Why more men are getting cosmetic surgery
More men are opting for cosmetic procedures—including surgeries—to "perfect" their bodies and defy agingBy Diane Peters
The days when women were the only clients at the spa or the cosmetic surgery clinic are long gone. Younger men are proudly getting mani/pedis and facials to match their fashion-forward clothes. Not only that, it has become increasingly acceptable for men of all ages to pluck their unibrow and go for waxing. Even the nether regions aren’t spared: Insiders say the next big trend is the “manzilian”—yes, Brazilian waxes for men. (Gulp.) This shift in attitudes also means more men are visiting cosmetic procedure clinics to fix what they see as their flaws and to reverse age-related changes. The numbers of men getting cosmetic surgery are not huge: According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (no Canadian stats are available), about eight percent of all cosmetic procedures are performed on men. But this statistic has risen 88 percent over the past 15 years. (Female interest in such procedures has grown an incredible 164 percent.)
The top procedures
According to Dr. Mathew Mosher, a plastic surgeon based in Langley, B.C., men under 40 most commonly opt for chest liposuction to reduce the look of “man breasts,” liposuction of the waistline, rhinoplasty for perfecting the nose and ear tucking. Older men, meanwhile, are most commonly having eyelid lift surgery. “The biggest interest is in the less invasive procedures,” says Mosher. Those include injectables such as Botox for forehead lines, and fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm for smile lines and restoring their jawline. Men are also getting laser hair removal for their chests and backs, and are finally seeing the value of using skincare products. A few are having hair transplants. And there are even reports that in Florida, as many as 650 men per year are growing taller through a pricey—and painful—leg-lengthening surgery that’s available there.
According to a Canadian survey of 103 men published in 2009, it’s typically men with low self-esteem who have undergone, or are considering, cosmetic procedures. (Not surprisingly, guys with the highest self-esteem were
the most accepting of their bodies.) But study co-author Rose Ricciardelli, assistant professor of sociology at York University, doesn’t think women should worry about their partner’s self-esteem if he wants to make changes.
“You can’t say for certain someone has a self-esteem issue because they’re getting cosmetic surgery. People do these things for individual reasons.”
Often, it’s women who make that first appointment on behalf of their guy. But Mosher says more men are making the call on their own. What he sees most: A man starts talking during his spouse’s consultation for her own cosmetic procedure about what he’d like done. Once the man has a surgery date, he will often be secretive about it. “They’re still worried about what their peers will think,” says Mosher. And if they do talk about getting their nose done, for example, they often explain it in practical terms: “It will help me breathe better.” If your partner wants to have a cosmetic procedure and you support that, help out by collecting information on reputable plastic surgeons. Respect him by being discreet. “If he wants to keep it private, do that—don’t spread it around your peer group,” says Mosher.
What he can expect
Prices for procedures range from around $400 for one Botox treatment (the results last four months) to as much as $10,000 for liposuction. It’s vital to seek out a qualified professional. For an operation, find a surgeon who is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, says Mosher. Doctors may turn away people who smoke or are overweight, or ask patients to make lifestyle changes before undergoing the operation.