Open up any men’s magazine or online news site and you are going to find articles about the sudden boom in plastic surgery for men. According to these authors, men are bucking gender stereotypes and suddenly investing in their own appearance.
But is caring about your appearance actually turning away from gender roles and doing something radical? Is a facelift for men an act of revolution?
Really, It’s a Return to the Past
Very few men outside of Hollywood were getting facelifts in the 1950s. But men caring about how they look? That isn’t a trend; it’s as old as the majority of recorded history. The guys who walk around in cargo shorts and scuffed-up sneakers while sporting a two-day shadow are the anomaly.
The idea that men shouldn’t try when it comes to fashion and looks is relatively new. And it isn’t even universal. If you spend time in the board room or at a full-service barbershop, you know that.
Even in the 1980s, men were focused on looking good, embracing trends and maintaining their youth. And the further back you go, the more they did to look their best. Just take a look at the wigs and powdered faces of our founding fathers. Taking pride in your appearance has long been thought of as a masculine trait, so embrace it with facial rejuvenation.
But Plastic Surgery Is Different, Right?
Not really. Sure, men weren’t getting plastic surgery all that often in decades past, but that isn’t because it is wrong for men or somehow unmanly. It’s just because these surgeries are fairly new and weren’t all that accessible until recently.
As plastic surgery has opened up to the masses, more and more men have come to embrace it. And it makes sense when you think about it: facelifts are really just a tune-up for your face. In a world where youth is highly valuable, getting a procedure done can make you more marketable at work and in the dating world.
Of course, facial rejuvenation for men isn’t limited to surgical procedures. There are plenty of nonsurgical options as well, including microdermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing and even non-surgical body contouring.
Are Men Really Embracing Plastic Surgery?
Yes — this is not just media hype. For most plastic surgeons, their fastest growing patient demographic is men over 35. In 2017 alone, over 1.3 million men had some sort of aesthetic procedure performed, whether surgical or med spa.
This isn’t just about vanity, though no doubt that plays a part. It is about survival. When we look young and healthy, we are assessed as better by people, making us more likely to be seen as capable at work and as a prospect when dating. With Gen Z entering adult life, we have some serious competition heading our way.
Still not quite convinced? Don’t start by jumping into the deep end. Instead, start with non-surgical facial rejuvenation, or if your hairline has started receding, hair transplants. You can work your way up towards realizing bigger goals as you get more comfortable. Just remember: there is nothing wrong with caring about how you look and taking pride in yourself.
Dr. David Dellinger at Elysian Plastic Surgery in Austin is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who maintains a practice focus on body contouring surgery, breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation.