Most men tend to be awkward with anything that involves some kind of social interaction. Blame it on generations of conditioning to never be too vulnerable, not even among those closest to us.
That’s changing slowly, though. And, believe it or not, plastic surgery is an indicator of it. Men have always been concerned about their appearance. I can vouch for that, not just as board-certified plastic surgeon but also as a card-carrying member of the gender. What’s changing is that it’s finally becoming more acceptable for them to say and do something about it. The taboo’s fading.
And it happens to be coinciding with the de-stigmatization of male plastic surgery. It’s easy to imagine that only a few years ago, a guy would never dare tell his best friend that he was thinking about getting Botox to iron out a few premature wrinkles. Today, he’s likely to not only tell him; he may even invite him along.
The number of men interested in undergoing cosmetic procedures is surging. The total number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed among men in 2015 was 1.2 million, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). That’s just under 10% of the total number of cosmetic surgical procedures done that year, but it’s more than triple the number of men who went under the knife in 1997, the first year the ASAPS began tracking annual statistics.
The number of men considering plastic surgery is increasing, too, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In a recent survey, 31% of men said they were “extremely likely” to consider a cosmetic procedure. A little less than half said a boost in confidence was the main reason for their interest. A quarter said they wanted to “look younger” in an effort to remain competitive in their careers.
In my most recent blog posts, I’ve tried to unpack how influential our jobs can be—for both men and women—in shaping our interest in plastic surgery. The workforce is growing younger by the year. And where experience once earned you stature, now it’s more likely to render your voice irrelevant. What more and more are seeking, in turn, are ways to sharpen the edges of their experience, if you will. Think nonsurgical cosmetic treatments that can shave a couple years off a face, while maintaining a very natural appearance.
Of course, work isn’t the only reason. At no point in our history have we been faced with more images of ourselves. Even if you maintain a modest social media presence, you still probably see a portrait of yourself when you log into your laptop, send a text, and scroll through your friends’ posts. It can have a cumulative effect. We all have at least one feature we’d like to change. If you’re faced with that feature—say, a receding hairline or prominent forehead wrinkles—a dozen times a day, day in and day out, it has a way of growing roots in our thoughts.
The most popular cosmetic surgical procedures for men are liposuction, eye-lift surgery, breast reduction, tummy tucks, and facelifts, according to recent annual statistics from the ASAPS. While not all that different from the top procedures for women, the details of the procedures often dramatically diverge between the two sexes. Rhinoplasty, for example, is not the same surgery for men as it is for women. The same can be said of injectables.
So, if you’re considering male plastic surgery, seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in treating men. If you can’t find a gallery on their website, don’t be shy about asking during your consultation.