There was a time when men were allowed to age gracefully and CEOs had grey hair. Now men are competing with 20-something entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and trying to live up to the “six pack” ideal of male attractiveness and masculinity.
So, while women have been undergoing minimally invasive cosmetic treatments, such as Botox and Restylane, men have stepped up to the plate, choosing surgical options. In an effort to get rid of “love handles” and other abdominal fat, more than 41,000 men underwent lipoplasty in 2011, representing a 14 percent increase from the past year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), reporting to the Los Angeles Times.
The LA Times interviewed Stephen, an Orange County lipoplasty patient who typifies that trend. “I couldn’t get rid of the fat. I tried diets. I walked five days a week and worked out three, but it just accumulated and I couldn’t get rid of it.” Stephen was embarrassed to wear a T-shirt for five years because it showed his fatty abdomen and chest.
Eyelid surgery in men is also on the rise. ASAPS reports that 23,000 eyelid surgeries were performed in men in 2011, representing a 6 percent increase over last year. A Beverly Hills plastic surgeons believes that eyelid and abdominal surgery are so popular “because the eyelids and midsection are among the first parts of the body to show signs of age and among the most difficult to remedy without surgery.”
A Utah plastic surgeon tells the LA Times that plastic surgery in men is becoming much more acceptable. In the past patients would hide for 8 weeks after surgery; “Now you have yoursurgery in the morning and in the afternoon you’re talking to your friends.”
Whether you’re male or female, a huge portion of the U.S. population is aging. This may be the largest factor in driving the male plastic surgery trend. According to the 2011 International Study of Aesthetic/Cosmetic Surgery Procedures, “people ages 35 to 64 account for 71 percent of all cosmetic procedures in the U.S., the country with the largest number of cosmetic procedures performed.”
The bottom line is that in 2011, 9 percent of surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S. were performed in men, representing a 121 percent increase since 1997.