Male Plastic Surgery – Australia’s best kept secret.

Whilst there are no Australian statistics available for male plastic surgery, the overseas indicators reveal a significant increase in the number of men undergoing cosmetic procedures. In the US, men comprise approximately 20% of surgeon’s client bases and it is not unreasonable to assume that for Australia the trends would be similar. The market for people considering plastic surgery as well as various non- surgical procedures is therefore being increased substantially with the influx of male customers. The customer market base has grown from predominantly female celebrities and the rich through to would-be celebrities, to mainstream females, and now includes the average Australian male. This represents a shift in community and cultural attitudes toward plastic surgery. Where once the sculptured and sought after male physique was gained naturally through manual labour, this physique now has to be attained through gym work, specific diets and increasingly surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics for 2010 show that the most common procedures undertaken by males were rhinoplasty (nose), blepharoplasty (eyelid), liposuction, breast reduction and hair transplants. And only a few years ago having rhinoplasty, liposuction or an eyelift would have been the very last thing that might be part of the male conversation. This is no longer the case. Whilst for the older blokes it is still more common that having had work done would be kept a secret if possible, for younger men these matters are openly discussed with no stigma attached.

Male Plastic Surgery to land that job.

For men in their 40’s and 50’s the reasons for having surgery may be work related. They may want to look younger and fresher as part of their professional image or for when presenting for job interviews. Or they might be going through mid-life issues and having a procedure will help to improve their self-esteem, pride or confidence. For men in their 20’s and 30’s they want to look as good as they possibly can and are happy to go under the knife to achieve this.

There are no definitive studies as to why there has been this shift in male attitudes toward undergoing plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures. Possibly the increase in the number of reality TV shows that demonstrate the potential for people to undergo body transformation might be part of the equation. Shows such as Extreme Makeover and Biggest Loser highlight the huge changes that people can make in their appearance if they have the desire and the energy to do so. These shows always feature a percentage of men and this translates into a general signal into the male population that says that not only is it okay to care about your looks but it is also okay to do things to improve them.

A contributing factor would also be the significant increase in the range of procedures that are now available as well as these becoming more financially attainable. Anti-ageing procedures, body contouring after weight loss, liposuction to remove love handles, rhinoplasty to repair broken noses as well as non-surgical treatments such as Botox and fillers are all now mainstream. Whilst male vanity may well lay at the heart of this increase in the numbers of males having plastic and cosmetic surgery I believe it to be a consequence of men’s increased awareness of their health and as such it is a good thing.

Bruce

Bruce currently heads up a team of researchers and writers who are challenging the way people perceive plastic surgery, aiming to break down the stigma and judgments that still exist in the wider community. He also brings a male perspective to the discussions surrounding plastic surgery and in particular the growing trend for males to undergo procedures.

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