You’ll Never Guess How Men Are Changing Their Faces

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
According to newly released data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), a record number of lip-augmentation procedures were performed last year. We’re not talking injections and fillers (which seem to be more common than ever), but lip lifts and permanent implants geared to balance lips and give a fuller appearance.

We know, we know — insert Kylie Jenner reference here — but the catalyst for wanting bigger pouts isn't too far off. According to David H. Song, MD, president of the ASPS, selfie culture should be credited. “We live in the age of the selfie, and because we see images of ourselves almost constantly on social media, we’re much more aware of how our lips look,” the doc said in an ASPS release.

In fact, it’s not just Jenner or even women as a whole who are driving the trend; ASPS data shows that lip augmentation in men (excluding injectables) has risen more than 400% over the past 15 years. Though men represent just 4% of those augmenting their lips, that number has climbed from 1% last year. Which, is huge!

We live in the age of the selfie, and because we see images of ourselves almost constantly on social media, we’re much more aware of how our lips look.

Why are men going under the knife to augment their lips? Perhaps because, in a counterintuitive way, it’s the low-maintenance choice. Dr. Sam Rizk is a Manhattan-based facial plastic surgeon who has developed his own lip-lift techniques based on patients' demands. He explains, “The lip-lift procedure I offer is ideal for men, because it does not require touch ups with injections, which they are less inclined to keep up with.” Dr. Rizk notes that while the ideal male lip used to be like Brad Pitt's or Jude Law's, “both of whom have some feminine qualities about their features,” patients tend to cite Tom Hardy, Channing Tatum, and Jared Leto as current examples of covetable lips.

Dr. Jaime Schwartz, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and adjunct clinical professor at the Cleveland Clinic, has also noticed that lip procedures aren’t just a woman’s game. “Men who are conscious of their looks do notice they have thinner lips. It's probably from noticing the uptick in women's lips and fashion,” he says. “They just indicate they want fuller lips, albeit [they want] more subtle [results] than women.”

What’s more, Dr. Schwartz says that he’s noticed a “large increase” in all male cosmetic procedures, not just lip procedures. According to the ASPS data, Dr. Schwartz is largely right.

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