Man Power: Men Get Cued in and Queue Up for Cosmetic Surgery
Once the stomping ground of vintage Hollywood actresses and grande dames clamoring for their lost youth, the world of cosmetic surgery has come a long way, baby. From neuromodulators (Botox) and fillers, to lasers, facelifts and beyond — we may not be winning the war on aging, but we’re certainly looking better for the fight. And gosh darn it the menfolk want in on that action too.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, men had more than 1 million cosmetic procedures in 2013, with nose, eyelid and ear surgery, male breast reduction and liposuction topping the list. That’s an astonishing 273% increase since 1997, and it’s a trend that many doctors are seeing in their own practice.
In a recent visit with Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Grant Stevens, I inquired about the increase in men seeking cosmetic procedures.
“Historically — for at least 20 years — my practice has been mainly women, about 90%. Now about 20% of my patients on the O.R. table are male. Men are coming in for facelifts, eyelid surgery, turkey necks, jowls, and sometimes breast reduction for the treatment of gynecomastia.” said Dr. Stevens. “The majority of my patients are still women, but it’s changing.”
And it seems that change is even greater beyond the operating room, with more and more men opting for non-surgical procedures to improve on their appearance. Dr. Stevens cites treatments like injectables, facials, laser hair removal and especially CoolSculpting as those gaining in popularity amongst men.
“Men like myself, had fat that they wanted to get rid of,” he explained. “They didn’t want liposuction - they didn’t want the pain, the risk or the time off work. They loved CoolSculpting and by 2013, 42% of my CoolSculpting patients were men.”
This increase in demand prompted Dr. Stevens to create Marina Man Land, a special section of his Marina Del Rey offices designed to cater specifically to the comfort level of his ever-increasing male clientele.
“Everybody wanted Man Land. People would wait for service,” Dr. Steven’s exclaimed. “ I quickly realized that there was a big demand for a unique environment for men — ‘where a man can feel good about looking great.”
Marina Man Land doesn’t fall short - complete with low-lighting, masculine leather club chairs, a flurry of flat screen TV’s and three procedure rooms called The Bear Lair (laser hair removal), The Lion’s Den (CoolSculpting) and The Dog House (facials, “bro-tox,” and fillers).
He was quick to list off a perfect storm of reasons why he thought men were now embracing the world of cosmetic surgery. With the recession came job loss and middle aged men were faced with the necessity of competing with younger colleagues in an increasingly tight job market. Men felt they were wearing their resume on their face, and saw a need to look young, look good and not look tired. There was also an increase in awareness through reality TV shows like Dr. 90210 which showed a wide audience what could be done safely, easily and with little pain. Add to that a substantial increase in the mass availability of products that were safe, effective and had little downtime including a variety of neuromodulators, fillers, and laser light-based technologies and, “you would expect this kind of increase,” Stevens explained.
“Guys in general are also taking better care of their skin and their bodies,” Dr. Stevens said. “There’s a growing interest in looking your best. It’s palpable. Look at the department store cosmetic counters and the drugstores – you see entire skincare product lines exclusively for men, so it’s not just one thing.”
Whatever the reason, it’s a universal truth that people — male or female — want to look and feel their best. And as the world of cosmetic surgery continues to make strides in helping people achieve that, it’s little wonder your everyday man is itching to hop on board. What we can say, particularly in the face of the ever-lessening stigma around cosmetic procedures for men and the ever-increasing and natural looking options in the world of cosmetic surgery is this… You’ve come a long way, baby.