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How Vain are Men?

Posted on: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Categories: Uncategorized

Despite the recession, the number of people having plastic surgery in the UK is increasing. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons report that the overall rate of cosmetic surgery has risen by 6.7% since 2008. The most impressive statistics have been recorded specifically in male surgery, the demand for which has grown by 21% with the number of operations to correct gynecomastia  (‘man boob’ reductions) rising by 80%. It certainly suggests a concern over appearance for men in a domain that has traditionally been dominated by women. 

Liposuction figures have fallen for women, but not for men. Generally, Surgeons advise patients to reach an optimum Body Mass Index (BMI) before offering them a cosmetic procedure and this may well put many women off this option as a ‘quick fix’. It is possible that men take on board the proposed exercise regime with sensible dieting and then return for cosmetic surgery.  The trend of increasing numbers of men turning to plastic surgery looks to continue during 2011 with the media fuelling male vanity. BMI and weight loss are widely discussed in our current culture and this may drive men to become more self-conscious about their appearances.

An article in The Telegraph in May 2011 has highlighted the results of a health survey of TENA Men over 45 years old.  When asked who they would like to resemble regarding health and fitness, 29% cited Pierce Brosnan with younger stars not getting a look in which suggests many middle aged men are not unrealistic when it comes to age regarding role models.  Furthermore, 53% said they were happy as they are. Obviously, this isn’t the case for all men as 2% had already had cosmetic surgery and a further 14% said they would consider having surgery with a tummy tuck being the most popular choice and breast reduction desired by a surprising 4%.

With the cost of living increasing more men may turn to cheaper procedures or holistic approaches to health and fitness such as personal training, though on average men don’t spend that much on these effective approaches. 60% of men spend less than £50 a year on gym membership or a personal trainer.  Does this mean that men have enough motivation to keep fit without added support? Only 6% of men over 45 saw themselves as very fit compared to other men of their age. Other research suggests that of the 70% of men who think they are physically fit only about 13% actually are. 37% saw themselves as average and 7% as very unfit with physical health being cited as a big concern for 37% of men.

At least most men are not burying their heads in the sand when it comes to thinking about their health because over half of them have regular health checks and around 80% thought they were more aware of signs of ill health and ate a healthier diet compared with their father’s generation.  This self-awareness is good news as health and physical fitness in middle aged men is extremely important. The trick is to follow through with action. Up until age 44 men are more likely to die from accidents than ill health. Once they reach 45, heart disease is the biggest killer with over 36,000 succumbing.  Consequently, focusing on fitness rather than appearance is of paramount importance. Men really don’t look that great when they are dead!  The advantage of focusing on health and fitness is that a healthy diet and plenty of exercise slows down the visible signs of ageing, so fitness not only helps tone your body it will help you look younger in all sorts of ways too.

Unfortunately, 45% of people who own their own fitness equipment use it more for hanging up their clothes than for working out. Most of the time it is due to motivation and a therefore a mobile personal trainer could help (working out that is, not tidying up clothes!).