Plastic surgery is something people often talk about, but don’t completely understand. In this article, we analyze it’s cultural impact, medical meaning and offer some insight into how to choose a doctor and what to expect from the surgery. This article does not replace a visit at a doctor’s office and does not claim to be a complete review of everything that cosmetic plastic surgery is.
People have always had the desire and need for beauty, which is a natural thing and so they tried to express it in all kinds of ways. Recently though, it’s not just the houses and clothes people can flip and modify, it’s their own bodies as well. Many groups have body modifications incorporated in their cultures and have been doing it since the beginning of time. For many tribes, modifying their bodies was done in a rite of passage and for a well-established reason and had a clear social signification.
It seems that reconstructive surgery exists since 800 BC and originated in India. Of course, modifying your body through surgery is something else and it’s evolution has been done slowly and gradually. Of course, many procedures appeared in the 20th century during it’s several wars, as doctors needed to come up with different techniques to reconstruct the devastated bodies of soldiers and casualties.
Later, people have discovered that these techniques can be used to improve an already healthy body, just for the sake of a better looking image.
The reasons people get plastic surgery, a brief social and cultural analysis
There are many reasons for which people today consider getting plastic surgery. Some claim that men (and women) who appeal to cosmetic surgeries are vain and insecure. Let’s break it down. Vanity is defined as the “Excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments”, so it’s weird to accuse someone who wants to change their body of being too proud in the way they look. If they were so proud, then why would they change it? Maybe we can “accuse” (although we don’t like to accuse anyone of anything) them of wanting to be vain. Insecurity is probably a better explanation for why people get plastic surgery, but it’s not 100% satisfying either. Insecurity is seen as a fault, but it’s actually not such a big fault. We live in a culture in which the way we look matters so much, that people who do not fit the time’s beauty standards are not being taken seriously and looked down on. We wonder how can you not be insecure when people treat you badly before you even get to open your mouth? Also the, let’s call it hypocrisy of our time is something that hurts people really bad. The fact that we judge people by the way they look when claiming all we care about is intellect and talent is common. It’s like pulling a something on both ends, it’s exhausting and senseless. People who feel that way want to clear something out, they want to pull on just one end and give their existence a direction. There are really clear standards of what men and women are supposed to look like, so convincing someone that weak is beautiful for a man is not a battle that needs to picked on now. To read more on the issue, you can read our article “Two Sides Of A Coin: Male Body Image Considerations“.
Plastic surgeries for men are still somewhat of a taboo more than they are for women. Men’s body images are not something discussed today. Because men are supposed to be strong and act all mighty, they are not “allowed” to complain about the way they look. Usually when people hear about male cosmetic plastic surgeries they think “penis enlargement”, and this expresses two things. First of all, that people do not understand that men also have body image issues and second that yes, culture treats people by their numbers. It’s the same thing mentioned earlier: pulling on something on both it’s ends. One the one side it’s “what problem could men have?” and on the other side “you know you’re being judged”.
Cosmetic plastic surgery: Numbers and statistics
While we mentioned penis enlargement surgery earlier, we can begin this paragraph by saying that that is a very rare procedure. Even though lots of men would do it, the risks seem too scary for them to go through with it. The most common cosmetic plastic surgeries for men are liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, breast reduction to treat enlarged male breasts, and cosmetic ear surgery.
Since 1997, men’s plastic surgeries have seen a rise of over 120%. Still, just about 10% of all cosmetic plastic surgeries are made on men.
The costs of plastic surgery vary. They usually cost thousands of dollars, but the golden rule of spending money applies here too: if it’s too cheap, it’s probably not good either. This does not mean that the more expensive the surgery, the better the outcome, we just want to let you know that this is a market where fraud is met on every corner. The cost of a surgery also differs according to the difficulty of the procedure and the size of the area that you want to have work on. The same operation can go from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on the circumstances.
Your medical experience
One of the issues with plastic surgery is that there’s a lot you can do, but this doesn’t mean that it can turn out the way you wish. Men can get from chin implants, to liposuction, to peck, leg, arm etc implants and so much more. In the end, not everything can be done and not everything can be done on everyone with the same results.
What you need to consider is that even though plastic surgery is done if you are in good health, it is still surgery. The risks are not lower than those of other other surgeries and the measures that need to be taken and the seriousness with which it should be treated should be extremely high.
Just to make things clear, cosmetic plastic surgery means: cosmetic: it improves beauty, plastic: it sculpts or shapes, and surgery: well, surgery. So, just because it’s purpose is not to cure something, it is still an intervention in your body and the things you do before and after you did it need to be taken very serious.
Finding a doctor can be hard. We can give you a few tips on choosing your doctor. For example, a very important rule is that your doctor’s credentials need to be out in the open. He should be registered with all the medical registers, everything should be checkable and open. Then, the way your doctor and his staff treat you is very important. A doctor you always need to wait on, or a doctors who won’t answer your questions is someone to run from as fast as possible. You can actually test several doctors. See more doctors and see what impression they leave. Try to push them a little by asking questions and checking many points with them. In the end, if you are going to pay thousands of dollars on the surgery, you are entitled to do whatever you please.
Never, never, never undergo surgery in the heat of the moment or before great documentation. One article won’t do it, one book won’t do it, one discussion with a doctor won’t do it. Investigating an issue will teach you that the more you search, the more questions arise. Answering them will broaden your horizons and help you decide the right thing.
Bonus: Why men’s facelifts look weird
At often times, women who have facelifts look really well and younger. But many times, when you see men who have had a facelift look kind of bizarre and you can’t put your finger on why that is. A facelift is supposed to make you look younger, which is the number one thing men look for in plastic surgery (compared to other reasons such as looking like someone else). But the thing is that men have beards. Even though some have a bigger part of their face covered with beard and others have less, men have beards. The beard, if you notice, usually follows a line and is different from the hair we have on our heads. Pulling the face in one way or the other, without having the line of the beard in mind, can lead to messing up a look. Always discuss with your doctor any questions you might have, as answering them will lead to a better understanding of what is to happen.
Getting cosmetic surgery is something that is nowadays a lot more accessible than it was in the past. If you consider having it, consider all the pros and the cons and consult with many people from many fields. In the end, you might have a problem that is just in your mind or the resolution to your issue can be done with a smaller surgery or a different type of intervention (for example Botox or fillers) than you thought. Don’t forget: if you don’t feel good on the inside, you won’t look like you do on the outside.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. Would you get cosmetic surgery? What do you think about it?