Myth: Only women have cosmetic surgery
Many men have had cosmetic surgery, including facelifts, rhinoplasties, forehead lifts, eyelid surgery, laser skin resurfacing, and fillers. This group is growing by about three million men a year. About 20 percent of cosmetic surgery and other cosmetic procedures across North America are done on men.
Matthew, now in his forties, says he’s “really struggling with the aging process.” Beyond that, he’s had a lifelong obsession with his nose, which he thought was too big and had been off-kilter since a childhood playground accident. After his rhinoplasty, he sensed an “internal shift.” People seemed more open and friendly to him, not because he looked better (though he did) but because he felt better about himself. They weren’t reacting to his rhinoplasty. Few even noticed that he’d had work done. They were reacting to his reaction to the rhinoplasty.
Gordon had a similar experience. During his thirty-seven years with a utility company, he paid little attention to his appearance. He retired at age fifty-five and began thinking about improving his self-respect and self-confidence. Gordon had a facelift and noticed a change in himself. “It gave me a more positive outlook on life and people reacted to that,” he says. “That was nine years ago, and I still don’t look a day over fifty-five.”
“I didn’t do it for anybody else,” he adds. “I did it for myself.”
These kinds of stories gladden my heart. In my experience, women notice changes in their reactions and the reactions of people around them more readily than men. Men tend to be much more matter-of-fact about their surroundings and about consulting their internal emotional barometers.
Men are also caught up in our youth-oriented times. Fair or not, society rewards youthful looks and imposes penalties on those who don’t fit in. For this reason, a growing number of men in Toronto are having cosmetic surgery so they can hold their own among younger colleagues at work.