Because why be you when you could be not-you?
Why would any man want to look like himself when he can look like Brad Pitt? It’s a fair question, and one that more and more men who feel their faces lack that perfect bone structure are asking themselves — and more importantly, their plastic surgeons.
Cosmetic surgery for men has been on the rise for some time. In March this year, for example, the Daily Mail reported that males seeking plastic surgery have increased by more than 325 percent between 1997 and 2015. And last year, CNBC reported that there’s been a 20 percent increase in the number of men undergoing plastic surgery just since 2010. We’ve also written about how social media has convinced more men to get chin implants: “While the most popular cosmetic procedures among men remain Botox (429,000 in 2015), laser hair removal (188,000), nose jobs (53,000) and liposuction for “man-boobs” (27,000), ‘chin implantation is definitely one of the fastest-growing facial surgical treatments among men,’” Michael Persky, a plastic surgeon in Encino, CA, told us in 2016.
But some men want to take things a step further — craving nothing less than a new face.
Payman Danielpour, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, tells me that while women normally ask for specific celebrity features — Emily Ratajkowski’s breasts, Kim Kardashian’s butt and nose or Angelina Jolie’s lips — men are asking plastic surgeons to make them look more like actual stars. “David Beckham, Ryan Reynolds, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, to name a few, but it all depends on the age of the person asking,” says Danielpour. “Normally, younger men bring pictures of younger men, and older men bring patients of younger and older men.” He adds that a good example of this generational divide is younger men wanting to look like Zac Efron, while older guys are eager to transform into George Clooney.
Again, this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon: You might remember that in 2005, MTV aired one season of a reality TV show called I Want a Famous Face, documenting the lives of young adults who underwent plastic surgery with the hope of trying to look more like a famous person. Though most of the episodes featured young women wanting to look like celebrities, three of the 19 episodes were about young men. One episode in particular featured two 20-year-old twin brothers from Arizona who wanted to look like Brad Pitt, since they both believed that the only thing holding them back from making it in Hollywood were their unattractive faces. The twins received nose jobs, chin implants and porcelain veneers (one of them also had cheek implants put in).
Danielpour says he receives these sorts of requests on a near-weekly basis. “I try and make people understand that they should embrace what their God-given looks are — that not only can they not look like another celebrity or person, but they shouldn’t try to,” he explains.
Specific body parts are requested, too, of course. Danielpour has had patients ask for everything from Josh Duhamel’s nose to Rob Lowe’s or Pitt’s chiseled jawline to Beckham’s abs. “Considering body contouring is on the rise, everyone wants chiseled abs and arms and a nice firm butt. David Beckham is normally the poster boy, but others are mentioned as well, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Zac Efron.”
Interestingly, fellow Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Sheila Nazarian has experienced a clientele seemingly more aware of the realities of surgery. “I can’t remember the last time a male patient brought me a picture of a celebrity,” she says. Instead, she tells me, younger patients bring in before and after pictures of celebrities, then ask if the procedure they’re inquiring about was performed on said celeb.
Also: No one actually brings literal photos of celebs anymore. “Normally everything these days is on their phone, whether from an online magazine, Instagram or another website,” says Danielpour. Nazarian agrees, saying that it’s more often the body of someone on Instagram that they’ve been following.
Which only further confirms the fact that while more and more men are asking plastic surgeons for a famous face, print media is still very much dead.