More than 1.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men last year—up 2 percent from 2009. It’s not just actors who are having these procedures done, either: Most of the men who are passing through cosmetic surgeons’ offices are regular guys, men who you wouldn’t necessarily think would have work done. But with 64,000 men having had rhinoplasty and 337,000 having gotten Botox in 2010 alone, it’s clear that celebrities are not the only ones interested in improving their appearance.
The truth is, last year’s statistics aren’t an isolated event; they’re part of a larger pattern. The number of men who seek out plastic surgery has been climbing steadily for the past few years, and it’s pretty clear that that number is going to continue to grow. Why?
There are many factors contributing to this rise in male cosmetic patients. It has to do in part with the fact that many men today feel pressured to stay young- and fit-looking in order to compete with their younger counterparts, both socially and in the workplace. Many men may still worry less about how they look than women do—after all, women still make up 91 percent of plastic surgery patients—but they seem to worry more now than they did fifty years ago.
It also helps that men who turn to plastic surgery are far less stigmatized today than they were in the past; while men having eyelid surgery done may have once been viewed as overly vain, today many men think of it simply as a means of looking as young as they feel. And with modern plastic surgery’s improved technologies, recovery times are much shorter than they used to be, which makes procedures like face lifts and liposuction feel more accessible.
Between procedures becoming less invasive and stigmas falling away, men are ceasing to view undergoing plastic surgery as a shameful secret, and starting to see it as an excellent way to help themselves look good—and feel great.