Last week, it was reported that George Clooney incited his second aesthetic trend in as many decades. As Dr. Doug Ross on ER, at the height of primetime medical dramas of yore, Clooney’s hair was shorn in a neo-Caesar crew cut which had American men running to the nearest barber. The ’90s were simpler times. Since making a joke in an Italian magazine last January about getting his testicles tightened, Clooney has influenced the latest trend in scrotum chic: ball ironing.
Ball ironing, or tackle tightening, is a facelift for your stones. For $575 one can have the smooth, youthful ball sack of a millennial. But pristine family jewels is just one of the many vanity procedures on the rise for men. Last year nearly 800,000 fellas went under the knife, 121 percent increase since 1997. The most popular surgeries for men are the same as for women: liposuction, eyelifts, hair transplants, rhinoplasty, and breast reduction (and in some cases augmentation). Here are some of the others:
1) Chinplants: Something magical happened in 2011. The weak-chinned men of America decided they needed, nay DEMANDED, the chiseled jaw lines of a Disney prince. The year saw a 71% increase in the surgery, which entails inserting an implant (often silicone) in front of the chin. Subsequently, the human species is 10,600 defined male chins richer. What transpired to provoke men to rush to the local plastic surgeon, waving their checkbook and a photograph of Gaston LeGume? Clinical professor of surgery at Columbia University, Darrick Antell, told the Today Show.
People have cameras everywhere…You can be at a wedding at the buffet table and a moment later see pictures of your double chin on Facebook. We’re a much more image-driven society than we were even five years ago.
Smartphone photo and video technology has turned our lives into a virtual house of mirrors. Antell also notes that the greatest number of men who’ve been chinplanted are over 40 “which is the point where people are bridging the gap between youthfulness and middle age.” He conducted a study of Fortune 500 companies which revealed 90% of the CEOs have “strong chins,” the facade of leadership and power being an impetus for men to alter their profile.
2) Limb-lengthening: Height dysphoric Skee-lo could have fulfilled one of his many wishes with the incredibly painful and complicated procedure known as limb-lengthening. Conceived to assist sufferers of dwarfism and those with disparate leg length, limb-lengthening has been hijacked by cosmetic surgeons as a vanity procedure.
Stature is extended after a doctor implants telescoping rods in the patient’s broken shin. Over the course of three months, the rod Stretches the bone apart one millimeter every day, wherein muscle, nerves,skin, new bone, and sometimes harmful bacteria grow to fill the newly created void. The procedure can’t turn you into Yao Ming, but can add 2-3 inches to your height, and one man paid for two procedures to grow 6 inches. The majority of guys who endure this process are reported to languish with height dysphoria, convinced their diminutive figure prevents them from getting the respect bestowed upon taller men.
3) Character Affectation Surgery: Have you felt like you’re really a velociraptor trapped inside a human body, or that maybe looking exactly like Wolverine will help you feel the quiet contentment that has always evaded you? Then allow these men to be your inspiration! Men like Lizardman, born a mere human but transformed by tattoos, tongue bifurcation, dental modification, and sub dermal implants to become a reptilian-human hybrid. Or with enough facial transdermal implants and body modifications your inner feline could manifest and transfigure you like Cat Man. One 35-year-old Filipino man has spent the last decade having his body manipulated and his skin lightened to look just like Superman, and another guy had 100 surgeries to resemble a sentient Ken doll. Want to surgically metamorphose into a stalk of broccoli, or a red panda, or Liberace? Godspeed!
4) Abdominal Liposculpting: If sit-ups and cardio are biting into your precious leisure time but you need that summer beach body, consider abdominal liposculpting. This procedure liposucks the fat covering your abs, slurping out what was once many six packs, and contouring the flab around the muscles to show…a single sixer.
5) Voice Lift: Men who feel embarrassed by speaking like Marge Simpson’s sisters or desire a castrato pitch, can opt for a voice lift. Another surgery once purely medicinal and now cosmetic, the “lift” occurs after inserting implants into the vocal chords, or injecting fat or collagen into the chords. Like the chinplant and limb-lengthing, one of the justifications for a voice lift is to mitigate feelings of perceived “weakness” especially for aging businessmen.
6) Muscle Augmentation Implants: The gyms not enough anymore. Once used for reconstructive purposes, plastic surgeons such as Miami’s muscle “go to guy” J. Howell Tiller M.D. have pioneered solid yet soft silicone implants to shape and size the abs, calves, buttocks, deltoids, quads, pecs, bi’s, and tri’s…. oh my.
7) Penis Enlargement: Perhaps you’re sick of having limp confidence before the mirrored urinal trough, or maybe you’ve been shamed by your spam folder, or you’ve found yourself staring longingly at David Beckham’s much ballyhooed package. There are plastic surgeons eager to assuage your phallic self-doubt. One of their methods snips the suspensory ligament, causing one’s flaccid trouser snake to extend from the body a few extra centimeters (but in some cases can actually shorten an erection when the ligament reattaches itself).
Another enlargement procedure removes a flap of skin from the abdomen and reattaches it to the base of the shaft to give the penis more prominence. Sounds simple enough, right? Except “most of these ﬂaps cause unattractive hair-bearing tissue that covers the penis and causes pubic deformation.” Noooooo thank you. If you were feeling insecure enough about your boner to get a few centimeters of ab skin stitched to your pubis to hold it up, it seems doubtful you’ll be cool with it wearing a sweater.
Lastly, you can add girth to your skin flute by way of fat injections, at the risk of “penile lumps and nodules, and shaft deformities.” Gentlemen?