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Forty-five year old real estate agent Joginder Sethi loves to swim. But his jaunts to the pool were restricted as he was terribly conscious of his sagging chest. Till he decided to undergo the male breast reduction therapy. Now, he can go swimming with his chest held high, literally!
Twenty-eight year old Aakash is a man on a mission. The aspiring model wants to get a nose job done to shape his crooked nose. And he won’t rest till he finds the best surgeon to sculpt his nose.
From moob (male breast) jobs to nose jobs and liposuction to taking botox injections, more and more men are going under the knife - in the quest for perfection or to turn back the wheels of time and look young for numerous reasons.
Is ‘the Sarkozy effect’ catching?
Surgeons at a Harley Street clinic call it "The Sarkozy effect"; although there is no suggestion that French President Sarkozy has gone under the knife to impress and ultimately marry supermodel, Carla Bruni, 13 years his junior. However, famous alpha males who have had surgery include the actor Michael Douglas, who is 25 years older than his second wife Catherine Zeta Jones.
Global patterns indicate that men, close on the heels of the fair sex, are willing to pay to alter their appearance. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, there has been an increase of 17.5 per cent in the number of male surgeries over a year.
Nose job or rhinoplasty is the top choice among men followed by tummy tucks, liposuction, male breast reduction, hair transplant and laser hair removal. Apart from these there are other specialised non-surgical services like facial rejuvenation, fillers and facelifts that are becoming a rage to ensure the feel-good factor.
The popularity of treatments can be further categorised according to age. Nose jobs, breast reduction and laser hair removal are hot among 18-30 year olds who are crazy about the so called ‘sexy male cleavage’. On the other hand, for 30-50 year olds, pot belly reduction, liposuction, hair transplant and other age-defying and fat reduction treatments like botox, fillers, micro-dermabrasions and facelifts are extremely popular.
So, what happened to the macho man? Till some time back a hairless body or removing wrinkles was considered feminine amongst the male species. Today, a smooth chest or a ‘six-pack’ ab or shelling out a lakh rupees for ‘Pectoral Implants’ to give that muscled look only adds to a man’s machismo.
For what joy?
What is triggering off this love for a cosmetically corrected image among men? Why would a man want a ‘hairless’ body like Salman or a ‘Hrithik nose’ even when there is nothing wrong with what nature has provided?
“No doubt, film stars leave an impact on a young man’s mind but other factors like professional demands, social appearance or, for that matter, attracting the opposite sex also play a major role in bringing a man to a cosmetic surgeon.” explains Dr. Vimal S Malik, cosmetic surgeon and owner of Delhi-based, Eleganza Rejuvenation Clinic.
“Looking good is the primary factor for today’s male, irrespective of the age. With financial power in his hands and awareness about the treatments available, he is ready to find some quick fixes to his flabby, saggy imperfections,” adds Dr. Hema Pant, dermatologist, Kaya Skin Clinic.
More than a personal choice, it is the societal demand to look perfect lures a large number of men to explore surgical options. “Today, a greater than ever importance is being attached to looks - to the extent of relating looks to a man’s self esteem, which makes him realise that even he is required to look good, else he’ll lose upon personal and professional grounds. People are no longer embarrassed about improving themselves aesthetically, “explains Dr. Samir Parekh.
Is it just physical?
Read what Mukesh, a 47-year-old banker, has to say about the potbelly reduction treatment that he took and you will know that it’s not just about the improvement in physical state but also the mental and moral boost that a modern age beauty therapy ensures.
“My personal as well as professional life came to a halt as I couldn’t even walk due to my big belly. Whatever little amount of exercising I was doing made me feel exhausted and didn’t do any good to reduce weight. So, I underwent this surgery and today I feel much lighter and healthy. My looks have improved, I look much younger and my confidence has doubled.”
For Deepak Mehrota, marketing executive with an MNC, getting a nose-job added to his confidence. “The inferiority complex has just vanished and I appear more presentable now. I can feel the difference in the kind of reception I get now. Those strange looks have just vanished and my clients look more impressed now.”
Modern age beauty treatments are no longer the privilege of models and actors. Be it a lawyer, a media professional or a doctor ...today, just about anybody can go under the knife in order to look and feel good.
‘Men, money and beauty’ equation which was limited to just a hair-cut, a good shave or for that matter a head massage till sometime back has altered its form over time. Men who were mere partners accompanying their wives to a skin clinic are gradually transforming into active treatment takers. Now an increased number of men are ready to shell out moolah like never before on a variety of beauty treatment options available to them, both surgical and non-surgical.
Talk about the average amount a modern man is ready to spend and answers Dr. Hema, “Men who come to us are game to spend anything between Rs. 10,000-50,000, once they are convinced about a treatment and the effect it is going to have on them.”
Talking about risk
Once you have made up your mind about a treatment, telling your doctor what exactly you are looking for is the first and the most important step. But like every medical procedure, there is some element of risk here too. “However, getting treated by an experienced person always helps,” says Dr. Anoop Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon, Apollo Hospital.
“Patients should understand that cosmetic surgery can help only to the extent of making corrections under realistic parameters, you cannot change your complete appearance with a surgery. That happens only in movies,” sums up Dr. Malik.