Town & Country (USA)

The Male Gaze

Eye lifts are booming—and men are leading the charge.


Iknow I’m not alone in saying this: When I’m on Zoom, I can’t stop looking at my own face. And lately I’ve been fixated on my eyes. When did they become so squinty, so tired-looking, so run-down? I can’t pinpoint when something changed, but I can tell you when I noticed: the moment everything in my life moved online.

Plastic surgeon Lesley Rabach says that among the uptick in procedures precipitat­ed by the pandemic, eye lifts, or blepharopl­asties, have become especially popular. What’s most surprising is that this surge is predominan­tly being driven by men. “At least half of my patients are men,” says Rabach, who performs about five blepharopl­asties a week. And it’s not just older men who are seeking them out. “People used to do it at around 50 or 55, but now having your eyelids done is more like a mid-thirties to forties thing.”

Although the candidates are getting younger, a desire among men to look more bright-eyed is not new. Blepharopl­asties are consistent­ly in the top five most common invasive cosmetic procedures among men, according to annual statistics put out by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. That could be because men notice changes around their eyes first, says plastic surgeon David

Shafer. When they do see those changes, they’re more likely to “jump right to surgery” instead of trying other things like Botox or fillers first, he says.

In terms of cosmetic surgeries, blepharopl­asty is one of the easiest. “It’s not a big thing like a nose job or facelift; it literally takes 40 minutes,” Rabach says. She performs the procedure, which involves removing sagging skin from the upper lid or fatty deposits from the lower, in her office under local anesthesia. Once she’s done, patients can go home, and stitches come out after five days. “There’s no crazy downtime. You don’t even have to stop working out that much, which is a big deal for men.”

More than the actual procedure, men love the results.“You’re going to look refreshed, but not different. More like you shaved off eight to 10 years,” Rabach says. In addition to the eye lift itself, many doctors, like both Rabach and Shafer, often include a chemical peel around the eyes to smooth out wrinkles and create an even more youthful look. Even for the mid-thirties set, that’s beneficial. “It’s always good to do it before you really need it,” says Rabach. If you see me wearing sunglasses on our next Zoom call, you’ll know why.

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