Johnny Rahme was 13 when he begged his parents to let him have nose surgery.
Now at 39, he has had five nose jobs, as well as two ear operations. Being Lebanese, Johnny says he’s never been happy with his ‘look’.
“Everyone used to tease me at school, and being Lebanese, it was even harder going to an all Australian school,” he tells Insight. “[I] got called Gonzo… it was ridiculous.”
After five rhinoplasty operations, Johnny says he is finally happy with his nose.
Johnny is part of a growing number of Australian men who are taking grooming to the next level: from frequent botox injections and body hair removal, to more intrusive surgeries including liposuction and calf implants.
OLDER MEN EMBRACE COSMETIC SURGERY
At 55, train driver Jan Handerek has had ten cosmetic procedures, including an eye-lift and botox. His latest operation involved having liposuction to sculpt a six pack into his stomach. Jan says he was partly motivated by having a new girlfriend who is 10 years younger than he is.
“The eyes, the stomach, the liposuction, it all helps with my whole persona, my whole body, and I’ve never felt better since I’ve had the operation,” he says.
“I feel absolutely fantastic.”
WATCH: JAN ON HAVING COSMETIC SURGERY
MALE BODY IMAGE
Psychologist Julie Malone has dealt extensively with men and women who have body image issues, and says she has seen an increase in the number of male clients.
“There’s an overarching problem here about men trying to achieve an unrealistic body and an unrealistic ideal of masculinity,” she tells Insight.
“It’s a problem for men of all ages starting down at the age of 7, through your teenage years into young adolescence.”
And part of this problem is due to the lack of ethnic diversity in mainstream media, says Dr Nives Zubcevic-Basic, a researcher and marketing lecturer at Swinburne University.
“We have been educated that the ideal man is a hyper masculine Caucasian male and that’s generally what you see throughout mass media,” she says, “we perceive those that don’t fit into that ideal as unattractive.”
Have you seen an increase in male grooming and male cosmetic surgery? Do you manscape? Catch the full discussion tonight at 8.30pm on SBS ONE. The program will also be streamed live here.
Join the discussion by using the #insightsbs hashtag on Twitter or by commenting on Insight’s Facebook page.
WATCH A PREVIEW
Nathan and Theo Saiden are brothers and both do comedy. They feel that Australian broadcast media are skewed towards white Caucasians, which in turn influences the way that ethnic minorities view themselves and their physical appearance.