Male Cosmetic Surgery : Trading Faces

As jobs become less secure, successful men are turning to cosmetic surgery to upgrade their personal image personally and professionally.  Mark Southern underwent the knife to understand first hand the pressure to keep a face ‘on trend’.

As first published in The Exchange Magazine, 2011

Next time you look in the mirror, give something a go; think of it as therapy – it might just save your career.

Take a deep breath, stare at your reflection, and dispassionately count all the things you’d change if you could. Be honest with yourself, and tot up the flaws you‘d like improving.

Well, what did you end up with?

If you came up with zero to three then you’re either a supermodel reading this on a Lear jet to Paris Fashion Week, or you’re just kidding yourself.

Get to four to nine and you should congratulate yourself on your excellent self-esteem – but then you’ll probably be pretty pleased with yourself already.

However, get to ten flaws or above and, far from being out on your own, you’d be in the esteemed company of 70% of London’s City workers who also share your many body hang-ups that they’d change if they could.

After witnessing the numbers of City workers who undergo cosmetic surgery rising by over 1000% in some Harley Street clinics, TEM conducted our own research and discovered that the average number of hypothetical body and face changes that City boys and girls would make is ten.

And that’s just the ones confident enough to talk about their looks.

But, ‘so what?’ you might say. ‘What relevance does that have to my work life?’ After all, it’s well documented that unrealistic media images give everyone an impossible physical ideal to aspire to. Surely there’s nothing more sinister to it than that, right?

Well, no, actually. There is more to it than that, and your close attention right now could just help your future career.

You see, image matters. Scratch that; image really matters.

PS2

In these austere days, when profits are down and people have to be let go, your physical appearance can be the factor that tips the scales in the right (or the wrong) direction.

For while your past-performance is the biggest influencer for both recruiters and efficiency managers, in cases where two candidates are evenly matched, both admit to having their decision swung by a more attractive, well-presented individual.

That’s right, it turns out the sharper the look, the less cutting the dreaded redundancy sword will be for you. We told you appearance matters.

Indeed, it’s estimated that more than 70% of communication is non-verbal, and how you look is an essential part of this version of yourself you present to the world.

Dr Dai Davies is a surgeon to the stars, and head of Cosmetic Surgery Partners, the UK’s leading cosmetic surgery provider. He’s witnessed the increase of City men undergoing plastic surgery, from minor treatments to major facial reconstructions, and admits it’s a broadly modern phenomena.

“We have seen a very real surge across the cosmetic surgery industry of successful male patients wishing to change some of the physical aspects of their appearance that they are less than pleased with”, he said. “Whilst female patients still make up the majority of patients, the past decade or so has seen the numbers of men undergoing surgery multiply many times over.”

One such City boy taking the plunge to transform himself was City trader Simon Lane, who underwent cosmetic surgical procedures earlier this year.

Lane explained, “Like most people, I’d always had issues with my appearance – in my case it was my unattractive nose – but it was only when hitting my mid-thirties that these seemed to worsen.

“I was working crazy hours but, unlike when I was in my twenties, all of a sudden I started to put on weight far faster than I could lose it.

PS4

“Gyms were attended, healthy eating was mostly adhered to, but I began gathering fat around my chin, particularly, giving me the impression I was lazy and slobby.

“Whereas prior to this I had always given off a positive, thrusting image, my new chinless wonder persona began to seep across all aspects of my life, and I felt I was being perceived by the management as lacking the cutting-edge I once did.

“I’d often thought about surgery to correct my nose and so, after much research, I took a consultation with Cosmetic Surgery Partners.

“Dr Davies spoke to me at length and took me through how I felt about my body issues to determine if I was of sound enough mind to go through with it, and I genuinely believed that he wouldn’t allow his clinic to operate on someone who hadn’t understood the consequences of what they wanted done.

“After our chat, Dr Davies discussed with me what options I had, and recommended a rhinoplasty operation to resolve my nose issues, alongside a treatment of liposuction under my chin, and a complex jaw augmentation operation to bring forward my chin and create a stronger jawline.

“He explained how my nose would be broken from inside the nostril to avoid any scarring, and reset using keyhole surgery. My jaw would then be broken, and reset a few centimetres forward, which would heal quickly and give me the jawline I’d always wanted but could never achieve as age caught up on me.  Meanwhile, fat would be sucked from under my chin using lipo.

“Using state of the art technology, he then took photos of me, and manipulated the images to show me how my new face would look post-surgery. He warned that no surgeon could guarantee an absolute look but, with his skill, he could get as near to the image on the screen as possible.

“The change looked so exceptional that, after a cooling off period in which I was advised to really think about the whole thing, I decided to go for it, and made the call that would transform my face forever.

“After a second consultation to get further measurements and x-rays taken with CSP’s jaw expert, Dr Caroline Mills, I booked a surgery date and waited until the big day.

“My appointment was first thing in the morning, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit anxious as I arrived at the Welbeck private hospital near Harley Street.

“However, the Cosmetic Surgery Partners team were very friendly and calming, they relaxed my nerves and helped me into my private room.

“Dr Davies and Dr Mills both came in to see me prior to the surgery, and then before I knew it I was being taken down to the operating room. Then came the general anesthetic, and then blackness.

“Three hours later, I was woken in the recovery room, and taken back to my private room. The doctors had told me repeatedly of the severe bruising and bandaging I would suffer due to the procedures in question, but It was here in my room that I first saw my immediate post-operative self, and had to double-take.

“My face, covered in bandages and plaster for protection, stared back, with black eyes visible, and a jaw that could barely move. As for swallowing, I’d lost all control of my throat, and felt dizzy from the anesthetic.

PS3

“However, with the excellent help from the CSP nursing team, I was helped through that first 24 hours and the following day, still feeling pretty dreadful, I was able to be picked up by a family member.

“The next week was difficult, but not as bad as I had expected, and slowly every day I saw my condition improve.

“Seven days after the operation I returned to CSP and had the bandages removed, where I then saw my new face for the first time.

“To say I was taken aback was an understatement. I’d felt almost as anxious at seeing the results for the first time as I did when going in for the surgery and, despite CSP’s first class reputation, it was impossible to completely forget about the trashy ‘When Surgery Goes Wrong’ TV programmes I’d seen before.

“However, as the nursing team carefully removed the bandaging, I saw all the things I hadn’t liked before had disappeared, and been replaced by a whole new face. A face I was proud of.

“Sure, it took another week or so for all the swelling to clear, but the instant transformation was so incredible that I felt like a different person.

“The funny thing was though was that I didn’t look like a new person; I just looked like a much more attractive version of myself.

“After my two week holiday from work, I prepared for my return a little worried that my new face was going to create sarcastic comments from colleagues, and was advised to get a haircut and a new suit, and walk in with the air of confidence I always used to project, but seemed to have forgotten.

“Monday morning came around, and I marched into the foyer at work, only to be caught in the lift with the Chairman of the company. I could almost feel his eyes burning into me, and my first thought was he was appraising my new face but he simply said, “Good to see you back in the office, Simon. That holiday must have done you the world of good – I haven’t seen you looking this sprightly since the nineties!”

“The Chairman’s positive comments were an omen for the rest of the week as people continually commented on how refreshed I looked, and how I seemed back to my best. And the great thing was I did feel different; I felt like me, but on a really good day – in fact, how I used to feel in my early twenties.”

“Simon’s story, and subsequent confidence boost, is similar to many others in the City”, Dr Davies explained.

“It’s a hard time to be working in the City, and the stresses and strains can bring anyone down. One of the great things about this job is hearing about the number of our patients who report a genuine rise in their personal confidence levels after surgery, and it’s so pleasing to be a part of that.”

The final word, though, should go to Simon, who three months after his surgery not only survived a redundancy cull, but has since been promoted. “I feel like a new man”, he said, smiling broadly. He shakes hands and walks away from our meeting with his shoulders back, full of purpose. He no longer fears the mirror; do you?

If, like Simon, you want to reinvent yourself check out www.cosmeticsurgerypartners.co.uk today.  It just might be the thing that reignites your career.

 

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