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If you want to get ahead, get Botox

By Sarah Cassidy,Social Affairs Correspondent

Successful businessmen are turning to plastic surgery, Botox and makeovers because of the growing pressure to look young and dynamic.

The recession has seen a rise in male executives taking drastic action over their appearance, according to a magazine for high net worth individuals.

Dr Daniel Sister, of Beauty Works West, a specialist in aesthetic medicine and non-surgical procedures, told Spear's magazine: "Men now account for 30 per cent of my work. Because of the economic crisis, men are looking for jobs or trying to keep them, so they want to look good and not too tired or worried."

His male clients used to be gay men, then metrosexuals. "Now it's "ordinary" men too," Dr Sister said. "And surprisingly, guys are asking for treatments younger than their female counterparts. Men are starting in their 30s and women in their 40s."

One JP Morgan investment banker in his 40s said: "The workplace is getting younger. A few men in the office have had Botox. As you get older, it's important to look youthful and healthy."

According to the latest statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps), demand grew by 21 per cent among men last year, despite the downturn. The number of surgical procedures last year exceeded 36,400 – a slow but steady rise of 6.7 per cent from 2008. But the biggest increases were recorded in male surgery, with the number of gynaecomastia (or "man-boob") operations alone soaring by 80 per cent. Women had 32,859 procedures in 2009, up from 31,183 (a modest increase of over 5 per cent) but interest in male surgery far outstripped them with a 21 per cent rise overall (from 3,004 last year to 3,623).

Male brow lifts rose 51 per cent, from 72 to 109, as well as male facelifts which went up by nearly a quarter (23 per cent) and male tummy tucks (up 20 per cent).

The top five procedures for men are rhinoplasty (nose job), blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), breast reduction, otoplasty (ear correction) and liposuction.

Kevin Hancock, a consultant plastic surgeon at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital in Liverpool, said: "There has definitely been an increase in the number of men seeking cosmetic surgery over the last five years. There is an element of looking youthful in the workplace.

"People may have the idea that it's celebrities having cosmetic surgery but it is the opposite – we see Mr and Mrs Average and businessmen and women. People from all walks of life are now more body conscious than ever."

Fazel Fatah, a consultant plastic surgeon at Birmingham City Hospital and president of Baaps, said: "The main reason is that the younger male generation is much more self-conscious of their body image than the older generation.

"I think some men may come for cosmetic surgery because they think it will help their job security or job prospects but the vast majority do so for psychological reasons. People who genuinely need cosmetic surgery come forward because their self-consciousness about a particular feature is affecting their life. They are miserable and cannot rest until they see a way of putting it right.

"They see it as an investment in a better quality of life so their performance will be better after the procedure."

Non-surgical procedures are also on the rise. Mary Greenwell, make-up artist to stars including Cate Blanchett and Uma Thurman, told Spear's that make-up could help men fight the downturn.

"Men are competing with and copying women. They don't want to look 20 years older than their female counterparts. Often people don't realise when men are wearing make-up if it's applied properly. The only giveaway is when a man uses, say, khol to "enhance" his eyes. It always shows. I tell men never to wear it in the boardroom."


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