Statistics indicate that there are a lot psychological problems associated with plastic surgeries for men. However, the manners in which these psychological issues are dealt with differ from one place to another depending on culture. In some countries like Japan, cosmetic surgeries for men have increased in the recent past. The increase has been influenced by change in cultural norms and expectations of the society. This paper seeks to relate the plastic surgeries for men to the cultural changes.
According to studies, approximately forty-seven thousand cases of plastic surgery for men were reported in the United States in 1994. This accounted for twelve percent of total cosmetic surgeries conducted that year. This number increased by twenty percent in 1996 and doubled in 1997. In Japan, studies have observed a significant interest in men interested in plastic surgery. The number of men interested is now approaching the number of women interested in the procedure (Nakamura, Mulliken and Belfer 283).
Some common characteristics have been found among the male patients seeking cosmetic surgery. These are shyness, physical weakness, rigidity, less interactive, and guarded. Some of these patients have openly disliked their father and have admitted that they share an intimate relationship with their mother. In many cultures, a male’s interest of deformity is often associated with a conscious wish to separate himself from unlikable characteristics of the father (Simis, Frank and Hans 167).
Plastic surgery is an expensive procedure which can bring a lot of financial strain to an individual or the family. Most of the time people consider the cost involved in taking the surgery and forget the cost incurred due to postoperative complication (Sevinor 7). Observations have made it clear that many men who undergo plastic surgery suffer from psychological disorders which make them develop a bad perception about their looks. They never get satisfaction making them end up performing several surgeries that can cause addiction. This has brought problems to the society with the issues of men not accepting their gender. Those who take these surgeries are not satisfied with their sexualities, a factor that is bringing a lot of changes in people’s culture (Simis, Frank and Hans 67).
Studies have indicated a rapid change in culture in matters of sexuality and sexual orientation. Plastic surgery in men, though not common, has its origin in men not feeling contented with themselves or their looks. An abnormal male identification can be caused by inability of a young man to identify himself with his father. In this case, the boy fails to establish a normal relationship with his father and seeks solace in his mother (Pertschuk, Sarwer and Wadden 45).
Plastic surgery has a significant effect on culture. Majority of men seeking plastic surgery are single and some have major problems in their marriages. Others are old men who are widowed and have interest in dating young women thus they perform the surgery to look young and attractive. However there is development of unexpected reactions from those patients who have undergone surgery. Some are associated with certain problems caused by denial of what have already happened. Some are unable to face realities about the changes that happen on their bodies if they not as per their expectations.
This makes the patient go for consecutive surgeries in trying to reverse the previous surgeries. Sometimes the surgeries become inevitable which can cause a lot of regrets especially when a person suffers from post operation complications. This is associated with depression which can be of many forms (Nakamura, Mulliken and Belfer 287).
The patient moves from hospital to hospital in attempt to look for help where they meet others with the same problems. This does not console them but act as a beginning of psychological disturbance. Most of them go for these surgeries without awareness of psychological consequences they will face after the surgery. Usually many doctors do not consider these psychological effects when performing the surgery, even though it is important to advice the patient about what will follow after the surgery.
Plastic surgery is also associated with practices like prostitution. In some societies this is highly condemned due to its effects. People use plastic surgery procedures to enlarge their body parts in order to fit well in the business. Men undergo surgery to enlarge their shoulders to attract women who like broad shouldered men. Some men undergo plastic surgery so that they can look like gays.
These practices have not been embraced in many cultures. For example stigma and prejudice is still high in many societies in matters of sexual orientation. Only few people will disclose their sexualities even to their physicians. These activities are causing a change in culture in many parts of the world.
Cases involving plastic surgery have increased in the modern cultures. The changing cultures have led to an increase in men plastic surgery in their effort to conform to the expectations of the society. Men undergo plastic surgery in order to meet the demands in the society. The perfection of plastic surgery shown through the advertisements makes men long for the procedure. The modern culture of cosmetic surgery in men is evident by the actions of the cosmetic industries. Cosmetic shops have increased and they stock cosmetic products that are aimed at changing the physical looks of a person (Pertschuk, Sarwer and Wadden 12).
Statistics indicate that male grooming in the US stands at approximately four billions dollars at the moment since the traditional attitude of plastic surgery belonging to women is waning. Men between forty and fifty years of age are increasingly seeking the services of cosmetic surgery to look youthful and to keep in fashion with the current trends. Gossips of plastic surgery among the celebrities have increased and this is changing and influencing lifestyles and culture.
A survey conducted on plastic surgery in the US indicated that 14% of total Botox injections, 15% of total liposuction, 25% of total nose jobs, and 20% of total laser hair removal were carried out on men between 2009 and 2010. The most popular body improvement procedures that are common among men include: creation of “six pack”, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, bulging Pecs, liposuction, hair transplants, breast reduction, penis enlargement, testicular implants, pectoral implants, and buttock improvement jobs.
A new study indicates that more than half the population of the US supports plastic surgery regardless of the gender or income bracket. Men have been caught up in the new trends of looking young and healthy. The media has played a significant role in encouraging plastic surgery all over the world. Shows like “Plastic Surgery Before & After and reality shows like Dr. 90210 and Extreme Makeover” have made plastic surgery to look like a necessity in the contemporary world.
The media has changed the modern culture in issues of plastic surgery. The increased obsession to look good has been influenced by media through use of popular celebrities. There are huge numbers of young people who spend much of their time watching TV and browsing the Internet. Television programs rarely depict people of normal body shapes; only the best appear. Super models in leading magazines are said to have undergone processes of plastic surgery to enhance their looks. Plastic surgery advertisement is on the rise on TV, magazines, newspapers and online over the Internet. The world population is continuously being exposed to the notion that enhancing our bodies through plastic surgery will improve our lifestyles (Pertschuk, Sarwer and Wadden 56).
Cosmetic surgery in men has gained popularity because of the action of the media. This is through the advertisements aired by televisions, magazines and even shows. These advertisements encourage men to long for such sexy and muscular bodies that are displayed. This has made men to be obsessed with such looks and therefore go for plastic surgery. The modern cultures like modeling have greatly influenced plastic surgery in men. Men models display good masculine bodies which look ideal for modern men swaying others to undergo plastic surgery to emulate them. The modern culture no longer appreciates ugly people making people go for surgeries to avoid being stigmatized and discriminated (Simis, Frank and Hans 23).
In conclusion, research has shown that the society is changing. Today’s society supports and appreciates plastic surgery. This has made it become a normal and a common thing to do. People are undergoing through plastic surgery without considering the cost and the side effects associated with it. This is increasing the rate at which plastic surgery is taking place.
Nakamura, Yuri, John Mulliken and Myron Belfer. Cross-Cultural Understanding of Aesthetic Surgery: The Male Cosmetic Surgery Patient in Japan and the USA. Boston, MA: Springer-Verlag, 2000. Print.
Pertschuk, Michael , et al. “Body image dissatisfaction in male cosmetic surgery patients.” Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (1998): 20-27. Print.
Sevinor, Simon. “The psychology of beauty: What are the right reasons for plastic surgery?” USA Today Magazine 30 June 2010: 5-7.
Simis, Kane, Frank and Morris Hans. “Body Image, Psychosocial Functioning, and Personality: How Different Are Adolescents and Young Adults Applying for Plastic Surgery?” Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines (2001): 42.5: 669. Print.