If you think cosmetic surgery is only for women, it’s time to reconsider. According to a report by the Seoul city government, the number of older males reacting favorably to cosmetic surgery has more than doubled in the past two years. This apparently reflects the growing trend of “lookism” or an “aggressive approach to look better in other people’s eyes.”
The administration surveyed 22,600 males in Seoul and found 30.5 percent of those in their 20s and 30s as well as 16.1 percent of those over 50 years old responding that it’s okay for men to undergo plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes. The noticeable change was among the older generation: while the figure rose to about 9.8 percent among the younger males, it marked an over two-fold increase from 2008, when only 8.6 percent approved of it.
“Before, I always thought I was the unattractive one. When good looking guys confidently flirted with girls, I always couldn’t stop staring at them. But after surgery, I feel equally confident. I could talk to any girl and some of them tell me that I look nice. It helped my business and in other aspects in life,” he said. “I recommend it to other people. Why stress when you can change it?”
“Politicians are receiving Botox or double eyelid treatments as well as actors becoming instantly more attractive and it has influenced ordinary people to consider plastic surgery,” Park Yong-nam, a plastic surgeon, said. “Many people think appearance is one of the crucial factors for competitiveness. It boosts one’s self confidence, which is positive for life overall,” he added.
Meanwhile, the city administration’s report suggested some interesting figures showing the changing trends and patterns of general ideas of males nowadays. While the younger generation prefers buying a car over a house, the older ones were more eager to own a house. Only 0.2 percent of the males in their 20s and 30s and 3.8 percent of those over 50 expected their children to support them during their post-retirement lives.
About 46.4 percent of single men in their 20s and 30s consult with their mothers when dealing with various problems but only 10.3 percent sought their fathers’ help.
The researchers said the number of males in Seoul marked 4,974,000, accounting for 49.5 percent of the total, a 6.6 percent fall from two decades ago.
The ever-accelerating aging population will change the demographics ㅡ in 2030, the largest age group will be those over 60 years old, numbering 1.2 million or 26.8 percent of the total.
Currently, the largest portion is 30-somethings accounting for over 19.1 percent, followed by 40-somethings and 20-somethings, marking 16.4 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively.
By Bae Ji-sook