Once upon a time it was only women who were concerned with their looks and men had the enviable position of not being pressured as much by society to look a certain way. The 1980’s new man and now the metrosexual have put an end to all that and now men as much as women are under pressure, often from huge billboards advertising underwear, to fit into a stereotypical Adonis-like figure; for many men this can lead to cripplingly low self-confidence and a desire to use surgery to change and enhance their looks.
One of the main problem areas for men has always been the man-boob; most men can’t spend three hours in the gym every day getting the perfectly sculpted body which we now see in fashion shows and between the pages of magazines; a lifestyle of drinking and unhealthy food leads to a build up of fat around the chest area and these, rather cruelly, have come to be known as man boobs. However, there is good news, as recent reports indicate that male breast reduction surgery is now much better and much more effective than it was a few short years ago. Different liposuction methods are now being used which have been found to be much more effective and patients are less likely to experience the scarring which they had to live with in the past.
It seems that this news comes on the back of a sea-change in the male culture of this country. We are finally starting to make the connection between our binge-drinking culture and how we look physically; one in five men in a recent survey expressed concern that the amount they drank was starting to affect their physical appearance. The insecurity is not just limited to the infamous beer belly anymore, men are now becoming aware that their chests are being scrutinised by society as well. Men undergoing breast reduction surgery some 10 to 15 years ago may not have been happy with the outcome, but the advances which have been made in the interim mean that many men are now being given a new lease of life. Of course, surgery should only be seen as the last resort; if you or your partner fear that man boobs may be starting to appear, simply cut back on the alcohol and try binging on salads and regular exercise instead!
We’ve told you about twins, about older people and about young women all going under the knife of this site but never have we relayed a story to you that showed an entire family who were obsessed with plastic surgery and the pursuit of physical perfection. A mother and her four daughters have undergone a total of nine breast surgeries between them which gives them the highly dubious award of being the family who have undergone the most breast operations in Britain (it is not clear whether this honour comes with a medal or with some form of trophy)
The Mirror revealed not only the story, but also the family sporting matching bikinis, clearly proud to show off what they had bought with their hard-earned money. With their matching blonde hair, the family resemblance is clear amongst the siblings; a resemblance only heightened by the fact that they all now have matching boob jobs as well! The 50 year old mother has had her breasts augmented to a staggering 34DD after a number of procedures which have steadily built her up from her original 34B size. She is the proud mother of eight children but, as any mother will know, childbirth and nursing took its toll on her breasts and she was left with what she deemed to be “milk bottles” and even after one surgery she was still not satisfied with the way she looked. It was her daughter who inspired her to get back on the table and under the knife. Her daughter had a successful breast operation and was much happier with the result than her mother had been with hers and this convinced the mother of eight to try again and the second time around she was much happier. She told the Mirror:
“My daughters say I inspired them to have boob jobs but I’ve got them to thank for encouraging me to get mine done again. There’s no mistaking the family resemblance – but now we’ve got the boobs to match too,”
Going through surgery can be a very stressful and confusing time and having people, especially close family members, who have been there before can offer unrivalled guidance and support during the entire process from the first decision to the post-surgical recovery. This is one family where such support and encouragement has clearly paid off and has meant that sisters, and the mother, are doing it for themselves.
Most of us will have either considered, or will have undergone, some sort of plastic surgery. We will have had one nagging flaw or an insecurity which we felt needed sorting and we will have taken the necessary surgical steps towards correcting this imperfection. However, for some people, plastic surgery becomes more than a way of just correcting one or two minor faults; it becomes an entire way of life. This is certainly the case for Cindy Jackson, who holds the dubious record of having more cosmetic surgery than anybody else on the planet. But, far from being put off or quietened by her record-breaking number of times under the knife, she is now using her position to become a spokesperson and encourage more people to seek bodily perfection in the plastic surgery arena.
Jackson has offered advice to celebrities in the past, including surgery success stories like Sharon Osbourne and now she is turning her attention to regular citizens like you and me; her message is simple, that everyone and anyone should actively consider some form of surgical enhancement. She told Sky News:
“I’ve never met or been in touch with anyone who is totally happy the way they are”
She went on to tackle a big taboo in society that people, no matter what they say in public, are attracted to, and value highly, the concept of beauty. She did say it was politically incorrect to make such a statement but her own good looks have given her “better chances” in life and she feels she has also gotten an “easier ride” because of her enhanced looks. Whilst this may be slightly true, it is certainly true that most people still value personality and contribution to society over mere looks. Where plastic surgery comes in is that it can help transform people’s confidence so that their personality shines through; if you feel beautiful, you will appear more beautiful and, for a lot of people, surgery is really the only way to correct not only physical flaws but mental doubts as well.
Jackson is well-known on the surgery circuit and is a veritable regular, having undergone nose-jobs, several facelifts, breast augmentation and liposuction procedures. Much of her body may now be unnatural, but her advice is down-to-earth and 100% real; if you’re unhappy with the way you look surgery offers you the chance to change yourself and change your life.
Well, this recession seems to have been dragging on for quite some time now doesn’t it? It’s been about 18 months and still there is no let up in the gloom; no recovery in the housing market, no increase in interest rates and one of the only good things is the massive reduction sales we are seeing- if only we had the disposable income to go and spend in them! However, there is one good piece of news for all those in the Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery industry; the industry seems to be highly resilient despite the continued economic recession.
A poll commissioned by Oxygen media has shown that, despite fears about job security and financial stability plaguing their generation, 63% of 18 to 34 year old thought positively about cosmetic surgery whilst the figure rose to 73% for those people aged 35-49. One of the lighter points of the survey was that 22% of women said they would rather have breast augmentation surgery than receive a diamond bracelet; one feels many male partners would also prefer spending money on a boob job than a decorative piece of jewellery as well.
Dr. Gilbert Lee, a U.S based plastic surgeon has spoken out about the buoyant industry, saying that: “Interest in plastic surgery remains very strong, despite the economy.” You can read other blogs on this page which might give an indication as to why this is. Almost 25% of women who took part in the survey said that, if they suddenly gained a windfall of $10,000, they would prefer to spend the money on cosmetic surgery rather than invest it; such an attitude may not be prudent but it certainly spells good times ahead for the plastic and cosmetic surgery industry.
This recession-beating skill is not just limited to the U.S, the British cosmetic surgery industry seems like it is going to be able to weather the storm as well. During 2008, when the economic storm first broke to mass media and market panic, there was a 5% increase in the number of surgeries performed on women within the U.K. This figure shows that here in Britain we really have a cosmetic surgery industry which is going to remain pert and resilient throughout the economic downturn. This can only be good news as, when the recovery comes, the cosmetic surgery industry will be in an unrivalled position.
We all remember our teenage days; crippling self-doubt, being upset about our bodies, thinking that everybody else had the perfect look and that it was only us who had been afflicted by such bodily disfigurements. Obviously, as we get older, we realise that all teenagers are insecure and that, really, we aren’t as bad looking or as fat as our teenage self thought that we were. However, there is now a rising trend of teenagers considering going under the knife in a bid to correct what they see as their physical flaws. At an age when insecurity and self-doubt are rife, is it really the right option to consider surgical solutions to body hang-ups which will likely disappear along with spots as people get older?
Perhaps it isn’t huge news that teenagers dream about changing the way they look via plastic surgery but the startling statistic that 26% of teenage girls are actively thinking about having cosmetic surgery is extremely disturbing and it is clearly connected to body insecurities which are sadly rife for young women; nine out of ten young women who responded to the BBC survey said that they were unhappy with their body. Obviously, being unhappy with your body is as normal a part of being a teenager as mood-swings and regrettable fashion choices, but when this insecurity drives people into the surgeon’s table then it is surely a trend which needs to be addressed, and quickly.
At just 13, one respondent told the survey that when she was 16 she was going to go to the U.S in order to have a boob job there. “The things I don’t like about my body are my breasts…I spend almost 100 per cent of my life thinking about it,” she told the BBC. Hopefully, in three years time she will have grown to like her looks a bit more. The pressure on young girls to look a certain way seems to now come from all ends of society, from magazines, T.V and the fashion industry; girls are taught that there is only one way to look and anything else is a dangerous deviation from the norm.
At any age, it is women who top the tables of plastic surgery. 9 out of 10 of all cosmetic surgery procedures performed by members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons were performed on women.
Plastic Surgery is a global obsession which cuts across all the age strata and yet, when you get down to the specifics of the different types of treatment, we all have stereotypical images in our heads of who we think has what sort of surgery. If you mention ‘facelift’ then one immediately thinks of an ageing Hollywood actress, perhaps in her 50’s or 60’s who is desperately trying to cling onto her career by fighting back against the ageing process. However, new advances and new techniques in the procedure mean that a younger and younger audience is now being attracted to the dramatic procedure.
New York-based plastic surgery practise Profiles and Contours have noted that a younger demographic are enquiring about updating their looks through one of the new variations on the face-lift. Director of Profiles and Contours, Dr. Mark A Erlich has spoken out about the trend, saying that:
“What we’re seeing right now is a dramatic move away from the idea that a face lift is only effective for older or middle-aged patients. Younger women and men are finding out about newer, smaller-scale procedures, and they are taking advantage of these options to achieve results that look very natural and appropriate.”
Whereas it might have been the over 55’s who previously ventured into the world of facelifts, patients are now coming in who are in their 30’s or 40’s and who are searching for a more permanent way to turn back the clock. One of the main reasons why such a younger audience is now being attracted to the facelift is that, with new procedures entering the market all the time, the recovery time needed is now nowhere near as grand as it once was. Younger people, who perhaps can’t spare the time which the retired older generation can, can now have facelifts and be back at work looking younger and more energised much quicker.
One of the new, speedier, procedures is called the ‘S-Lift’ and it uses small incisions to reduce the appearance of loose skin and muscle. Because it uses small incisions, recovery times are a lot shorter. As younger people flock towards facelifts perhaps some of the stigma and humour surrounding them will begin to evaporate and more and more people will see them as a more permanent alternative to Botox and collagen facial fillers; that will certainly put a smile on the cosmetic surgery industries face.
Plastic Surgery has rose in popularity exponentially over past decade; it’s now easier and cheaper than ever to go under the knife. However, this rise in popularity has led to many dangerous practises as well; so-called Botox parties and other new fads such as “lunchtime lifts” are leading people into getting surgery which may well not be safe. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has spoken out about the troubling trend as they fear that people will not only get poorer results than they had hoped for but will also risk damaging their health as well. The rise in ‘in-office’ and at-home procedures is partly fuelled by people’s desire for cheaper treatments but, the old adage is certainly true, you do get what you pay for.
Dr. J Peter Rubin has spoken out, saying that: “In the wrong clinical setting, the results may not come close to the promises made in the advertising. What is really indispensible for the best results, however, is not a specific procedure but the judgment of a board certified plastic surgeon who can match the right patient with the best procedure for them.”
Indeed it is certainly true that a procedure is only as good as the person who performs it and, whilst the best surgeons may cost a little extra money, you can’t really put a price on your health or on the perfect appearance which you are striving towards. So far, these branded treatments, such as Lifestyle Lift and Smart Lipo are a phenomenon which has stayed on the other side of the Atlantic but, as the cosmetic industry continues to rapidly expand here in the U.K, how long is it before we too will see this dangerous trend spreading through our offices and other places of work?
It is easy to see why treatments such as these are popular, we all have less time than we used to and are scared to take time out from our jobs in case there isn’t a position open for us when we come back. So, we find surgeries that fit around our schedules and seem like they will take the least amount of time to perform and recover from. This could end up being a literal false economy however if we have to pay a more qualified surgeon to correct mistakes or if we find we have wasted our hard-earned money.
Twins generally like to assert their independence. After spending childhood being dressed the same by parents and having to share birthdays and having to live with always having to share attention, twins generally mark themselves out from each other as they get older. This is what makes this cosmetic surgery story all the more shocking; a pair of twin sisters have spoken out about how they have jointly spent over £60,000 on cosmetic surgery. Amazingly, they both wished to defy the ageing process (as so many of us do) but they also didn’t want the plastic surgery to harm their identity- they have undergone the same procedures at the same time since they were 21 in order that they continue to look identical!
It all started when the twins, Jo and Kerry, went under the knife when they were younger to have nose jobs. They told the Daily Mail that, because they were so used to doing everything together since they were children that checking into the same clinic for the same surgery just seemed like a natural progression and, at least to them, didn’t seem as strange as some people might first believe it to be. One of the siblings, Kerry, said:
“It might sound barmy to some to have cosmetic surgery just because your twin is having it, but we would hate to look different, so we had to have the cosmetic surgery together.”
Indeed everybody ages differently; even twins would not be guaranteed to keep their identical looks as they aged. This is because the ageing process can be drastically affected by lifestyle choices, such as smoking or heavy drinking, as well as genetics. By turning to cosmetic surgery as they age (both twins are now 34) the twins can ensure that they both keep their identity without losing their youthful looks. The £60,000 the twins have so-far spent is only likely to increase as they continue to with their equal obsession in cosmetic surgery. So far they’ve had breast enlargements, Botox and eyelifts and keep their identical look flowing with matching hair extensions and clothes. It’s a look which is certainly going to get positive male attention from them and it highlights the huge advances in cosmetic surgery over the last few years. If two women can undergo the same procedure to look the same then it really shows the consistency doctors can now achieve.