Ladies, pimp your?man

2014-06-29 15:00

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Tired of looking at your man’s sagging neck skin, the shaving bumps all over his face in the morning and those unsightly love handles?

Why not send him for cosmetic treatments that won’t require him to go under the knife but will leave your frog looking like a handsome prince?

And if he complains that these procedures are for women, tell him he’s wrong: more and more South African men are opting for tummytucks, laserhair removal and body sculpting that doesn’t take them anywhere near a gym.

Dr Natasha Chapman, a general practitioner specialising in aesthetics and a member of the Allergan Medical Aesthetics Academy, says most of her male patients are referred by their female partners.

In many cases, the women have undergone these treatments before they send their boyfriends or husbands to follow suit.

“Most of my patients come to me because they have seen first-hand how noninvasive treatments have transformed their girlfriends or wives and they realise how easy it is to look better without having any radical surgery.”

There are no official statistics for surgical or ­­nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in South Africa.

Chapman, who sees between 100 and 150 patients a month, says: “Five years ago, fewer than 1% of my patients were men.

“But today the figure has increased to 10% and it is growing annually.”

The appeal of this knifeless technology for men, she explains, is that they typically prefer an “easy, no-fuss treatment that has no downtime or side-effects and is not obvious to anyone.”

Chapman’s anecdotal evidence is borne out by international trends: the latest figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that 9% of cosmetic procedures and 8% of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were performed on men in the US last year.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ figures are similar – in February, the association revealed that 9.5% of aesthetic plastic surgery procedures were performed on men in the UK last year. Body sculpting was the most popular procedure among British men, with liposuction up by 28% and the tightening of man boobs up by 24% compared with 2012.

Chapman says body sculpting – which is used to remove love handles, tuck saggy tummies and turn man boobs into sleek pectorals – is also a favourite among South African men.

“In my practice, 50% of patients doing this treatment are male, and it is evenly spread among our population groups, with a third of patients being white, a third Indian and a third black.”

Dermal fillers are particularly popular with both men and women: Caroline Van Hove, the director of pharmaceutical company Allergan, says between 400?000 and 500?000 of these procedures are performed by local dermatologists and medical doctors in South Africa each year.

Jacques Botha and Gerrit van der Merwe are two happy patients who swear by botox and fillers.

Botha recently had anti-frown injectables to smooth the lines in his forehead, while Van der Merwe had fillers injected into his forehead and botox between his eyes.

Both say they independently decided to pimp themselves, though Van der Merwe got some encouragement from his wife – she also uses botox occasionally.

Botha (43) says he wanted to make himself look young and smooth.

“I am a metrosexual man who believes that a man should always look good. If there is something that can make me look good, like botox, I will do it. I will only stop doing it when I can no longer afford it,” says the father of one, who is a shareholder in a medical surgical company.

Van der Merwe agrees. “For me it was about looking young and good – and since I had work done on my face, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments.”

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