Going under the knife can boost men’s trustworthiness, according to a new study.
Researchers found that facial nip and tucks like music mogul Simon Cowell enhances perceptions of noble characteristics – including honesty.
The number of male plastic surgery patients is on the rise as they feel under pressure to look good – just like women.
A recent BBC survey suggested nearly 50 per cent of men aged 18 to 30 “might consider” having a procedure.
Male Hollywood stars who have had cosmetic work include Ashton Kutcher, Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.
Now a study has found when a man chose to have a nip or a tuck on his face it significantly increased his attractiveness, likeability, social skills – or trustworthiness.
The findings, published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, show men benefit in much the same way as women. Other people find more to like in that new visage.
Senior investigator Prof Michael Reilly, a plastic surgeon at Georgetown University, Washington, said: “The tendency to judge facial appearance is likely rooted in evolution, as studies suggest evaluating a person based on appearance is linked to survival.
“Our animal instinct tells us to avoid those who are ill-willed and we know from previous research that personality traits are drawn from an individual’s neutral expressions.”
He added: “Taken together, our findings suggest that both men and women undergoing facial cosmetic surgery can experience not only improved perception of attractiveness, but other positive changes in society’s perception of their persona.”
In the study 24 men underwent facial cosmetic surgery by Prof Reilly and or co-author Dr Steven Davison, also of Georgetown.
The procedures included upper eyelid lifts, reduction of lower eyelids, face-lifts, brow-lifts, neck-lifts, nose jobs and chin implants.
Participants paid for their own surgery and agreed to the use of their before and after photographs for research purposes.
Six surveys were designed, each of which included eight photographs – 4 before surgery 4 afterwards. surgery.
More than 150 mostly white people aged 25 to 34 with a college degree then reviewed the photos without knowing the study’s intent.
They were asked to rate their perception of each patient’s personality traits including aggressiveness, extroversion, likeability, risk-seeking, sociability, trustworthiness, attractiveness and masculinity.
The procedures showed the following changes:
Upper eyelid – increased likeability and trustworthiness
Lower eyelid – decreased risk-taking
Brow-lift – improved perception of extroversion and risk-taking
Face-lift – increased likeability and trustworthiness
Neck-lift – increased perceived extroversion and masculinity
Nose – improved attractiveness
The researchers said the findings were statistically significant – overall reflecting increases in attractiveness, likeability, social skills and trustworthiness.
Prof Reilly said: “It is really interesting that different anatomic areas of the face have varying degrees of contribution to overall personality perception.”
“And it is also noteworthy that the study did not find a significant change in masculinity. Just one procedure, a neck-lift, was found to enhance that trait.
“This suggests that the current menu of cosmetic procedures for men are likely not as gender-enhancing as they are for women.”
He did the same study in 30 white females four years ago and found a significant increase in femininity for many of the procedures.
In recent years US men have changed their social attitudes about “appearance maintenance”.
It has gone from bordering on narcissism to somewhere on a continuum of well-being, said Prof Reilly.
Men now make up 15 to 20 percent of the cosmetic surgery market – but many preferred facial features are the opposite of what is prized on a female face.
For example, it is believed that attractive male features include prominent cheekbones, a square jaw and prominent chin.
Attractive female features are round cheeks, softer contours, wide smile and large, wide eyes.
Prof Reilly said: “Our studies are deigned to see if this is indeed true.”
The researchers built a complex model to be able to assess participants’ reaction to a specific surgical procedure – rhinoplasty or nose job, for example.
At the same time they controlled for changes from additional procedures done on other areas of the face.
Prof Reilly said: “Cicero described the face as the ‘mirror of the soul,’ meaning that a person’s physical appearance is the personal characteristic most obvious and accessible to others in social interaction.
“So it’s not surprising subtle changes in neutral facial appearances are powerful enough to alter judgments of personality.”
Chin augmentation was the only procedure that did not have an effect on perceived attractiveness, masculinity or personality.
The authors believe this was due to the low number of study patients undergoing this procedure.
Prof Reilly called for more studies in order for cosmetic surgery to reach its full potential.
He added: “Optimising patient outcomes will require a broader understanding of the potential changes in social perception that can occur with surgery.”