Not so long ago, if you asked a red-blooded male if he’d consider cosmetic surgery the answer would have been a definite, resounding and slightly offended “no”! But things are changing fast and male cosmetic surgery is no longer something to poke fun or marvel at. It’s de rigeur these days and male cosmetic procedures’ popularity is growing fast. Witness Gordon Ramsey’s chin. He’s about as male as it gets. So what’s the story behind the meteoric rise of cosmetic surgery for men?
Last year, according to BAAPS (the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) just under 1000 men had nose jobs, up more than 13% on 2010. 741 men had breast reduction operations on their man boobs, amusingly also known as moob jobs, a hike of 33% on 2010 figures. Brow and neck lifts have seen two-figure increases year on year so far and male eyelid surgery is hitting the big time, for the first time. All in all, BAAPS reports a 7% increase in male cosmetic surgeries as compared to a 5% increase in surgeries for women.
Male grooming products first arrived on chemists’ shelves in the early ’70s and classics like Brut, Old Spice and Denim. Even so, they took a while to take the previously rather smelly world of men by storm. Back then you’d be lucky if your man used deodorant, never mind changing the shape of his nose or getting rid of his man boobs.
Then, oddly, male grooming got stuck for a couple of decades, only offering men hygiene related or shaving products while women’s skin and body care industry continued to flower. It wasn’t until the late ’90s that men’s moisturisers, cleansers and toners started to go mainstream, as more men slowly and sheepishly ventured into skincare and mastered the finer points of keeping their skin looking good. At this point a boom in cosmetic surgery was already affecting women, with huge boobs the order of the day for several years thanks to ‘out there’ celebs like Jordan.
Skip to 2008 and you can see male cosmetic procedures numbers steadily increasing. No longer something very few men would consider, it had suddenly become a viable option for men of all ages. And they haven’t looked back since.
What about the future? Obviously the jury’s out on end of 2011 stats – it’s only October – but it looks like the stellar upward trend of male cosmetic surgery is set to continue. It’s safe to say that today’s men are taking more care of themselves, enjoying looking younger for longer and much less willing to put up with man boobs, wonky noses and tired-looking, droopy eyelids. So if your man starts making noises about getting his bits done, support him all the way!