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Winning male cosmetic surgery patients means first learning what makes them tick

Article-Winning male cosmetic surgery patients means first learning what makes them tick

The very words that might get a female to commit to cosmetic surgery could send a man running for the door.

"...very basically, the male cosmetic patient tends to be motivated by more concrete, tangible things [than females]," says Richard G. Fried, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist and licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Yardley, Pa. "They want to look better because they want to make more money. They do not want to lose their edge at work. They want to feel attractive, invincible, in control and powerful.

They want sex. In a nutshell, that sums up the male existence. The only thing left out is food."

Dr. Fried
Dr. Fried, whose perspective on the psychology of the male cosmetic surgery patient was recently published in Dermatology Therapy, says that his findings are only generalizations of male heterosexuals and that the best approach to medicine continues to be to treat the individual patient. However, he tells Cosmetic Surgery Times , cosmetic surgeons who understand the concrete fears and motivations that many men share will, in general, better meet those needs and provide a more holistic service.

WHAT MAN WANTS When talking to male patients about cosmetic surgery, Dr. Fried counsels, physicians should use words that men tend to crave. Examples, according to Dr. Fried, include "fresher," "more youthful," "less stressed," "less distressed" and "more in control."

"As a group, I think men tend to be more concrete and tend to have shorter attention spans than women," he notes. "I think men tend to be attracted to simple fixes, low-maintenance regimens and noncomplex regimens. Women, as a rule, are culturally more conditioned to more complex self-care regimens."

TURN OFFS Heterosexual males do not, generally, want to be feminized. "They do not want to be 'softened;' they do not want to be made pretty. They want to be made more attractive, more desirable, more salable," he says.

In short, he concludes, men — perhaps even more so than women — do not want to look like they have had plastic surgery.

When talking to male patients, Dr. Fried tells them that he is sensitive to their need to look less stressed and distressed and more in control in the workplace. As a result, he is recommending Botox.

"...the sense of control, the sense of loss [of power, virility, strength] are what I believe both motivate and terrify males," he says. "I'm not suggesting that women don't have the same concerns and issues in life. I just think that men are much more concretely driven by these."

Dr. Fried generally asks both his male and female patients what bothers them when they look in the mirror, and what they want to see.

Men's answers are often more focused than those of women, he observes. While a woman might come in and say she is looking older, a man is more likely to say he hates his brown spots.

While women are often looking for wholesale change, Dr. Fried says, men are looking for a mere correction. "Sometimes, [men] are just looking for improvement rather than a total elimination or total fix."

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