Written By Elyse Glickman
It happens to the best of us. We’ve become so laser focused on our careers and ascents up the corporate ladder that self-care, fitness and nutrition may have fallen by the wayside. Paradoxically, in the years you spent sharpening the skills your employers and peers demand, you may have looked in the mirror and found you have gone a bit soft in your appearance. And the reality we all have to live with is that conforming to certain standards of appearance can make or break both high-achieving men and women in our society—a fact that has been scientifically proven.
“Though it is not necessarily fair, the better looking a candidate is, the more likely he or she is to get a promotion or a new job,” says Dr. Tarik Husain (a.k.a. Dr. Miami Beach), noted for his success and expertise on aesthetic procedures for men. “If somebody is obese, it sends a message that he’s not taking care of himself properly. Also, the better looking people among those in the studies are also more likely to exude greater confidence. My patients are not just coming in to look better on the outside, but feel better about themselves on the inside.”
While Dr. Husain says he sees a variety of male patients with a surprisingly broad range of requests, he ranks the most popular procedures—done alone or combined with others—this way:
1) Abdominal etching
2) Neck tightening: This can be done with liposuction, platysmaplasty (raising the neck muscle) and/or neck lift (skin excision)
3) Gynecomastia correction, which corrects the ‘man boob,’ or male breast tissue
4) Arm/chest augmentation
5) Buttock augmentation
“The first thing a client of 40 or 50 will do is compare his current appearance to how he was in his prime, at age 21 or 22,” Dr. Husain continues. “Most men who come to me want to look more masculine, and the two areas that become less taut over time are the abdomen and the neck. Abdominal etching, a form of high-definition liposuction that can create a ‘six-pack’ effect, and neck tightening procedures remedy this. Some men who have lost weight, are into bodybuilding, or affected by hormones found in supplements and food, come in for a Gynecomastia correction.”
Dr. Husain points out the sixth most popular surgery is blepharoplasty, which raises the skin or removes excess skin in the eye and brow area. Without it, men look like they are angry or frowning, and to remedy this, he will custom mix procedures and use of fillers like Botox to “open up their eyes” to bring a youthful appearance to their face.
“As president of the Miami Society of Plastic Surgeons, my top priority is safety…and should be the patient’s as well,” he advises, adding that there are many questions you should ask your doctor before committing, and that you should be prepared to lose whatever extra weight is necessary before setting a date for surgery. “Read the fine-print on ads, as there are a dozen different variations on a procedure. Make sure the doctor is board-certified. If the price seems too good to be true, it is probably not true. The goal is to ensure the job is done correctly and to only have it done once. Even though everybody has a different BMI (body-mass index), this will be a factor in how your doctor approaches your situation. If a procedure is done poorly, or a patient doesn’t follow his doctor’s orders, he may experience a seroma, a collection of fluid that builds up under the surface of your skin, especially near an incision site, that ruins the intended result of the procedure.”
While Beverly Hills-based Dr. Michael Newman and Dr. Husain agree women are still judged more harshly than men in their appearance as they age, the good news is that several of the procedures favored by professional women are either less invasive or involve a bit less downtime. They include:
1) Botox injections
2) Adding volume to the face with injectable fillers or fat transfer)
3) Neck tightening, including platysmaplasty and neck skin excision
4) Eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty)
5) Skin resurfacing with laser or peels (CO2 laser and Erbium laser are the most common)
“There are definitely advantages for both men and women who make an effort to look younger in the workplace and want to stay more competitive,” says Dr. Newman. “Who doesn’t want to appear less stressed, more engaged and current? Women should discuss setting goals w
Dr. Newman notes that women who have a strong jawline in their 20s look more competitive right off the bat. However, as women age, they can turn to procedures such as fillers or necklift surgery to restore the jawline for a more defined and confident look. Bags around the eyes are another sign of aging in the workplace that can send the false message of being sleepy or not engaged. Surgical blepharoplasty can eliminate the bags providing a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
Finally, facial asymmetry can be perceived as weak so improving symmetry with Botox, fillers, or surgery can give a stronger and more convincing look. However, as some patients can go overboard on surgical procedures or commit to the wrong procedure, Dr. Newman says you owe it to yourself to take the time to vet possible doctors (again, is he/she board certified?). If you already have one you know and trust, you should do your homework on what procedure options will fit your physiology and lifestyle.
“Ask about the recovery time, especially when deciding when to return to work at the office—or even when to have video meetings from home,” he says. “Ask for before-and-after photos of other patients to get an idea of your doctor’s skills and aesthetic tastes. Also, keep in mind that it is better to spend more money in the beginning and get it done right the first time. Cutting corners or finding the cheapest deal could mean coming back for more procedures later and spending the money you thought you were going to save. When you have chosen your plastic surgeon, express your goals, and take your surgeon’s advice because he/she wants you to look great so that you will refer all of your friends!”