While some may frown on the morality or ethics of the cosmetic surgery market, the UK sector was worth an estimated £273 million at the end of 2018.
Interestingly, this growth is increasingly driven by the youth and male sections of the market, with Millennial men becoming particularly dominant as they look to benefit from surgical procedures.
But how prevalent is cosmetic surgery amongst men, and what precise factors have driven this over time?
Men and Cosmetic Surgery – The Numbers
According to data gathered by Transform, an estimated 47% of men claim that they would be interested in one form of cosmetic surgery or another at some point in the future.
This trend appears to be particularly pertinent in bustling metropolitan cities, which are typically favoured by young men and Millennials.
For example, an estimated 55% of Mancunian men claim to either have already had some form or cosmetic surgery carried out or plan to get a procedure done in the future. The corresponding number for the capital of London in 46%, while 38% of men in Leeds share a similar mindset.
Overall, the men who do choose to research or opt for cosmetic surgery tend to favour a number of key procedures; namely rhinoplasty (restructuring of the nose), gynaecomastia (male breast reduction) and liposuction (typically of the abdomen).
These procedures have also seen significant increases in terms of Google search trends data. In the case of ‘male rhinoplasty’ and ‘gynaecomastia’, for example, their respective search numbers increased by 128% and 88% year-on-year in 2019.
Interestingly, the number of UK searches for hair transplants also increased by 84%, with this another hugely popular procedure for men in the modern age.
Why are Men Turning to Cosmetic Surgery?
As we’ve already touched on, these numbers are being driven by young men and Millennials, many of whom are increasingly influenced by beauty-driven television programming and social media sites such as Instagram.
This logic is also borne out by the most popular surgeries invested by men, which tend to focus on the nose, hairline, chest and stomach.
As we can see, these areas of the body are highly visible and often pronounced, so men are increasingly keen on cosmetic procedures as a way of improving their physical appearance from the perspective of others.
Of course, these areas of the body are also linked directly to low body confidence and conditions such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), so they’re obvious targets for men (and indeed, women) alike.
When you also consider that cosmetic surgeries have become increasingly safer, accessible and more affordable in the UK, it stands to reason that men should be investing more in procedures with every passing year.