Lifestyle/Art Male - From Taboo to Trend: The Changing Face of Male Cosmetic Procedures

Published on August 12th, 2023 | by Contributing Editor


From Taboo to Trend: The Changing Face of Male Cosmetic Procedures

In recent years, there has been a transformative shift in attitudes towards male grooming and aesthetics, leading to a remarkable increase in men opting for plastic surgery. As stigma melts away, acceptance and normalization take its place, revealing a fascinating trend in society.

The Influence of Social Media and Changing Beauty Standards 

The global male grooming market, according to Statista, is set to reach a value of $115 billion by 2028, an exponential growth from $74.8 billion in 2021. This spike can largely be credited to the widespread influence of social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, which have undeniably impacted beauty standards and personal self-perception.

Dr. Chris Funderburk, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Body Sculpting Specialist at Neinstein Plastic Surgery, has been observing this shift in attitudes from the front lines. Dr. Funderburk, an accomplished medical professional who trained at Emory University and Dartmouth, is known for his “obsessive attention to detail” and his dedication to achieving the best outcome for each of his patients. His commitment to excellence and a broad understanding of patient needs underlies his successful practice.

He explains the evolution in attitudes towards male cosmetic procedures, “The idea back then was that if you are a male patient, you don’t want to be seen coming in the front door. Sometimes they would ask for off hours to come in. That’s all completely changed now.”

These platforms emphasize appearance, pushing younger men to become more conscious about their looks. Many are seeking cosmetic procedures to enhance specific features, with non-invasive treatments like Botox and fillers, particularly in the jawline area, gaining popularity. Indeed, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a 99% increase in men receiving injectables over the last 20 years.

The Rise of the ‘Daddy Do-Over’ 

A silent surge of male plastic surgeries over the past two decades has given rise to what some experts term as the ‘daddy do-over’ trend. Approximately 1.3 million men in the U.S. annually opt for procedures like liposuction, nose jobs, and even Brazilian Butt Lifts. In this respect, Dr. Funderburk’s practice reflects this trend. He states, “These health-conscious and active individuals may have had a few areas of fat that wouldn’t go away, despite their best efforts. It is so satisfying to take out stubborn fat for patients who have been trying everything at the gym (…). I get to see their excitement as we make a dramatic difference in their appearance.”

While a taboo still exists among men about openly discussing their procedures, the desire to shed the ‘dad bod’ look is apparent. For instance, Chicago rapper BandMan Kevo publicly admitted to his plastic surgery, citing his inability to lose stomach fat despite rigorous exercise as the reason. His revelation triggered a wave of fan backlash, but it also brought attention to a trend that is steadily gaining ground.

Celebrity Influence and Public Perception 

The media often sparks rumors of celebrities undergoing plastic surgeries, leading to speculation and discourse among the public. Such discussions can lead to both curiosity and normalization, as celebrities are seen as trendsetters and role models in society. Notably, in the last few years, Dr. Funderburk has worked with popular drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. He performed BBL surgery on Trinity the Tuck, as well as liposuctions on both Tina Burner and Jan Sport. These celebrities decided to openly document their journey with Dr. Funderburk, helping fight the stigma that still surrounds these practices.

However, it isn’t just celebrity men who are opting for plastic surgery. Increasingly, men from all walks of life are seeking out these procedures. In 2020, liposuction was the fourth most popular plastic surgery procedure for men, rivaled by facelifts, eyelid surgeries, and nose reshaping. Although men still make up only 8% of all cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. annually, there was a significant 29% increase in male procedures between 2000 and 2018.

The Diminishing Stigma and Broader Patient Demographics 

The gradual decline of the stigma surrounding male plastic surgery is evident in the growing patient demographics witnessed by Dr. Chris Funderburk. This shift in perception has empowered more men to confidently explore and undertake various procedures. Funderburk’s clinic at Neinstein Plastic Surgery, which employs advanced treatments such as Vaser liposuction, plasma skin tightening, and Microaire power-assisted liposuction, attracts a diverse range of patients.

Dr. Funderburk’s clientele is not only broad but diverse. Thirty percent of his patients are male, a high percentage for a plastic surgeon. His commitment to providing exceptional care extends to transgender patients and drag queens. This patient demographic represents not only his clinic’s inclusive approach but also reflects the evolving acceptance of aesthetic procedures in our society.

Final Thoughts 

The trend of men seeking out cosmetic procedures has moved from stigma to acceptance, driven by changing beauty standards, social media influence, and a growing desire for self-improvement. This shift in attitude is not just a passing fad, but a reflection of evolving societal norms and a renewed focus on self-care among men. As such, esteemed surgeons like Dr. Funderburk continue to play a pivotal role in this societal shift.

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