Strong jawlines, a prominent nose, a wide chin, and chiseled cheeks are marks of a masculine face. But there are many reasons why some men aren't naturally gifted with all these features, including poor posture, a higher body fat percentage, mouth breathing, and genetics.
Plenty of young men are seeking ways to improve their appearance. “Looksmaxxing,” a trend that has taken over social media, is a prime example. The term is exactly what it sounds like: Maximizing your aesthetics through various methods, including weight loss, mewing (a technique where the tongue is placed against the palate), skin care, and sometimes, cosmetic surgery (yes, men are getting work done too!). If you thought the leg-lengthening surgery was the male version of the BBL, you're wrong. It seems the "masculinization facial" – a series of cosmetic treatments to enhance the chin, jaw, cheeks, and lips – has become a growing cosmetic trend among the guys.
Dr. Daniel Diaz Torrado, an aesthetic doctor from Cúcuta, Colombia, shocked TikTok viewers when he showed before-and-afters of his clients on the platform. The men who went to him had softer jawlines, lines, and round cheeks – but they left the clinic looking sculpted. His video captioned "masculinización facial" (masculinization facial) garnered nearly 6 million views and over 300,000 likes.
I was expecting people to be taken aback by the procedure, considering the stigma against men getting aesthetic treatments. Instead, most of the comments were supportive, largely because the results didn't go into the "uncanny valley" territory, according to TikTok users. Let's be honest, many people go overboard with the 'tox and fillers these days.
"These actually look good and not uncanny," says @Vspm1010.
One of the top comments read, "That's what zac efron got done. It does not look as good on him as it does on these guys."
However, some mentioned how these men didn't need any work done in the first place. Another person adds, "They all looked totally fine and good to start with."
One woman joked that this procedure is the "Male BBL (Brazilian butt lift)."
I've also seen people argue that masculinity is more than just appearance. This is true, but there's no denying that stronger facial features are seen as more manly. Then again, there are virtuous traits I associate with the word masculinity besides handsomeness, like being determined, confident, resilient, and strong. An anonymous TikToker wrote, "Masculinity is an attitude, a character, a perspective and a way of thinking it's not a face."
I've always been for people having agency over their own faces (as long as there's balance), but is it possible that men may take it too far like some famous people have? It's one thing to enhance your beauty, it's another to completely alter it. This year, Chrissy Teigen became a trending topic after looking nearly "unrecognizable" at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. There's also the concern of those who got the buccal fat procedure appearing older and more "gaunt" due to the fat loss in their face. I think these extremes can be avoided if we all focus more on self-acceptance and improving our physiques. Luckily, according to the social media audience, the guys in the viral TikTok still look like themselves, albeit a bit more "macho."
And can we really blame these men, especially when women are raising their standards more than ever? Men are also more insecure about their looks and status these days. I had to reach out to Dr. Torrado to inquire why more men are seeking the masculinization facial. Surprisingly, it's mostly women bringing their partners to the clinic to get work done. In a rough Google translation from Spanish to English, Dr. Torrado explains, "Many times they come with their wives, and they are the ones who bring them... then they are so happy that they bring their friends."
"When they see the results, they feel magnificent," he adds. "It gives them more security and confidence."
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