A drag artist faked his extensive plastic surgery transformation to promote a conversation about the cyber bullying he has received online.
The long-term project was thought up by makeup artist Elliot Rentz, who is known for his drag character Alexis Stone and creating incredible makeup transformations to look like other celebrities.
British-born Elliot, 25, who is originally from Manchester, teamed up with Oscar-winning SFX makeup artist David Marti to create a mask that would trick followers into believed he got extensive plastic surgery.
Incredible: Makeup artist Elliot Rentz, who is known as drag queen Alexis Stone, shocked the internet after revealing a drastic plastic surgery transformation was all fake
Tricked: The fake transformation was first posted on Elliot’s Alexis Stone Instagram page in October, but it was later revealed that Elliot was wearing a prosthetic mask
Fake out: After the October post, Elliot continued to post wearing the mask to trick followers into thinking he got the plastic surgery
Bring on the hate: Followers commented hateful and hurtful messages about Elliot’s transformation without knowing it was fake
Upset: People said they thought his new face was ‘strange’ and that the plastic surgery didn’t make him look beautiful
The two men collaborated on the project over the summer to create multiple masks Elliot would be able to wear in public so no followers would know the plastic surgery transformation didn’t happen.
‘Mask was worn every time I left the house,’ Elliot wrote on the Alexis Stone Facebook page in January after revealing all the plastic surgery was fake.
In a documentary-style YouTube video detailing the transformation posted on Jan. 1, Elliot said the project was thought up after he kept receiving criticism for going under the knife despite only having one surgery.
‘The last year-and-half since when I started having Botox or filler, I have every day been called botched,’ he said in the video. ‘I’ve been called a monster. I’ve accused of being addicted to plastic surgery. When the reality is I have only had one surgery.’
The goal of the transformation was to bring awareness about internet trolls and how people perceive plastic surgery.
‘There is such a stigma behind plastic surgery and people have this idea that you can only receive or want surgery if you are in need of it from other people’s point of view,’ he continued.
Unimpressed: The point of the fake surgery, Elliot later revealed, was to prove the problems with cyber bullying and people feeling they have a right to attack someone online
Awful: Comments poured in calling Elliot ‘horrendous’ and ‘ugly’ for the transformation
Surprise: In a video posted on New Year’s Eve, Elliot tour off his mask to show followers the plastic surgery was fake
True self: Elliot (pictured with his real face) then posted a second video on Jan. 1 to detail the project he had been doing for months
During the documentary video, Elliot revealed how he wanted to have a Mrs. Doubtfire moment with his Alexis Stone character.
‘My goal as a child was to become Mrs. Doubtfire,’ he said.
Elliot first started hinting he was undergoing plastic surgery to his followers in August. He then posted a picture after the ‘surgery’ on Oct. 17 where his face was altered and appeared to have bruising.
‘Alexis’s surgery went smoothly and on schedule,’ the post read. ‘He is now recovering from the comfort of his hospital bed. He would like to thank everyone for the kind messages.’
Unbeknown to followers, Elliot was actually wearing a mask created by David in the picture.
The project took off after the unveiling as Elliot received a number of judgmental and hurtful comments about the transformation.
‘Botched TV show is calling few weeks from now on,’ one critical follower wrote on an Instagram post after Elliot unveiled the transformation.
Another person wrote: ‘I really like you makeup. But sorry I now see your face is very strange…please stop your plastic surgery because it doesn’t make you more beautiful.’
Incredible: Before the project, Elliot was known for his amazing makeup transformations to look like prominent celebrities including Adele (pictured)
Amazing: ‘There is such a stigma behind plastic surgery,’ Elliot, pictured after transforming into Cameron Diaz, said during his recent video
Lookalike: People have praised Elliot, pictured as Cher, online for his project and forcing a conversation about the problems with cyber bullying
The criticism only continued as Elliot posted videos on Alexis Stone’s YouTube and Instagram page to show new makeup transformations. All of the posts featured him wearing the prosthetic mask.
‘This is the cosmetic surgery you got?’ One fan commented. ‘This is so disgusting you should be self conscious now then you were before this is horrendous you looked fine the way you were…’
Elliot informed followers that the plastic surgery was all a ruse in two videos. The first video released on New Years Eve showed Elliot ripping off the mask to reveal his real face.
The second video, posted on Jan. 1, then detailed the months of preparation and execution to fool the internet into believing he underwent the dramatic transformation.
‘[I also want to] bring attention to the social construct of becoming a monster,’ Elliot said during the second video. ‘If enough people scream and shout that someone’s a monster … It becomes believable.’
Comments poured in with people commending the drag artist for his trick saying he left the haters ‘shook’ after the two videos amassed more than 700,000 views collectively.
‘Your work has inspired so many, and you really had everyone fooled,’ one fan commented on the second video. ‘Every day I felt so bad at all of the comments you had to read, and I wondered how in the hell you were strong enough to deal with it! You’re a genius. Take care of yourself.’
Elliot made it clear in the video that this project was a way for him to express his art while also working through the comments he consistently receives on social media.
‘This is my modern-day drag performance,’ he said. ‘Whether you want to call it drag or whatever you want to call it. This is my art.’