| lavinia k chong m D
Medically reviewed by Lavinia K. Chong, MD, FACS

When I asked my brother whether any of his peers were contemplating a “nip and tuck” and he introduced me to a VC insult, #“not blue flame enough”. Apparently, it justifies my suspicion that youth has become commoditized and indicative of an individual’s ability. A blue flame is a fire that is burning at its brightest. In financial industries, it is applied to 20­ something investment candidates, without kids who are “energizer bunnies”, monomaniacal in their work ethic. Since the late 20th century, business funding has cynically rejected funding over 30­ investment candidates. So is this generalizable to the world outside of VC? I certainly believe so.

ASPS 2015 statistics documented 15.9 million (nonsurgical & surgical) cosmetic procedures, up 2.4% from the year before. The changing composition of my practice (gender, age, ethnicity) reflects national trends. Of the minimally invasive procedures, in rank order: Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal & microderm, men are regular users of “Bro­tox” & fillers. Whatever their motives, they are uniform in wanting to look better but not “done”. The “hall of shame” always includes Burt Reynolds, Kenny Rodgers, Wayne Newton, Barry Manilow and Mickey Rourke. Websites document any public personality’s foray into cosmetic alteration, mercilessly and paparazzi disallow any recovery time. Even Tom Cruise has been scrutinized because everyone knows it’s been some time since his debut in “Risky Business”.

For men, conversion to surgical procedures requires a larger magnitude of information, trust and a leap of faith. Eyelid lifts are commonly requested and techniques have evolved to conform to men’s aesthetic goals. Men won’t accept make­up kits; it’s just not in the DNA. Informing them of the mandatory “down time”, methods to assist speedy healing, resolution of bruising and ensuring imperceptible scars while empowering them to take the initiative to be the “change agents”, well it’s all in a day’s work for me. Other frequently requested procedures include liposuction (No “DAD Bod), gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) & nasal reshaping.

Whether being enough “blue flame” is right or wrong, I totally agree that the perception of youth, attractiveness and strength are essential for today’s male.

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