The votes are in. Plastic men are fantastic. Or are they?
Search for #maleplasticsurgery on Twitter and you’ll be flooded with images of a rather feminine looking Bruce Jenner . The 64-year-old former Olympian is no stranger to plastic surgery, undergoing his first surgery over 30 years ago. But has he taken it too far with his latest surgery? Apparently he has gone under the knife once again to have his Adam’s apple “shaved down” for a feminine look. For many, the idea of male plastic surgery is just as wacky as “Wacko Jacko” himself but the numbers of men opting to have cosmetic surgery suggest quite the opposite.
“The percentages of male cases have grown over the last 10 years from 20 to 30 per cent of total surgical procedures,” says Dr Darryl Hodgkinson, a Sydney cosmetic surgeon. The surgeries that top the list are rhinoplasty (nose jobs), liposuction, facelifts, eyelid surgery and gynaecomastia (or man boob removal). It all seems pretty reasonable; men are just trying to look their best.
Dr Vivian Dille told Psychology Today “Guys have begun to see advantages to enhancing their appearance, a focus once considered outside their domain.”
Let me remind you that women can get preventative Botox at 21, have their lips inflated like a baboon’s rear-end or replicate Pam Ann’s décolletage and not have their motives questioned (although they may be laughed at). Plastic surgery has come a long way and it seems its natural evolution has resulted in men turning to plastic surgery.
Surely there’s no sacred constitution hiding somewhere that says a man can’t remould his body to become more handsome? Before you become completely freaked out by the idea of a man looking like a Ken doll, let me clarify, most procedures men undergo are pretty basic and seem to work towards a common goal of societal standards of beauty. I’m not talking about men looking Frankenstein-esque; I’m talking hair plugs and man-boob removal.
Dr Hodgkinson believes little to no stigma is attached to the surgeries.
It may seem like a rather vacuous endeavour, but men today are under just as much pressure as women to maintain images of beauty. You only need to look at magazines such as Men’s Health to see that there is a type of man that is deemed attractive. “In this advanced modern world in which we live, we are constantly bombarded by overt and subliminal messages of how we ought to be, look, feel, act and behave,” says Brandon Srot, a psychotherapist. He believes that is the reason men are turning to cosmetic surgeries.
Dr Darryl believes society is not the only thing responsible for the push to self-improvement. “It’s not uncommon for cosmetic surgery to be encouraged by a patient’s partner, wife or girlfriend who may or may not have had some surgery themselves.”
Plastic surgeon Dr John Flynn agrees. He told the website Body and Soul Man, “’My wife told me I should come in and talk to you about this’ is one of the most common things I hear from male patients.”
When it comes to women, how do we feel about our fellow men carving themselves up for beauty’s sake?
“I’ve had cosmetic surgery in the past and if my boyfriend decided to get something done I would support him just like he supported me, it’s a completely personal decision,” says Emma Rapkay, 22.
Sarah, 21, is quite the opposite: “I really couldn’t stand the idea of my man friend having any sort of work done. I feel like it’s just not something men should do; I also can’t stand men who shave or wax their legs. I prefer my men manly,” she says.
One thing we can all agree on is that when plastic surgery goes bad, it goes bad no matter whether you’re female, male, cat or dog, sometimes too much is enough to make people question your gender, your life decisions and perhaps sanity.
Which is exactly what’s happened to the Bruce Jenners, Michael Jacksons, and Justin Jedlicas of the world.
So if you’re thinking about plastic surgery remember, less is more or you’ll end up looking like Jocelyn Wildenstein. – Bree Hetherington
Top photo taken from Tailor love Lalka’s Flickr photostream.