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Erin Prater

Tech workers are among the increasing number of men seeking plastic surgery for a jawline that rivals Batman’s

(Credit: Getty Images)

Key takeaways

  • Interest in above-the-neck plastic surgery procedures rose 55% during the first year of the pandemic among both men and women.
  • Tech workers who “spend their lives in front of the computer”—and on Zoom—are among those increasingly requesting such alterations, a cosmetic surgeon recently told GQ.
  • Men are increasingly seeking surgery to achieve what some see as the ideal jawline—chiseled, angular, and Batman-like.

Vast amounts of time spent in virtual meetings during the pandemic had unforeseen consequences. Due to what plastic surgeons are calling the “Zoom effect” or “Zoom boom,” requests for face, neck, and brow plastic surgery procedures rose 55% from 2020 to 2021, according to statistics from one trade organization

It’s a phenomenon confirmed in medical literature. Interest in above-the-shoulder cosmetic surgeries “significantly increased following February 2020, compared with below-the-shoulder procedures,” researchers wrote in a January 2022 article published in an Oxford University medical journal, citing Google Trends data.

The subject is explored this month on GQ, in an article titled “Meet the Men Paying to Have Their Jaws Broken in the Name of ‘Manliness.’” Journalist Will Coldwell follows the journeys of men like Ali, a European man in his 20s who recently paid tens of thousands to have a cosmetic surgeon break his jaw, then reconstruct it in a fashion he considered more attractive—more chiseled, angular, and Batman-like.

The procedures Ali ordered off his surgeon’s “menu”: a bilateral sagittal split ostomy, a Le Fort 1 ostomy, and a genioplasty, Coldwell writes. Basically, Ali asked his surgeon to split his lower jaw, upper jaw, and chin, then bolt them back together with his jawline advanced forward.

“Ted,” a Midwesterner in his late 20s, shelled out for a similar procedure. Now, jaw surgery is his “special subject at parties,” he said. While the drastic procedure hasn’t resulted in any significant life changes, like to his career or relationships, he reports feeling more confident. And he’s noticed a subtle difference in the way he’s treated by others.

Most of Dr. Federico Hernández Alfaro’s male clients are lawyers, engineers, and doctors, the maxillofacial surgeon told Coldwell. But their ranks now include tech workers, who “spend their lives in front of the computer and are very easily able to search for resources,” he says.

Some who come to him seeking plastic surgery are confused, have unrealistic expectations, or perhaps even have body dysmorphia, he said. In that case, they’re turned away and referred for psychological help, his assistant added.

“It happens that some patients, when they achieve a normal or attractive face, they perform better in life,” Alfaro said. “But if that’s your main objective, I cannot guarantee it.”

“We often see patients who expect too much out of surgery. I cannot change your personality.”

You can read the full article here.

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