Male grooming — or ‘manscaping’ — is undoubtedly on the up, so much so that the beauty salon is no longer perceived to be a ‘Girls Only’ domain. In the wake of popular TV shows such as TOWIE and Made in Chelsea, more and more men are making regular visits to the salon for brow shaping, spray tans, manicures and facials — and what’s more, they are proud to admit it.
Suggest a cosmetic procedure to shift stubborn fat, however, and they are far less comfortable, as we discovered when we asked almost 1,000 UK males: Would you consider a body contouring treatment to make problem areas (stomach, flanks and chin) less flabby?
Here’s what the survey revealed:
The overwhelming takeaway was that only 36.8% of men admitted to being happy with their bodies, leaving a staggering 63.2% who are dissatisfied with their physique.
When it comes to tackling unwanted lumps and bumps, men are much more comfortable taking the diet and exercise approach, rather than considering a non-invasive cosmetic treatment such as SculpSure. This is despite the fact that such body contouring procedures offer a permanent solution to shifting stubborn pockets of fat and can be targeted specifically at those problem areas.
Of course, with the correct approach, many people achieve the desired results through diet and exercise alone. However, figures released by the NHS show that between 2010 and 2016, eating disorders in males rose by 70%, highlighting that men aren’t necessarily being sensible about how they shed unwanted fat.
Would you consider a body contouring treatment to make problem areas (stomach, flanks and chin) less flabby?
Aiming for the unachievable
The pressure to achieve the ‘perfect body’ is felt as much by men as it is women, and is undoubtedly heightened by the filtered ‘Instagram’ society that we live in. As a result, men are often left aspiring to a body shape that bears little resemblance to the body they have.
According to a recent study which compares male body silhouettes with shapes, the most common shape — which applies to 42% of British males — is the ‘rectangle’. This is where the torso shape is square and flat, with no tapering to the hips. The body shape men most desire, however, is the ‘inverted triangle’, a shape which only 5% of men possess.
To put this into perspective, professional sportsmen Cristiano Ronaldo and Usain Bolt are ‘inverted triangles’ — individuals who follow strict diets and exercise regimes to maintain their world-class fitness levels. This suggests that, for most men, the ‘ideal’ body shape is highly unrealistic.
A matter of age
The survey also revealed that the men who were happiest with their bodies were aged over 55, possibly because they are less affected by social stereotypes and don’t view their bodies as critically as the younger age groups. The 18–24 bracket — the youngest sector of the survey — gave the second highest number of votes to this category. This might be because they haven’t yet experienced the onset of a thickening waistline and are still benefiting from a faster metabolism synonymous with youth.
Those aged between 35–54 expressed the most interest in trying body contouring to get rid of stubborn fat — with the older respondents preferring to undergo treatment in secret. Of all the age groups, men aged 45–54 were the most aware of body contouring.
The results according to age
The masculinity stigma
Although today’s society has made it more acceptable than ever for men to receive cosmetic treatments, the survey highlighted that, for some men, there is still a level of shame around undergoing such a procedure.
Particularly sheepish were the 8.2% of respondents who admitted that they would be too embarrassed to use body contouring as a solution to improve their silhouette. Of the 13.2% who said that they would be keen to try body contouring, 5.8% confessed that they wouldn’t tell anyone should they undergo treatment.
And fifteen percent of men claimed that they didn’t know what body contouring was, unless they were too embarrassed to admit it of course!