The decision to undergo cosmetic surgery isn’t always an immediate one. Nobody sits at home watching, say, a late-period Mickey Rourke movie on TV and – upon gazing at his weird, formless, surgically altered face – thinks, “Cor, I’ll have me some of that.”
Instead, it comes in a trickle. For instance, I’ve always been catastrophically short-sighted. Three years ago, I became fed up enough to get my eyes lasered, and now they’re fixed. Then, unrelatedly, my hair started falling out. I’d already fixed my eyes, so why not try to fix my hair? I bought a bottle of foam that supposedly puts a halt to hair loss. And then, unrelatedly again, I started to put on weight. So, when this magazine asked me if I wanted to trial some “tweakments” – non-surgical cosmetic procedures that involved freezing my double chin rock solid to kill the fat cells... Well, I’d already done my eyes and my hair, so, sure! The more the merrier. But would I take things a step further and go under the knife?
If I did, I wouldn’t be the only one. There are myriad reasons why men choose to have cosmetic surgery. Perhaps they want liposuction to look more like the blokes on Love Island. Perhaps, all of a sudden, the man staring back in the mirror looks disconcertingly like their dad. Perhaps they read the Georgetown University study from last year that claimed that men who had undergone facelifts and upper blepharoplasties (eyelid surgery) were perceived to be more likeable, trustworthy and masculine by their peers. Perhaps they view it as a way to banish their physical insecurities, once and for all.
But is that really such a good thing? I’m not entirely convinced. For starters, I happen to be a huge fan of insecurity. Have you ever met anyone who feels totally secure in themselves? They’re awful. They have a certainty about them that’s creepy and off-putting.
I truly believe that a little bit of insecurity, insensible amounts, is what keeps people human. I’m always worried that my tummy is too big and my hair is too thin, and that I come across like a goofy farm boy whenever I meet anyone professional. And that’s what keeps me in check. If I didn’t feel like that, I’d quickly become untethered and obnoxious. I’d be Donald Trump. Another Donald Trump is the very last thing that the world needs.
Plus, it’s important to think about regret. Do you ever wonder if Mickey Rourke looks in the mirror and feels sadness about going too far? Does Darryn Lyons, who unveiled a surgically implanted six-pack during his stint on Celebrity Big Brother, look down and curse himself for being talked into looking like an inflatable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?
When I was researching that article I had my chin frozen for, I was also injected with cheekbone fillers. They were done by a skilful doctor who got the exact result we were after, but I still spent the next 18 months poking at them with my finger, conscious that they made me look a little bit less like me.
So maybe I wouldn’t ever go as far as getting plastic surgery, after all. Instead, I suggest it’s better to take better care of the things that you’ve already got than to try to introduce something new. If you focus on maintaining a good diet, lots of exercise, sensible skincare and a flattering haircut, then I’ll let you in on a little secret. Nobody will give a shit about how masculine your new eyelids make you look.
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