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M. David Cole, M.D., F.A.A.D., discusses Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

Why More Men Are Getting Plastic Surgery

pexels-photo-52648Though we’re many decades removed from the 1950s and a time where women expected to only wear skirts and become stay at home moms, conceived gender roles are still very much a part of society at large. Hence, plastic surgery is seen as something only women do. And for many years, that was true. Services, such as breast augmentation, liposuction, or even botox, were specifically marketed to women, who are seen as more concerned with appearance, but times have changed.

By the beginning of last year, plastic surgery for men was up by more than 43% since 2010. The number is even greater when compared to 20 years ago. More specifically, since 1997, the number of plastic surgery procedures performed on men has increased by over 300 percent, according to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. That’s a remarkable shift in just the last few years, and it’s sign of a more long term change in how we view candidates for plastic surgery.

The question, though, is why such a shift? What changed in how men perceive themselves and the option of plastic surgery? The answer is success.

That is correct. Men with careers that rely on appearance, such as modeling and bodybuilding, account for a large percentage of the individuals who make up this market. While the job outlook for models is expected to remain relatively the same over the next several years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, competition has increased. Furthermore, since perfection through surgery methods are attainable, not enhancing your body (i.e. fixing your jaw line or toning the breasts) can be bad for the career.

Still, it’s not just younger model and bodybuilder types who seek out plastic surgery. Older men, those in white collar positions, have led to the increase in interest as well. Wanting to appear younger, more able bodied and attractive, especially in a market where demographics are shifting to include more Gen X’ers and Millennials, is why “dad types” have turned to plastic surgery to keep up.

Essentially, these are some of the reasons women have used plastic surgery as well: to be competitive in a given industry and to appear younger. Wanting to be considered attractive and feel like your best self is not specific to any gender. It is a universal desire that is heightened even more by the possibilities of our current skills and technology.