Think fast: name some celebrities who’ve gotten Botox, page Restylane or other injectibles. Is the list composed solely of famous females? Well, hemorrhoids you’d be mistaken to think only the ladies of Hollywood are swinging by the good doctor’s office for a little “pick me up”. It’s Hollywood’s best kept secret that the male stars get touch ups too and now, prescription like any other trend, the movement has worked its way into mainstream consumption.
Botox, or botulinum toxin as it goes by medically, is a controlled dose of botulism that smooths wrinkles and is so ingrained in our pop culture now that certain Housewives have Botox parties. But an increasing number of regular, everyday men are adding Botox — or, as some are calling it, “Bro-tox” — to their wish lists. Last year alone, more than 300,000 men got Botox, according to figures released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. That is a 10 percent increase from the previous year.
In an ABC News piece, one of these men, 41-year-old real estate analyst Jason Grange, discussed his introduction to Botox. “I looked older,” he said. “I looked tired, but I don’t feel tired.” So his wife decided to buy him Botox after he complained too many times about his appearance. Now he’s hooked and makes regular follow up visits with the Orange County, California plastic surgeon, Dr. Tenley Lawton.
Like Grange, the average man getting Botox is in his 30’s or 40’s, is a professional and feels a need for a sprucing up. But why are they doing it? Seems the pressure to stay young felt by women for countless years has finally gotten to men too and now, in order to keep up appearances at work and to make an impression with women, middle-aged men are turning to injectibles to turn back the clock.
Another popular choice to do this is Restylane, a cosmetic filler used to not only smooth lines but also plump up sagging skin and regain lost elasticity. No surprise the site’s section for men emphasis power and taking “control over your looks.” Men want to look their best, but on their own terms and without feeling judged or insecure.
Afterall, it’s a fine dance these companies are performing. One could argue that playing on the fears of men is just good business. Women have been plagued with projections of unattainable beauty since time (or at least advertising) began and look how the makeup industry fared. Now men are falling victim to the same ploy, but the techniques used are slightly different. Not only will a man lose his partner, but his whole livelihood for “looking old.”
According to a report published by American Society of Plastic Surgeons president, Dr. Phillip Haeck, male patients constantly tell him, “You’ve got to do something to help me because I need a job and I’m afraid I’m going to lose out because people are going to think I look too old.” It’s the classic “All about Eve” syndrome: there’s always someone younger and hungrier right behind you. Except this time it’s “All about Steve”.
– Mac Smith