A chin like Pitt, abs like Beckham and eyes like Clooney? Women have been the main recipients of plastic surgery, but that’s changing. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, men now account for 10% of plastic surgery procedures – still a seemingly small amount but a 121% increase from 15 years ago.
Toronto-based cosmetic surgeon Dr. Peter Bray says in his own practice, the number of male cosmetic surgery patients has doubled in the last five years. “There’s less of a stigma, and the fact that celebrities admit to surgery has a motivating, reassuring impact on the average guy.”
Men’s most common procedures? Male breast reduction, love handles’ liposuction, pectoral or calf implants and nose jobs.
Penis implants? Rare, says Dr. Bray: “The usual circumstance for that would be loss of function due to medical issues such as diabetes or certain surgical procedures.”
And whatever men do, they do it for reasons different from those of women. “There is a competitive pressure in the marketplace for men, real or imagined,” notes Dr. Bray. “There are fewer long term jobs and men are having to compete for contracts or positions. Men tell me, ‘I want to look like I am on my toes.’”
“Men do not want to look overdone,” notes Dr. Jamil Asaria, a Toronto plastic surgeon, who says that men make up about 35% of his practice. He describes their surgery as “conservative rejuvenation." "In a man who is 50, we don’t erase every line and fold because that would not look attractive.”
With a specialty in rhinoplasty, Dr. Asaria does approximately 150 nose jobs a year, half of them on men. “The key is to maintain a masculine nose but one that reflects a person’s background,” he explains. “Men want a change, but don’t want to hear, ‘Your nose looks great, you had it done!’”
Lucas Foster agrees, and adds that cashing out a $12,000 GIC for plastic surgery was worth it. It all started with his man-boobs, says the 48-year-old Toronto professional dancer.
“I wear tight-fitting tops and women were telling me I had bigger boobs than them! It’s not a flattering thing for a guy to hear.”
Foster, not his real name, also had his love handles liposuctioned at the same time as his breast reduction: “Now I have my V-shaped body back again.”
Men want to look like a younger version of themselves, says Dr. Bray who advises men to seek out a cosmetic surgeon who has experience working on men. “There are differences between men and women in the aesthetic end points and in the surgical techniques because our bodies are put together differently.”
“I wanted someone who had worked on a lot of men,” says Lucas Foster. “And I told my surgeon to hold back. All I wanted was to look fresher, well rested.”
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