- Men in Silicon Valley are exploring plastic surgery in order to succeed at work, according to a report from The Washington Post.
- Tech workers are turning to procedures like Botox, fillers, laser treatments, and radio frequency microneedling, a technique that stimulates collagen and rejuvenates the skin. In some cases, they’re going under the knife for eye and neck lifts, according to The Post.
- Focusing on anti-aging and improving your looks is practically required for women looking to achieve career success and longevity. But in typical Silicon Valley fashion, the trend is now getting a re-brand.
Silicon Valley might have historically been known as the land of hoodies and bad haircuts, but it seems like the tides are turning.
According to a recent report from The Washington Post’s Peter Holley, men in the Bay Area are increasingly focused on their appearance, even turning to plastic surgery to look fitter and younger. In fact, some say the procedures are crucial to continued success in their careers.
“Back in the early 2000s and late ’90s, people didn’t worry too much about how you looked,” one man named Daniel, who wished to remain anonymous but works for “a well-known tech company,” told The Post. “But there’s a whole new generation of workers here, and they have created different expectations, and that starts with appearance. You see more people in shape and looking fashionable now.”
These men are turning to procedures like Botox, fillers, laser treatments, and radio frequency microneedling, a technique that stimulates collagen and rejuvenates the skin. In some cases, they’re going under the knife for eye and neck lifts, according to the Post.
Plastic surgery is a growing trend among men outside of the Valley as well. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, cosmetic procedures performed on men went up 325% from 1997 to 2015. The ASPS even coined a term for the uptick in cosmetic procedures among middle-aged men: the “daddy do-over.” According to ASPS data, more than 100,000 men had filler injections in 2018, and about 500,000 had Botox, with both procedures helping to reduce the appearance of aging.
The trend has grown among niche subsets of society, too: Last May, The Cut's Alice Hines wrote a feature on the rise of plastic surgery among a virulent internet subculture of men who identify as "involuntary celibates" or "incels" and believe they are owed sex, blaming and often advocating violence against women. To them, plastic surgery was the solution to getting what they believe they were owed.
For some men in Silicon Valley, these procedures are seen as one of the few ways to succeed in a tech industry that they say only rewards younger men. But in true Silicon Valley fashion, rather than calling it "anti-aging," the trend is getting a rebrand.
Men in tech are working to 'optimize' their appearance
Focusing on anti-aging and improving your looks is practically required for women looking to achieve career success and longevity.
But the tech world has a different take on aesthetic changes that have historically been stereotypically female. Daniel, the man who spoke to The Post, described the ways he was "optimizing his existence," taking up yoga, doing juice cleanses, losing weight, and exploring plastic surgery.
And when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took up intermittent fasting last year — eating only one meal per day during the week and fasting on the weekends — many were concerned that his habits sounded more like a typical eating disorder than "biohacking."
As The Post points out, the tech world's new obsession with "optimizing" their appearance may be part of a larger push to "have it all," a constant refrain for women in the workforce for decades. (It was even essentially the subject of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's 2013 best-seller, "Lean In.")
For men, having it all seems to take the form of seamlessly balancing an 80-hour work week with high-intensity workouts, high-profile events, a robust social media presence, and a family.
Take, for instance, Jeff Bezos. In the last few years, the Amazon CEO has simultaneously become the richest man in the world and gotten better looking. He appears to have started working out more, upgraded his wardrobe and employed a tailor, and possibly even started a skincare regimen. The result is that he looks buffer, suaver, and more the part of a billionaire CEO.
And it's worked: In the last year alone, Bezos has hobnobbed with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Jared Leto at the super-exclusive Met Gala, yachted on Saint-Tropez and St. Barths with his girlfriend, and was seated near the royals at Wimbledon.
It appears as though for men in the tech world, it's no longer enough to work hard, make millions, and rise through the ranks of a tech startup, regardless of your appearance or personal life — the pressure to "have it all" has finally started to arrive for men, at least in Silicon Valley.