Justin Jedlica is definitely one of the more well-known of the group of West Hollywood friends. A longtime advocate for body modification, Jedlica is a veteran at dealing with detractors and continuing his own mission to help people discover the freedom that can come with a little nip or tuck. I sat down with Jedlica for an extensive chat where we spoke about Men of West Hollywood, bringing his own relationship in front of reality show cameras, and why for him, “greatness was never achieved by being safe”!
Michael Cook: As arguably the most well-known of the cast of Men of West Hollywood, you are almost like the “Lisa Rinna” of this fast-moving crowd of WeHo friends.
Justin Jedlica: I’ll take that; “own it”! (Laughs)
MC: Being also known as the “Human Ken Doll” has brought a lot of attention and a great deal of criticism. Is it possible that many of the critiques come from people who in actuality, would do the very same thing?
JJ: I agree with you totally. Or they do actually do it, and they just don’t own it!
MC: What is it like to have your cameras on you finally where your life is being documented, but you are sharing it with friends in a docuseries like Men of West Hollywood?
JJ: That was the one pet peeve that everyone said about the billboards, they were asking me what I thought about them up everywhere. I said “it’s wonderful, except I have to share it with five other guys” (laughs)! I am carrying the weight of the show on my shoulders (laughs)! Honestly, this has been in the works for a long time. When they first approached me for the show, the show idea was slightly different. They decided to make it a little bit more inclusive, so now we have six men, kind of like the Housewives. Three men that identify as gay, and three men that identify as straight. I was decent friends with Murray to start with, and the other boys and I knew of each other or had bumped into each other, but our friendships have definitely grown a lot during the filming of the show.
MC: You are in a relationship of your own that may be unconventional to some and your relationship, like many others, works for you. Were you concerned about the backlash that potentially could come from it?
JJ: My relationship with my Aussie boy is something that has been out, but in the Australian media. Prior to Covid, I would be in Australia and we would travel extensively as well. My partner Jason, he loves being a part of the government and being part of exclusive events. When I started popping up at enclusive events or events that were closed to the public, there was a lot of media that speculated as to why “The Human Ken Doll” was showing up at Parliament House. I answered a lot of the questions in the Australian press, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to speak about the answers here.
MC: Was it a hard decision to make to have them appear on camera?
JJ: There is that feeling of being exposed, or maybe there is that speculation or how my partners would take it. They were game to come on to be filmed for one episode to support me and be grilled for a little while. I was a little anxious, because our show is a bit controversial and the boys are all there to make the best show possible. A lot of the questions they asked were a little over the bounds of what a typical friend would ask, I would say! (laughs). I was definitely a little bit nervous when they came in for the filming of that episode.
MC: You are a very polarizing figure for a myriad of reasons. Is it every exhausting dealing with hypocrisy coming from your own community for what you have chosen to do in terms of your body modifications or on the behavior exhibited on Men of West Hollywood?
JJ: I have been doing media for eleven plus years now and people always use me as a controversial figure. I have always just done what I loved and the bit of fame and notoriety that came from it, both good and bad, are not things that I necessarily sought out. It just sort of happened due to my own passion for body modification. If it gives me a platform to speak out and to be able to promote now, which is my plastic surgery consultation business and my custom implant design services, it is a great advertisement for me to push my business and to do what I love.
It still can be a hard sell for some people, they misunderstand and think that I suffer from body dysmorphia or that I am overly obsessed with my appearance and superficial. I don’t think anything could be farther from the truth. I enjoy body modification, I enjoy looking a little “done” and I enjoy body modification primarily for the creativity purpose. That is not how everyone feels on how or why people do plastic surgery, and it can be hard for the masses to understand that.
MC: So tell me, what are your own reasons or being such an advocate for plastic surgery and body modification?
JJ: For me, it is an artistry and I think of myself as an artist. I believe that plastic surgery isn’t for everyone but it was integral in my life for me to be able to get an additional sense of confidence and self esteem in myself. The customization of myself I think is something that has been key in asserting my individuality and being able to stand alone. To know that I am in charge of my own destiny, I create the man that I am. It has nothing to do with what I was born into or the family I come from, be it blue collar or not. I have the power and the ability to mold myself physically, mentally and socially the way that I choose.
Plastic surgery has been great for me in that respect as a tool, and that is largely what I preach when I go on shows or what I talk to clients when they come in. I think it can be a great tool for people to be able to move into the next chapter of their life and maybe regain something that they think have lost. I speak a majority part of my time with people undergoing a major life change, like a divorce or death, their children have moved out and they are looking to regain some of the youth that they think they have lost; they are looking for a newly found life. Plastic surgery does not have to necessarily be on a superficial notion, I think emotionally for people it can be extremely important also.
MC: Even with all the modification you have done, there has to be a modification you have not done. What would be something you have yet to do but would like to do?
JJ: I’ve done a majority of the things that I’ve wanted to do when it comes to aesthetics, but I think the next thing that I am thinking about doing is that it is coming time for a face lift. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe in a year or two. A full face life, I have had a mini lift, but not a full face lift. More exaggerated than that, maybe I’ll do something like a a cat eye slant, maybe cheekbone implants toward the back, a sharper jaw and dissolve my fillers. I’ll have a big reveal; I hope to find have a doctor that would be willing to work on that with me, so maybe that will be the next project that I decide to undergo.
MC: sounds very Jocelyn Wildenstein esque…
JJ: Oh My gosh, she is my IDOL! That is so funny. Her story and her life! I am actually friends with her husband Lloyd Klein, but I have never had the privilege of meeting Jocelyn and I have always wanted to. She is down in Florida now, but our paths have not passed just yet. She is my icon, I love Jocelyn!
MC: The past two years have had the LGBTQ community in a true sense of stillness in so many ways. For someone like you that thrives off of the public, what do you think you have learned from that time?
JJ: I don’t know that it’s anything that I hadn’t learned before; you have to live your life to the fullest while you have it. Nothing in life worth having comes without risk. Greatness was never achieved being safe. When I talk about my surgeries, life, or relationships, none of those things are or were an easy undertaking. They do provide me with a sense of happiness regardless of what other people tell me. I will continue to pursue what it is that I love and what keeps me feeling fulfilled and I definitely want to stay on that track.
Especially now, I haven’t been able to see my partners for twenty months because of the restrictions that are in Australia, because of the restrictions which are some of the strictest the world because I am not a legal resident or citizen. I miss them and I would like to be reunited with them hopefully within the next year. It doesn’t dissuade me from being in that relationship and wanting to keep that love alive. Most people dont think of me as being in a relationship or what my partners have to deal with, I live with my commitments to my surgeries and appear on television a lot, which does exploit you lifestyle a bit. They have had to come with me on this journey and it is not the easiest for them to answer questions and be supportive all the time either, but I sp appreciate it from them too.
Follow Justin Jedlica on Instagram