We live in a culture where youth and beauty are prized – for men and women alike, it seems. In the past three to five years, there has been a huge boom in male spending on cosmetic procedures, busting the misconception that all patients are women.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of cosmetic procedures performed on men has increased more than 325 percent since 1997. While men still only account for 7.7 percent of surgical procedures and 9.2 percent of minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures, they spent approximately $1.5 billion on the two combined last year.
The Reason Men are Flocking to the Cosmetic Surgeon’s Office
Its no secret that men want to look young, fit, and masculine. What may come as a surprise is what is cited as the primary reason for the rise is cosmetic procedures among men: climbing the corporate ladder. “The days of staying with your company for 40 years until you get your gold watch at retirement are over,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Marc Mani. Plus “in an economy driven by tech and social media, youthful looks are more important than ever before.”
The ‘Forbes Facelift’
Helping men advance their careers is a powerful marketing tool, and one that Manhattan-based plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Steinbrech uses to attract patients. His so-called ‘Forbes Facelift’ is geared towards men who “feel young and confident but are worried they don’t look it.” Steinbrech says he purposely leaves some wrinkles – “since wrinkles are sexy and trustworthy (on a man)” – and gives them a neck lift, eyelift, jaw contouring, and possible liposuction.
A Social Taboo
As cosmetic surgery becomes more common among men, it becomes less taboo to talk about. Men are now openly discussing cosmetic procedures among themselves, which is a completely new phenomenon. In our youth-obsessed culture, men have discovered that cosmetic procedures are just another way to stay ‘young.’ “Men don’t find it as taboo as it might have been. They are taking care of themselves,” says New York-based dermatologist Dr. Anthony Rossi. “Its like going to the gym or eating healthy.”
Ageism in the Workplace
Patricia Barnes, an ageism lawyer and author of “Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace,” said the trend shows just how pervasive the problem is.
Renato, a 40-year-old who works in real estate, says he felt that pressure. “I had this one client who was a first-time homebuyer in his late 20s. We were talking about social media and apps I wasn’t familiar with and he said, ‘You wouldn’t understand because you are older.’ But he was only about five years younger,” Renato said.
“That’s pretty dramatic, to feel like, ‘If don’t have surgery, I might not have a job,” said Barnes. “It’s a sad commentary on how insecure older people feel in the workplace today.”
Renato has since spent upwards of $50,000 on cosmetic procedures, and he is thrilled with the results. “I certainly don’t look like I’m 40,” he says.
The Human Ken Doll
34-year-old Brazilian-born British citizen Rodrigo Alves, aka “The Human Ken Doll,” has gained worldwide recognition as the poster boy for male cosmetic enhancement. Alves has undergone 60 plastic surgeries and 103 non-invasive cosmetic procedures, including “10 nose jobs, a butt lift, silicone chest implants, eight pack abs, hair implants, and rib removal to enhance his waist.” His love of the cosmetic method of self-improvement has lead him to spend an estimated 508,000 British Pounds on the procedures.
Alves says he hopes to “break the taboo” that surrounds male cosmetic enhancement – and in doing so he wants to shed light on the pros and cons of ‘going under the knife.’ In September 2017 he was reported to have been held at a Dubai airport for three hours because his face no longer matches his passport photo.
While a little freshening up can make you look and feel better, take a cue from Rodrigo and remember, less is often more.
The 5 Most Popular Surgical Procedures for Men 2017
- Eyelid surgery
- Tummy tuck
- Male breast reduction (for the treatment of gynecomastia)
- Nose reduction
The 5 Most Popular Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures for Men 2017
1. Botulinum Toxin (Botox, Dysport and Xeomin)
2. Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
3. Laser or Pulsed Light Hair Removal
4. Photorejuvenation (IPL)
5. Chemical Peel