Plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures like laser treatments and fillers are not just for women. More and more men are dipping their toes in the cosmetic pool these days. So why is this all-of-a-sudden being pointed out and what treatments are men trying? Elle Magazine did the story below answering these questions. Read on and find out for yourself!
Dr. Stafford Broumand, who is based in Manhattan, cites shifting expectations around aging as one of the main motivating factors. “Sixty is the new 40,” he says. “I’m in my fifties and feel like I’m in my thirties.” Like many women, “men don’t feel their age and don’t want to look their age, and now they know what they can do to improve their appearance.”
He said, ‘My wife has been on me for five years.’ So I asked, ‘What motivated you now?’ and he said, ‘My mistress started giving me a hard time.’
“I get men in their forties who have young kids and want to treat the wrinkles between their eyebrows,” says Dr. Doft. “They say, ‘I feel like I look angry when I speak to my children or my wife.” For them, she continues, it’s “not so much the prevention of wrinkles, like, ‘I can see how this will benefit me, and this is what I can get done.'”
Of course, plenty of men come in purely to improve their appearance. Dr. Doft had a French patient who came in for his sagging neck. “‘He said, ‘My wife has been on me for five years.’ So I asked, ‘What motivated you now?’ and he said, ‘My mistress started giving me a hard time.'”
“Look, I never thought I would be that guy,” says Rich, a New York City?based 33-year-old manager for a rental-car company and marathon runner who asked that we not use his last name. He went in for liposuction a year and a half ago for fat on his lower abdomen. “I told my wife and my sister, but I didn’t go broadcasting it to my friends. But I was more embarrassed about that little bulge in my stomach area than anyone finding out. I’m a super competitive person and I don’t want to look like someone who is out of shape.”
“I’ve never had a female patient pass out on me. I have had a handful of men [pass out].”
Though there are the obvious, non-gender-related reasons why men and women pursue these procedures?vanity, competition, some grasping at an ineffable edge in our perpetually measured world?several of the doctors I spoke with noted differences in the way that men and women approach the procedures. “A lot of my female patients almost want me to be a friend, a confidant. Sometimes they want to come in and talk about the decision two or three times,” says Dr. Doft. Men, she says, tend to be more businesslike about it. “I know the gender of a caller in one question: ‘How long do I have to be there?'” Dr. Stevens says.
Male patients, Doft says, “want to hear about the technology, like Vaser-assisted liposuction,” a technique that uses ultrasound energy to liquefy fat cells before they’re suctioned out. Doctors also say that male patients need more reassurance about pain. “Men in general have a lower pain threshold than women,” says Dr. Daniel Maman, who practices in New York City. (Science is on the fence about this, fwiw.) “I’ve never had a female patient pass out on me. I have had a handful of men [pass out] and they’re less than 10 percent of my practice.” Another difference: “Men do not bring in pictures,” says Dr. Broumand. Another crucial division: Women face more criticism for this kind of alteration, at least for now. “Men’s faces aren’t as scrutinized for imperfections or modifications,” says Alex, “and so our decision is maybe a little less embattled.”
But if the trend lines continue, will the scales equalize? Will men, too, find themselves subject to the kind of endless dissection of laugh lines and stretch marks that can torment women? Or will we all be just a bit happier to let the doctors do their job? Either way, nothing distracts from the sting of the needle like faux snakeskin walls and an endless loop of the Swimsuit Edition. Says Dr. Stevens: “It’s a palpable, smellable difference.”
Marisa Meltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City and a frequent contributor to ELLE.
*Some names have been changed.