More and more Australian men are seeking cosmetic procedures such as Botox, and it’s a direct result of COVID – just not in the way you might think...
First introduced to the general public in the late 1980s, Botox – which is widely used in cosmetic procedures to reduce wrinkles and has become shorthand for a wide variety of injectables – is now a billion-dollar industry. Yet it’s an industry and procedure we most commonly associate with women.
Yet an increasing number of men have started seeking Botox (or ‘Brotox’, as it’s commonly called), with interest in these sorts of procedures skyrocketing during the pandemic.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over the last 20 years, there has been a 99% increase in men receiving injectables. Moreover, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reports there has been a further 70% rise in requests for video consultations for new cosmetic procedures since COVID.
Australian surgeons are seeing a similar rise in interest, too. But why? DMARGE spoke with Dr Josh Wall, one of Australia’s best-known cosmetic doctors and Medical Director at Contour Clinics, who explained how working from home during COVID has forced men to take a good, hard look at ourselves – quite literally, in fact.
“One major outcome of the COVID pandemic has been the use of webcams for people working from home and using Zoom to interact,” he explains.
“It’s drawn attention to specific areas of the face that were previously unseen; people are seeing themselves from different angles, and those angles are not flattering. During the pandemic, the average businessman was at home comparing himself to other males, with that camera screen showing asymmetry and other facial quirks he hadn’t ever noticed until then. The ageing process and imperfections stood out like never before.”
“We have patients seeing us before a job interview – specifically for the interview – and they are driven by that reason, particularly if they are middle-aged and beyond.”Dr Josh Wall
“From our perspective and based on our bookings, it seems as though ageism is on the rise in the workplace. People are more aware now than ever before of how they present physically, no matter how qualified they are to do the job.”
A recent report by the Australian Human Rights Commission titled What’s age got to do with it? A snapshot of ageism across the Australian lifespan has revealed that ageism is more than just some Baby Boomer whinge. It found that 90% of Australians its researchers spoke to believe that ageism exists, 83% say it is a problem, and 63% had experienced ageism in the past five years.
The survey also found that those in the 40-61 year age group are most likely to encounter ageism in being turned down for a job, while those above 62 years of age will experience it by being “helped” without being asked, ABC News reports.
No wonder, then, that Aussie men want to look younger than they are by pursuing cosmetic procedures like Brotox.
Dr Wall also points out that the kinds of procedures men are seeking are different to what women are seeking, and the way men get Botox is very different to the way women get Botox.
“Firstly, men often choose not to treat frown lines – also called elevenses – because they feel a strong frown is a masculinising feature. Men do like to treat their forehead lines,” he points out.
“When we treat this area, we make sure the brow isn’t raised at its outer aspects. Masculine-looking brows are flat, without an obvious outer brow flare. Males are often also heavier in their brows. If the forehead is overtreated in those with a heavy brow, it can worsen the heaviness and lead to a sensation of facial fatigue. We avoid this complication by not injecting too close to the brow.”
“One area affects another, though,” he adds. “With age, men lose their fat compartments from the mid-face, making them look very tired, which is why men benefit from Brotox around the eyes. Treating this area helps men look more awake and refreshed.”
“It’s worth noting the tendency for males to require 25-50% more anti-wrinkle product for their procedures. This is purely owing to greater muscle strength than in females.”Dr Josh Wall
Another procedure Aussie men are increasingly seeking is dermal fillers, which enhance and define your jawline, Dr Wall says.
“We are seeing a huge rise in treatments that focus on masculinisation – think a strong jaw, chiselled chin and so on. Fillers can be placed in these areas to sculpt and define, so those with a soft jawline or weak chin can correct these issues and feel more masculine in their appearance.”
“There’s also such thing as non-surgical rhinoplasty. This is basically a nose job that simply uses fillers to smooth out a crooked nose shape. It’s not surgical, it’s just injections of the dermal filler. But it gives amazing results for people who have lumps and bumps or a hooked nose and want it to look more streamlined.”
Some men are even seeking ‘Scrotox’ – which is exactly what you think it is…