Liu Di (right) and the website of his Chinese mobile phone app, Gengmei, which already has five million users
“Around 20 per cent of my patients are men. Some want to remove acne and look better in wedding pictures , while others troubled by baldness hope to look younger through hair transplants,” says Zhang Hui, a dermatologist with a Beijing-based private cosmetic hospital.
Doctors say hair transplants, eye bag removal, acne treatment and dental orthodontics are the procedures most commonly requested by men.
Most male cosmetic surgery customers are in their teens or 20s. Photo: Alamy
Wang Jun, vice-president of marketing for Gengmei, says there is a rising trend of young men resorting to cosmetic surgery; most male customers are in their teens or 20s. Societal pressure and the misconception that being beautiful is a short cut to success are often cited by patients as the reasons they chose cosmetic surgery.“Some people just want to please themselves, while others hope to improve their odds in job hunting or dating”, Wang says.
Chinese society is more accepting of male make-up and plastic surgery. Photo: Shutterstock
Chang Li, a 39-year-old orthopedic surgeon in Beijing, receives three intradermal injections to improve his facial skin each year. To his satisfaction, he looks much younger than others his age. Chang says that men are under the same social pressures as women and their confidence and competitiveness would be somewhat weakened by facial and body defects. “Why not reduce the signs of aging if you can?” he asks.
Some men undergo surgery in the hope of being more successful. Photo: Alamy
Make-up and plastic surgery are no longer just the realm of women, with society’s growing tolerance of beauty seeking men.Chinese news agency Xinhua interviewed 86 people randomly chosen online. Around 77 per cent said it was a personal choice for men to undergo cosmetic procedures and their choice should be respected. However, experts point out the risks of cosmetic surgery.
Male cosmetic surgery is becoming normalised in China. Fan Jufeng, director of the Plastic Surgery Department at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, does not encourage people, no matter men or women, to “blindly” go under the knife. According to the National Health Commission, a total of 2,772 cases related to illegal plastic surgery were handled by China's health departments during a year long crackdown that started in May 2017. Fan also warned the public of the negative impact of live streaming celebrities who promote the misconception that being pretty trumps all else.
On an online lifestyle sharing platform, 21-year-old blogger Chen Jingwei shared his experiences of plastic surgery including a nose job, facial implants and a chin operation in the past three years. Quite a few male fans of Chen follow his posts and leave questions asking for details of his operations. “How much does the eyelid surgery cost?” In a Chinese online survey, 77 per cent of respondents said cosmetic surgery was a personal choice and should be respected. “I am a guy and I want to change my nose, which hospital should I choose?” “Did you have jaw implants or simply have fillers injected?” “Whether to have cosmetic procedures is a personal choice, but people should not develop an addiction to it,” Fan says. “After all, a rich and beautiful inner world is far more important than a pretty face.