For thousands of years, we humans have been fascinated by our own reflection. Humans are the only species that pays attention to our image in the mirror. What we hope to see, when we catch ourselves doing this, is to get an idea of how we might look to others.
Today, men and women spend billions of dollars a year to attempt to achieve their ideal image, whether it’s with workouts, diet, hair style, clothes, makeup, or cosmetic surgery. All aimed at enhancing that image in the mirror.
Typically, a woman might be hypercritical of her appearance, while a man will seem to be OK with his image. No matter how he looks. If there is anything he notices in a mirror, it’s usually full of admiration for how well he’s holding up. Males can look at whatever they see and find the best in themselves.
So, why are more men getting cosmetic surgery? It boils down to five basic motivations.
1 To Stay Competitive
Many of the men coming in for job related issues are mid-to-upper level executives who want to continue looking young in order to compete with the younger, less expensive upcoming “talent.” Common procedures men request to stay competitive include:
- Liposuction to reduce excess abdominal or breast fat
- Blepharoplasty to remove bags under the eyes
- Laser skin resurfacing to improve the skin tone and texture
- Hair restoration to restore volume or a receding hairline
The challenge in treating male professionals is that most can’t afford a great deal of downtime. Nor can they look too different, because there is a social stigma associated with men who get cosmetic surgery. In my opinion, it is better to “under-do” the correction in these instances, so the changes are subtle.
2 To Attract a Younger Partner
Men who are returning to the dating scene want a change to help them move forward and start over. This desire to attract or keep a younger partner compels many men to have aesthetic procedures that make them look younger. They are also more apt to tolerate more downtime. These procedures include:
- Procedures that lift and tighten the face and neck
- Liposuction or fat transfer
- Procedures that make the eyes look younger, such as:
- Midface lift
- Ablative laser treatment for reducing wrinkles
3 Because they were ‘Born with It’
For men who were genetically blessed with handsome and rugged good looks, there will be a day when they, too, will feel self-conscious of aging. For these individuals, they may be more inclined to opt for cosmetic enhancements, especially if they stop receiving positive feedback. They may even feel pressured to do so if they make a living as an actor or model. In these situations, very little intervention is required to restore the face. Perhaps just minimally invasive services such as:
- Skin care
4 Beauty à la carte
The desire to be beautiful—with more hair, a square jaw, a bolder chin, a more sculpted nose, smoother skin—motivates many. For the modern man, procedures to achieve ‘beauty’ include:
- Hair replacement surgery
- Facial shaping with fat, fillers, bone surgery, or implants
Interestingly enough, this comprises the smallest group of patients and they have very definite ideas about what they want. It takes the most time preoperatively to define their aesthetic desires regarding an outcome and to educate them as to what is realistic and possible.
5 Family Bonding
If one member of a couple has been happy with surgery, it is likely that the other member comes in after having watched the recovery process and is ready for any procedures we recommend after determining what bothers him. These patients are “prepped” as they have also been our partners in the pre and post-surgical process and are ready to also watch themselves be transformed. The procedures available run the gamut.
No matter what motivates men to undergo cosmetic surgery, it’s clear the increase in men’s procedures is not slowing down any time soon. In 2014, men had more than 1 million cosmetic procedures, an increase of over 273% from 1997.