Cosmetic surgical procedures on men used to be nearly non-existent. Over the years, however, men have become more and more comfortable about going under the knife for aesthetic reasons. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reported that there was a 21 percent increase in procedures performed on men in the UK in 2009 over 2008. In the United States the group of men that is ‘holding up cosmetic surgery’ are the gay men.
Despite the recession gay men in the US are choosing cosmetic surgery with increasing numbers. The gay lifestyle is much more accepted in today’s society and thus young gay men are more comfortable admitting their sexuality. Thus older gay men find it increasingly necessary to try to look young. They don’t want to be ‘charity cases.’ This fact pushes them toward plastic surgery, to fight back those ravages of time.
Dr. Paul Chasen of La Jolla says that his practice receives a lot of support from his San Diego based gay clients. He told GLT, “For men, they’re much more knowledgeable about plastic surgery. They’re into aesthetics, they want to look good.”
Young gay men also feel the allure of plastic surgery. Among gay men appearance is as important if not more so than for women. Lance, a gay man who spoke to the Gay & Lesbian Times (GLT) said, “I’ve thought about it, especially lipo[suction]. I’m always working out and I watch what I eat, but it’s almost impossible to get a six pack. It would be so much easier to just get it sucked out.” Nearly a quarter of a million Americans underwent liposuction in 2009, making it one of the top five most popular procedures.
Dakota Calloway, American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) spokesperson, told GLT that Botox injections are also popular among men and the popularity is increasing more rapidly than for women. Botox, being the number one non-surgical procedure in the US, is very popular among gay men who want to slow down the procession of wrinkles. She said that none of the consultation paperwork asks about sexual orientation, so specific numbers of gay men undergoing procedures is not possible. But she says, “…we’re an open minded profession, so patients usually don’t hesitate to share their personal stories with us.”
The trend observed in the UK of men receiving Botox injections has not been attributed to gay men. Many British men are having these injections for relaxing wrinkles, so that they can remain competitive at work. They are encouraged by celebrities having Botox such as Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay.