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Millennial men boosting plastic surgery industry

June 22, 2017

Cosmetic procedures are of increasing interest to millennial men, a new industry report found.

Thirty one percent of men said they were extremely likely to consider a cosmetic procedure, either surgical or noninvasive, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Among that 31 percent, 58 percent were from 25 to 34 years old and 34 percent were aged 18 to 24 years. Both age ranges are members of the millennial generation.

The top reason cited by respondents pursuing cosmetic procedures to appear younger was wanting to feel better about themselves, followed by the desire to appear less tired or stressed, and then to please their partners. In the 25- to 34-year-old range, 42 percent cited wanting to remain competitive in their career as a reason to go under the knife.

The most common procedures for men are rhinoplasty (nose jobs), otoplasty (pinning back the ears), and treatment for gynecomastia (a surgery that reduces male breast size), according to Clyde H. Ishii, a surgeon and president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Part of the reason young men are increasingly interested in cosmetic procedures derives from social media, said Dr. Fred G. Fedok, president of the academy that conducted the survey. “People are more aware of their looks from different angles,” he said. A growing interest in health and self-care also plays a part. “It’s sort of like exercise,” Fedok said about cosmetic procedures.

The companies profiting from these procedures have taken note of the trend. “Attitudes toward aesthetics are changing, and there are two trends driving market expansion,” William Meury, the chief commercial officer of Allergan Plc, maker of Botox, said during a press call in early May. “The first is a youth movement, with the 20- to 30-year-old segment expanding rapidly. The second is a male movement, with more interest by men in aesthetic procedures, and we expect these trends to accelerate over time.”

There’s also a cultural shift that both Ishii and Fedok note: The stigma surrounding plastic surgery isn’t what it used to be. Fillers, nips and tucks aren’t just for the uber-vain and ultra-wealthy.

Surgeons are taking advantage of this new social acceptance. “There are some people who specifically go out and market to men,” Ishii said. “They make it much more comfortable for men to come in.”

Nathan, a 33-year-old who works in higher education and asked that his last name not be printed for professional reasons, had a tummy tuck and liposuction after extreme weight loss in his late twenties. Most of his friends know about both his procedures, though he doesn’t always bring up the liposuction. “I think opinions are changing on it every day,” he said. “You invest in yourself.”


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