During the first study of a kind, plastic surgeons at the Georgetown University medical center discovered that when a man chose to pinching the face or biting the face, perceptions of attractiveness, sympathy, skills or confidence.
The study, published in JAMA facial plastic surgery, shows that men benefit from cosmetic facial surgery in the same way as women: other people like better this new face. However, the study did not show any significant impact on perceptions of gender (masculinity), while a similar study carried out with women in 2015 showed a significant increase in ratings of femininity.
“The tendency to judge facial appearance is probably rooted in evolution, because studies suggest that evaluating a person based on appearance is linked to survival – our animal instincts tell us avoid malicious people – and we know from previous research that personality traits are derived from an individual’s neutral expressions, “says study lead researcher Michael J. Reilly, MD, professor Associate of Otolaryngology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Reilly is a board graduate in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and welcomes patients to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
“Together, our results suggest that men and women who undergo cosmetic facial surgery may experience not only an improved perception of attractiveness, but also other positive changes in perception that the society of their personality, “he said.
In recent years, men in America have changed their social attitude toward “maintaining appearance”, moving from narcissism to a level of continuous well-being, adds Reilly . Men now represent 15-20% of the cosmetic surgery market, but many favorite male facial features are the opposite of what is prized on a female face. For example, attractive male features are thought to include prominent cheekbones, square jaw and prominent chin, while attractive female features are round cheeks, softer contours, wide smile and large eyes.
“Our studies are designed to see if this is really true,” says Reilly.
In this study, 24 men were operated on the face by one of two Georgetown surgeons – Reilly and Steven P. Davison, MD, who is also co-author. Men have had one or more of the following surgeries: upper eyelid lift (upper blepharoplasty), lower eyelid reduction (lower blepharoplasty), face lift, eyebrow lift, nose lift, nose reshape (rhinoplasty) and / or chin implant.
These men, who paid for their own surgery, agreed to the use of their before and after photographs for research purposes. Six surveys were designed, each comprising eight photographs (four before the operation and four after the operation. No survey contained the two people).
More than 150 participants (predominantly Caucasian, 25 to 34 years of age and university graduates) who reviewed the photos were unaware of the intent of the study. They were asked to assess their perception of each patient’s personality traits (aggressiveness, extroversion, sympathy, risk-seeking, sociability, reliability), attractiveness and masculinity.
The research team developed a complex mixed linear multivariate mixed model to be able to evaluate the reaction of participants to a specific surgical intervention – rhinoplasty (nasal puncture), for example – while controlling the resulting modifications other procedures performed on other areas of the face.
Researchers discovered that chin augmentation was the only procedure that had no effect on perceived attractiveness, masculinity, or personality. The authors believe that this was due to the small number of patients participating in this procedure.
The other procedures have shown the following modifications, among others:
Upper eyelid – Improvement of sympathy and reliability
Lower eyelid – Reduced risk-taking
Eyebrow lift – Improved perception of extraversion and risk-taking
[19459008 ] Face-lift – Increase in sympathy and reliability
Neck lift – Increase in perceived extroversion and masculinity
[19459008 ] Nose – Better attractiveness
The statistically significant results broadly reflected an increase in attractiveness, sympathy, social skills and confidence.
“It is really interesting to note that different anatomical zones of the face contribute in a more or less important way to the global perception of the personality”, explains Reilly. “And it’s also interesting to note that the study found no significant change in masculinity. Only one procedure, a neck lift, has been found to improve this trait.
“This suggests that the current menu of cosmetic procedures for men probably does not improve sex as much as it does for women,” he said. The Reilly study in women looked at the same cosmetic procedures in 30 white women and found a significant increase in femininity for many procedures.
“Cicero described the face as the” mirror of the soul “, meaning that the physical appearance of a person is the most obvious and accessible personal characteristic for others in the context of ‘social interaction. No wonder subtle changes in neutral facial appearances are powerful enough to change personality judgments, “said Reilly.
According to Reilly, additional studies are necessary for cosmetic surgery to reach its full potential. “Optimizing patient outcomes will require a broader understanding of the potential changes in social perception that can occur with surgery.”
Other co-authors of the study include Keon M. Parsa, MD, resident of MedStar Georgeotwn University Hospital; William Gao, MD, former hospital resident; and Jack Lally, MD, from the Army Medical Center in Brooke, Texas.
The research received no funding. The authors state that they have no personal financial interests related to the study.
About the Georgetown University Medical Center
The Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally renowned university health and science center whose mission consists of four components: research, teaching, services and patient care (via MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and devotion to the Catholic principle cura personalis of Jesuit – or “care of the whole person”. The medical center includes the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Nursing and Health. , both classified at national level; Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center, designated by the National Cancer Institute as a cancer center; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which represents the majority of externally funded research at GUMC, including a National Institutes of Health clinical and translational science award.