in a city as much in the spotlight as washington, more men are turning toward cosmetic surgery to fight father time. by ali mcsherry
From the tight-faced women of The Real Housewives of Orange County to the enhanced
bosoms of the Jersey Shore gals, women undergoing plastic surgery is more socially rampant
than ever. But what about men? While a handful of DC women, such as Fox News personality
Greta Van Susteren, are happy to discuss the various nips and tucks that keep them looking
fresh, most men tend to be mute on the topic. Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t undergoing
procedures all the same. Dr. Ayman Hakki, the founder and CEO of
Luxxery, a plastic-surgery office in Maryland (3010 Crain Hwy., Ste. 400, Waldorf, 301-843-
9769; luxxery.com) with a walk-in Botox boutique in Georgetown (2141 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-
333-9294), notes he has seen a recent increase in men seeking consultation for cosmetic surgery.
“Men go for things that make you look different without making you look too different,” Hakki
explains. The two most common procedures: eye lifts, and liposuction on their love handles.
“Men wanting to fix their ‘tired’ eyes are the biggest portion of new male clients these days,” says Chevy Chase–based plastic surgeon Dr.
Wendell Gordon Miles. “The biggest uptick I have noticed is in men moving up in their careers.
The thought of interviewing against younger competitors seems to motivate them to come in
for consultations.” The men vary in age, but, as Miles notes, they tend to be in their mid-forties
and -fifties. Hakki describes two very distinct groups who come into his office: “super jocks”
and “executive types.” The former are military men who need to pass very stringent physical
requirements to continue moving forward in their careers. “Their neck and waist measurements
need to be certain ratios or they can’t fly,” he says. “We’re talking about men who are in
great shape but still have love handles.” Alternately, the executive types get eye lifts or
facial Botox in an effort to look younger when competing for jobs. “They feel threatened by the
young bucks coming up the ranks,” Hakki says. Still, the surgeons caution that cosmetic surgery
is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are lasting effects on both a patient’s appearance and his wallet.
Procedures can alter one’s looks for years to come, and most cost between $5,000 and $10,000—
and are not covered by health insurance. Before operating, Hakki sits down with his patients to discuss
their decision to get surgery, and occasionally, he spots red flags. For instance, he does not operate
on men who have unrealistic expectations of how an eye lift may change their lives. “The man who
tells me he is doing it because he thinks he is going to be 18 again, or because his wife is leaving and he
wants to win her back, those are the men I turn away gently,” he says. But not all men are going under the
knife to recapture their youth. For executives or members of Congress who are constantly in the
public eye, getting cosmetic surgery can be a simple public relations decision to improve their looks on
camera—that is, as long as it is done right. One local public relations maven recounts the story of a client,
a powerful executive, who had a botched eye lift— an unfortunate incident she described as unnatural
in its complete symmetry. The PR person had to advise on handling the fallout, as the surgery could
obviously not be undone. “He wore contacts, so I advised him to wear glasses until it settled in
because the lines of the glasses block the eyelids,” she remembers. Another option is to stick to non-invasive cosmetic procedures, where
local physician Dr. Philip Schoenfeld, founder and medical director of Renu Med Spa, has seen a spike in male clients. “These days, men are
entirely more comfortable with the concept,” says Schoenfeld, who adds that most come to his office with their wives and speak freely about
the procedures. Schoenfeld is also seeing more men opt for laser hair removal, a relatively quick and painless way to change ones appearance—
and a treatment that is becoming increasingly common. “Neck, back, and shoulders are the most popular places. That’s like a manicure
these days,” says Schoenfeld of the in-and-out ease of the process. “Let’s face it, hairy backs are out.” But, in general, the advice from professionals
is to keep it simple. Man or woman, the idea is to be the best version of yourself—not a completely different self altogether. CF
Across the board, cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive
procedures for men increased two percent from 2009 to
2010, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
It’s a small but noteworthy jump, considering that just 10 years
ago, men hardly registered a blip on the cosmetic surgery
radar. Here, a sampling of what men are getting (re)done.
Most Popular Surgical Procedures
Rhinoplasty can range from a slight smoothing to full
reconstruction. COST: $4,000–$8,000
Drooping lids and wrinkles have more men rushing to their
doctor than ever before. COST: $2,000–$4,500
For those last few inches of love handle that won’t disappear.
Most Popular Minimally Invasive Procedures
The most popular injectable for men and women, Botox is
a quick fix. COST: $400–$500 per session
Laser Hair Removal
Relatively painless and fairly inexpensive, it’s a good
argument for going bare. COST: around $400 per treatment
The benefits of heavy-duty exfoliation are obvious:
uncovering smoother, more youthful skin. No surgery
involved. COST: $75–$200