The predominant portion of plastic surgery patients are women. However, men are rapidly jumping onto the rejuvenation band wagon, and the reasons are often the same. Men and women are embracing cosmetic procedures for the face, neck and body because they want to look more youthful, feel more vibrant and stay relevant in the work place. Though many of the most popular procedures, especially in the non-surgical arena, are the same for both women and men, the desired aesthetic can differ greatly by gender.
In the latest PSC Uncut, board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Bruce Van Natta of Indianapolis, Dr. Douglas Steinbrech of New York City, and Dr. Christine Hamori of Boston discuss 21st century gender aesthetics and what men and women are really looking for.
Men in Plastic Surgery Want Marvel
This should not come as a surprise to anyone, but men and women are different. These differences carry over into plastic surgery beyond just biology. When a man comes in for a consultation, his desired aesthetic outcome is not the same as a woman’s. Both want an exceptional result and both want this result to look natural.
That said, what Dr. Steinbrech is seeing in his New York office, his Los Angeles office, and on social media is that men love super heroes. “They want more Thor,” he says. This translates to:
- defined, crisp jawlines
- sharp, strong, cheekbones
- broad, flat chests
- etched abdominals
“Men want to be more chiseled,” continues Steinbrech. “They want more definition.”
Women Want Soft
Women, on the other hand, typically want a little more softness, especially in the face. “They want to be feminine!” shares Dr. Hamori. “They want to kind of be mysterious and draw men in a little bit.”
For women, it is all about the curves. Their favorite aesthetic procedures work to create and/or restore proper proportion. These include:
- breast augmentation
- maxtopexy, or breast lift
- tummy tuck
- injectables, such as Botox and fillers
- neck lift
Women want to be strong on the inside, but soft on the outside. However, “they want their men etched,” notes Hamori, confirming the synergy of the two genders. No matter their age, women want to see men working out. They love a strong bicep and a little bit of a six pack. It’s almost as if what the genders want is a reflection of what one desires of the other!
Body Contouring Trends for Men
Men definitely want a bigger chest, and Dr. Steinbrech notes an increase in chest implants for men. The feeling among his male patients is if their girlfriend, wife, or sister can get breast implants, why can’t they get pectoral implants? Or put some volume, via fat grafting, into their biceps and/or shoulders? One of Dr. Steinbrech’s most popular procedures is called body banking.
Body banking is essentially a fat grafting procedure in which Dr. Steinbrech first removes excess fat via liposuction from an area where the patient has too much. For most men, this is the abdomen. The fat is then placed in a centrifuge and spun to remove anything other than the actual fat cells. He then injects this fat, the body’s own natural filler, into areas that need more volume or definition, such as the chest. This 1,2 punch addresses the two most common body contouring trends for men:
- cut, flat abdomen
- full, defined chest
Gynecomastia and Breast Augmentation
Interestingly enough, two of the most popular aesthetic surgical procedures for men and women involve the breast. However, the goal of each follows along these gender differences. When it comes to their chests, men don’t just want a full chest, they want a flat chest. However, 1 in 4 men suffer from an excess of breast tissue and/or fat in the chest. This condition, known as gynecomastia, has a variety of causes, including:
- hormone imbalance
- certain prescription medications
- illicit drug use
The male breast reduction is a surgical procedure to remove this excess breast tissue. It usually includes liposuction to also address any extra fat in the area.
On the other side of the token, women, want more volume in their chest. This is why breast augmentation surgery is still the most popular surgical procedure in the world. Increasing the size of the breast, either with an implant, fat grafting, or by lifting a patient’s natural volume to a higher, perkier place on the chest wall, is an effective way to restore or create those feminine curves.
Natural is the Goal
Men and women both want what they call a natural looking result. However, the definition of “natural” often differs by gender. Women don’t really want to see any wrinkles on their face. With men, Dr. Steinbrech always leaves a few fine lines. The male fantasy is still the Marlboro man or the guy on the front of the Brawny paper towels. These guys look lived-in. They are handsome, yet rugged. For women, it’s about graceful cheekbones, full lips and smooth looking skin. As with everything, it always comes down to perspective.