I’m willing to bet that most people occasionally shake their heads at women and their plastic surgery choices. After all, along with breast augmentation surgery for the under-endowed, breast reductions for the huge and uncomfortable and tummy tucks for women after childbirth, there are some procedures that are pretty, well, “out there.” Like the designer pinky toe, for instance. Or the Brazilian butt lift.
But even though it’s on a smaller scale, be assured that men have cosmetic surgery too. And they occasionally go to some pretty surprising lengths to look the way they want to.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, men account for just under 10 percent of cosmetic surgery patients. Furthermore, men’s attitudes toward surgical improvement seem to be pretty open these days. Almost 70 percent of men surveyed say they would not be embarrassed if they chose to have surgery and other people knew about it.
It’s true that most men take a utilitarian approach to plastic surgery. Many, perhaps the majority, choose procedures for rejuvenation purposes, such as liposuction, eyelid lifts and hair transplantation. The next most popular reason to have surgery is to fix an unsatisfying feature — thus rhinoplasty and male breast reduction are also among the top five procedures for men. Several thousand men have ear surgery and facelifts each year as well.
But beyond that it can get a little weirder. Some men want a sculpted look to the extent that they’re using body implants to get it. Pectoral implants, or male chest implants, are becoming more common for men who want to look like gym regulars. To carry that ripped look even further, bicep, tricep and even calf implants are available.
It’s both refreshing and distressing to see men influenced by the media in this way. Apparently more and more are willing to go under the knife for what one might argue are superficial changes. Once upon a time, trying to attain the unattainable look was a woman’s struggle. Today, in what a writer for the Portland (Maine) Phoenix calls “our visual culture,” more and more men are also very concerned about their physical image.