British man Ted Richards is so in love with his pet parrots that he wants to look just like them. So he actually went through a six-hour operation to have his ears removed. And now he’s planning to turn his nose into a beak, as well!
The 56-year-old retired shoe factory worker from Hartcliffe, Bristol, is passionate about extreme body art. He sports 110 tattoos, 50 piercings, a hot iron branded peace sign on his shoulder, and even has a split tongue. The tattoos on his face are like birds’ feathers, and he’s got two magnetic horn implants on his forehead. His eyeballs are tattooed too, and with the ears removed, he feels he’s getting closer and closer to resembling his parrots – Ellie, Teaka, Timneh, Jake, and Bubi.
“I think it looks really great,” he said. “I love it. It’s the best thing that has happened to me. I’m so happy, it’s unreal, I can’t stop looking in the mirror.” To keep his glasses in place, he has had small metal pins added to the side of his head.
Richards admitted that his ears have always made him feel conscious, especially because he was teased about them in school. For many years he wore his hair long, just so he could cover them up. But he says that’s not the reason he got them removed. “I’ve done it because I want to look like my parrots as much as possible,” he insisted.
“I love the fact that I’m unique and I have always wanted to be different,” Richards added. “There’s no doubt that when they made me they broke the mould. I went to the supermarket the other day and when I went in I said ‘blimey it’s so windy out there it blew my ears off’ and everybody had a chuckle.”
“The kids are running up to me and asking to see gory photos – they just love it. They are just so fascinated. I was really surprised – I thought they were more likely to run away.”
Jokes aside, the surgery is shockingly extreme, and not many doctors would be willing to perform it. “I am absolutely horrified to learn that someone has voluntarily put themselves forward for this to be done and possibly more so that he found somebody to actually carry it out,” said Marc Pacifico, consultant plastic surgeon and member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
“The sad truth of life though is that if you want something badly enough you will eventually find someone willing to do it,” he added. “I would like to think whoever did this is not medically qualified because that would call into judgement their ethics and morals. As an accredited plastic surgeon, you have to have a great sense of moral and ethical responsibility.”
Richards, however, is very happy and unwilling to reveal who carried out the operation on him. He’s got a new girlfriend, and he’s already researching the internet for new procedures he could get done. And he’s given his severed ears to a friend who he says “will appreciate them.”