Selfie-Esteem: Selfies may be leading to the rise in plastic surgery.
Original photography by Matthew Rettenmund
"I've never had any plastic surgery. Except I had an eye done once."
It could have been a conversation between Joan Blondell and Eve Arden in the late '60s, but it was a conversation between two middle-aged (if we live into our nineties) gay men in 2014. One of them was me.
I'd asked a pal of mine about cosmetic surgery and was surprised my friend didn't "count" the surgical correction of a drooping eyelid. Apparently, the lid could have obstructed his vision so was classified as something he needed. He told me it—however you'd classify it—had gone well and had never been something he regretted.
In anticipation of this post, I'd asked male acquaintances and Facebook friends for their experiences with plastic surgery, and had received a raft of responses, right in line with statistics that show men are catching up to women in this arena. As of 2012, about a million American men were opting for plastic surgery of some kind every year, including sharp increases in men seeking facelifts, lipo and breast reduction. That accounted for only 10% of procedures overall, but the numbers feel outdated already.
Are you satisfied with what you've got?
"I've had lots done!" one friend wrote me. "Nose job, 3 gynecomastia operations, lipo in chest and abdomen, regular botox and Radiesse injections in the face. Whew! It's a lot of work and money to try to look decent as one ages." Judging from his youthful Facebook visage, the money has been worth it. Aside from wearing compression vests for "weeks" after lipo, which he described as a bit of a pain, he told me, "I would definitely recommend these procedures to anyone who feels they need them."
I've had lots done!
Still another friend told me of having a nosejob to balance out his hair loss. It turned into two nosejobs when the first left his schnozz a bit too reminiscent of a shark's fin. He's happy with it now, but warned that his female friend's new nose had left her looking like a dog. Hyperbole? No. "I mean, like a dog who should be eating Alpo out of a bowl," he clarified, suggesting her nose had taken on a canine appearance. She, too, had had it fixed, and was now happy. Both he and his friend felt they needed the work done, and both had eventually wound up with the result they expected.
So, judging from statistics and my unscientific poll, the number of people who feel they need plastic surgery seems to be skyrocketing...the most interesting word in that sentence being "need."