More and more men are opting for cosmetic surgery, although they are still a minority, accounting for only 15% of all procedures. They visit aesthetic centers to enhance the gluteal area (adding volume to the upper part of the buttocks), sculpt their jawline with hyaluronic acid to achieve a more masculine look, or undergo non-invasive techniques to eliminate localized fat through cold treatments, but they generally try to avoid the more invasive procedures.

According to the latest report from the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (SECPRE), “The Reality of Aesthetic Surgery in Spain,” males represent 15% of the total, which is three percentage points higher than in previous studies. For men, the most requested procedure is blepharoplasty (which removes excess skin on the eyelids), closely followed by gynecomastia or breast reduction, with rhinoplasty in third place. Liposuction ranks fourth, surpassing otoplasty (usually aimed at reducing the size of the ears or changing their position to make them closer to the head when they protrude, as in the case of “bat ears”). This pattern is consistent globally. However, the most striking change is that currently more aesthetic surgery procedures are being performed on young people than on older individuals.

On the other hand, techniques that have sparked much discussion remain very marginal, according to Isabel de Benito, president of the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (SECPRE) and co-responsible of the clinic Porcuna

When the book was published in 2022, the host had already addressed his concern. “It has turned out very nicely. I always had a complex and a little more firmness doesn’t hurt. They injected hyaluronic acid into my glans and it has turned out beautiful, very youthful. With the years, everything deteriorates,” he confessed. However, Vázquez has not set a precedent, judging by the low demand, as pointed out by Concepción Lorca, a plastic surgeon at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital.

According to this doctor from Jaén who has a private practice in Madrid, hyaluronic acid is reabsorbed, so it needs to be re-administered every year or year and a half. However, the increase in the circumference of the glans is not spectacular: around one centimeter, estimates De Benito. “There are also techniques to lengthen the penis by one or two centimeters, at most,” adds Lorca.

It has also been reported that nipple surgery has become one of the most searched procedures on the internet by men, and that surgeons in New York City are overwhelmed by the vast number of men looking to reduce the size of their nipples. The aesthetic inspiration is David Beckham, whose “small, symmetrical, almond-shaped nipples” are encouraging many young men to emulate “Golden Balls,” a nickname for the British footballer. However, this is a distortion, as what has actually increased is breast reduction (in men, it is the second most requested procedure, with 5,811 Spaniards operated on in 2022).

According to specialists, there are various life stages where it is very common for men’s mammary glands to develop, although they later regress. This happens, for example, in childhood and puberty, explains Lorca, a period in which it is quite common for these glands to grow, only to return to their original state within a few months. However, if after a year or more they do not decrease in size, it is unlikely that they will do so, which can lead to psychological problems stemming from aesthetic pressure.

Gynecomastia, the development of breast volume in men caused by hormonal imbalance, also occurs as a result of using steroids and hormones to increase muscle mass, as well as in overweight and obese individuals. This is because in peripheral fat, there is an enzyme called aromatase that converts some male hormones into female hormones, stimulating breast development. “Personally, no man has come to me asking only about the nipple. It is common for it to be a mild case of gynecomastia,” says Lorca.

The fact is that more and more men are daring to undergo plastic surgery, especially with non-invasive techniques. This is the case of CoolSculpting, one of the most popular alternatives today for eliminating unwanted fat through a cold application treatment (last year The New York Times published an article stating that the risk to patients is greater than recognized by the manufacturer). Another technology on the rise, as revealed by the president of SECPRE, is Morpheus8, “a radiofrequency that men are increasingly using to tighten skin in the chin area, abdomen, and even arms after dieting,” explained Benito.

In addition to flat bellies, very defined jaws, and heads of hair (those who travel to Turkey to get a hair transplant are still a minority, although the sector estimates that around 10,000 Spaniards travel annually to Istanbul to undergo surgery in one of the 350 Turkish clinics that perform this operation to put an end to baldness, at prices between 50 and 85% cheaper than in Spain), the newest trend is the interest in less invasive techniques among both young and older individuals.

According to the latest data available to SECPRE, 26.9% of surgeries are performed on individuals aged 45 to 60, 35.4% on those between 30 and 44, and 29.5% on individuals aged 18 to 29. Globally, the pattern is repeated, except that surgeries on individuals under 34 account for more than half of the total.

“Today, facial and body perfection is sought after. What I see most in my practice are young people looking for greater body definition, as even being athletes, they may struggle to get rid of fat accumulations in certain areas,” comments Lorca. One of the most popular options for this purpose is body contour surgeries, also known as 360-degree liposuctions. The procedure usually lasts about three and a half hours and is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. It is common to start with the patient face down and then flip them over. The price ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 euros in low-cost clinics, but can go up to 8,000 or 9,000 euros when the surgeon is experienced.

According to Benito, undergoing buttock surgery “has also become a trend.” Basically, the goal is to improve the profile of the buttock area “which usually involves filling in the areas where it is nice to have volume, that is, the upper part and not the lower part, so that the buttock appears rounded and well-defined,” he explains. The filling is typically done by extracting and then injecting fat from areas where it is in excess (namely: from the flanks, the abdominal area, the inner part of both knees, and the hips) and is known as lipofilling or ‘lipoinjection’. This technique is used not only to enhance the buttocks but also to cover scars, fill in dark circles or cheekbones, and rejuvenate the face.

To attract a younger audience, some American clinics use the slogan “you, but better” on Instagram and TikTok. However, the goal is often unattainable, as they do not use real images in their advertising, but rather photos and videos edited with the myriad digital filters of these platforms. Slanted eyes, sharp chins, elevated cheekbones, and squarer chins are some of the most requested operations by young people, following the new beauty standards of social media. “Do you see how this filter enhances my chin and jawline? That’s how I want them,” some young people say to look like in their selfies.

With a digital filter, you can retouch the nose, lift the ears, or sharpen the face as much as you want because filters have no limits, unlike surgery. For this reason, Dr. Lorca admits to following the Instagram account Belleza falsa (@bellezafalsa), which shows the true face of celebrities (literally), as in this post linked below. That is to say, one thing is the photographs where boys and girls appear more handsome, and quite another is the harsh reality because the skin is not perfect, but has acne, pores, breakouts, wrinkles, and small blemishes.

Months ago, Vivo published the growing practice of looksmaxxing (maximizing physical appearance), a trend that has been around for a decade and now seems to have made a strong comeback in some internet forums and social media platforms. The goal is to try to become as attractive as possible according to a series of socially prescribed criteria, such as “hunter eyes” that are slightly slanted towards the temples. The looksmaxxing trend assigns “scores” to aspects of male appearance, focusing especially on the jawline, muscle tone, and skin. The objective is to increase the score through softmaxxing and hardmaxxing (which may involve the use of steroids, hair transplants, and cosmetic surgery).

However, few are brave enough to try these extreme trends. In general, contour procedures, eyelid surgeries, ear reshaping, neck lifting surgery, and facial lifting surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments like Botox, are the most popular among men. In fact, the key for men is for the aesthetic changes to be so subtle that they can go unnoticed.