The latest sign that America is a youth-obsessed culture? Men as young as their 30s have taken to “getting work done” so they don’t “age out of” their workplaces and careers. I wrote about this for CNBC.com recently. Ageism is one of the factors contributing to Americans’ general anxiety about the future, a phenomenon I have been covering for two years in The Restless Project. Have you experienced ageism at work? Let me know about it. Here’s an excerpt:
Men looking to fight ageism in the workplace have a new secret weapon: The plastic surgeon’s scalpel.
David, a 54-year-old portfolio manager in New York, said he looked around his office when he turned 50, and realized he needed to do something. The days when investors look for a wise, old money manager were disappearing.
“I noticed some colleagues who look older than they are actually starting to have problems. So I decided I wanted to remain relevant and marketable,” said David, who requested that his last name be withheld.
That “something” was Botox injections every three months to smooth out lines on his face. He says the $1,000-per-procedure investment keeps him looking 40-something — and keeps his clients happy.
“People do tend to look at external appearance. When your clients think you are younger, they think you are more savvy with technology, social media,” he said.
Nationally, there has been a dramatic rise in men getting cosmetic procedures. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons said there’s been a nearly 20 percent increase in men going under the plastic surgeon’s knife — or laser, or needle — since 2010. Much of that growth is in minimally invasive procedures like Botox or fillers. The number of men getting Botox jumped 27 percent during that span, the Society’s reports said.
While there’s no national data on why men are “getting work done,” New York-based dermatologist Dr. Robert Anolik said that through his conversations with patients, he knew ageism was a driving force.
“I see it all the time. If you are part of start-up or venture capital environment, and you are running around with people who are 25, you don’t want to look like you’ve aged out of that environment,” he said. “We are in a youth-obsessed culture right now. People want to attract millennials. Who better to understand them than young people?”
Renato, now 40, felt that pressure.
“It makes me do things like shoot up my face,” said Renato, who works in real estate and also asked that his last name be withheld. He started getting procedures when he turned 35.
“Increasingly my clients are getting younger and younger,” he said. “They want to work with experienced people, but not people who look like their parents.”
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