NEW YORK (MainStreet) — America may have a new face for plastic surgery: men.
In total, men underwent 1.1 million cosmetic procedures in 2010, an increase of 2% from the year before, according to new data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
This increased interest from men proved to be a leading factor in the industry’s overall growth of 5% last year. Males were particularly drawn to facelifts last year, undergoing 14% more of these procedures in 2010 than they did the year before, the data shows. Other procedures like liposuctions and breast reductions experienced similarly high upticks of 7% and 6%, respectively.
So does this mean males have suddenly succumbed to vanity? According to the cosmetic industry, it’s most likely a product of a key demographic of men hitting old age, and seeking out more intensive cosmetic surgeries like facelifts.
"The growth in cosmetic surgical procedures for men may be a product of our aging baby boomers, who are now ready to have plastic surgery," said ASPS President Phillip Haeck.
The most common surgical procedures for men in 2010 were nose reshaping and eyelid surgery, while the most popular procedure overall was Botox treatment, a common aging treatment, all of which show the increased attention men are paying to their appearances – and particularly their faces – as they get grayer.
Several doctors quoted in the group’s report profess that the men undergoing cosmetic procedures today are in good shape and relatively young (in their 50s), who just want look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside. But it’s still hard not to view this increase in cosmetic procedures among men as being at least partly driven by the poor economy.
For starters, both men and women likely spent more on cosmetic surgery in 2010 in part because the economy began to improve and consumers had a bit more disposable income, whereas the amount spent in 2008 and 2009 – the peak of the recession – decreased by some 2%.
Moreover, the recession and its aftermath have caused a disproportionate number of men to lose their jobs compared to women. Without a successful career to lean on, some men could potentially be feeling less confident about themselves and in need of a little pick-me-up, whether it be in the form of liposuction or laser hair removal.
Regardless of their reasons, men considering plastic surgery may be unpleasantly surprised by the price tag, as several of the procedures popular among males, like breast reduction and facelifts, are among the most expensive plastic surgeries.
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