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The business of looking good


More men than ever are going under the knife – and it’s not just simple vanity. Thom O’Dwyer pokes his


perfectly formed nose into the world of male cosmetic surgery


I


BLAME DAVID Beckham. The world-famous and rather aesthetically pleasing footballer has made it perfectly acceptable for men to look after themselves. As the poster boy for metrosexuality, he inspired a


whole generation of men who have become increasingly beauty-conscious and hooked on looking their absolute best whatever the cost. OK, maybe it wasn’t Beckham single-


handedly, but the male of the species now pays far more attention to his looks than ever before. Just take a look at the proliferation of male-specific beauty products with just the right macho packaging and appropriate marketing. According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, global sales of men’s grooming products are predicted to exceed $33.2bn by 2015. Yes, the times, and attitudes, are definitely changing. And in more ways than one. With the world facing the toughest


economic climate since the 1930s, looking good has become even more important. With the pressures of society closing in, it seems that a dab of moisturiser and a glimmer of bronzer are not going to cut it. Yet it may still come as a surprise to hear that many men are now galloping in herds to their nearest cosmetic surgeon for more radical solutions. Yes, the recession and


a tough, volatile job market mean that men are not only


tightening their belts in order to cope, they are also tightening their faces and bodies with cosmetic procedures – both surgical and non-invasive – for the sake of saving or finding a job, and not just to lure the ladies.


Nip and tuck Although the vast majority of cosmetic surgery is still performed on women, the American Society


of Plastic Surgeons says that more than 1.1 million American men had cosmetic procedures in 2010. In just one year, face lifts for men rose 14 per cent and Botox injections increased by nine per cent, while operations to fix gynaecomastia – otherwise known as ‘moobs’ – soared by an astonishing 80 per cent in 2009 alone. Skin fillers to smooth out wrinkles and lines, and liposuction for love handles are also dramatically on the rise, as are hair transplants. On this side of the pond the increase in


vanity surgery has been equally dramatic. Louise Braham, Marketing Director of the Harley Medical Group, the UK’s largest cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatment provider, confirms the fairly recent surge in men having aesthetic makeovers. “We have seen a 32 per cent increase in men opting for cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatments,” she says. “More men between 35 and 45 are booking cosmetic procedures and treatments, though we expect the 65-plus market to see the biggest growth over the next four years.”


In the US, operations to fix gynaecomastia – otherwise known as ‘moobs’ – soared by an astonishing 80 per cent in 2009 alone


February/March 2012 businesslife.co 21





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