Meet the Man Behind Mantalk
Listen up ladies: this week the spotlight is on men. It’s no secret that we have quite a bit of sway when it comes to grooming our grooms, so Beautyinthebag.com is excited to introduce Beauty Guru and New York Plastic Surgeon Dr. Elliot Jacobs as our expert resource for men who want to look and feel great, and keep on top of their A-game. After all, he wrote the book on it. Dr. Jacobs also serves as an Honorary Police Surgeon for the New York City Police Department and as a Consultant in Plastic Surgery to the United Nations.
As an expert in male-centric procedures like gynecomastia, what is your approach to cosmetic surgery when it comes to female patients?
Actually, many of the procedures for males and females are quite similar, with the exception of gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts). Women want shapely breasts that are size appropriate to their figure. That might require breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast uplift, etc. Men with enlarged breasts, on the other hand, want it all gone. They desire a flat, contoured, muscular-appearing chest. The techniques to achieve this result for men include various combinations of liposuction, direct removal of breast tissue, sometimes appropriate elevation of the nipple and removal of excess skin. In fact, I have an entire website devoted to gynecomastia treatment, www.gynecomastiasurgery.com.
When it comes to nasal surgery, both sexes like a straight and somewhat narrowed nose. Women like a more delicate, slightly more up-turned tip while men do not look good with an up-turned tip. Some men have actually requested that I leave a little bump on the dorsum of the nose, thinking it to be more masculine. And of course, both sexes like to be able to breathe well through the nostrils (functional nasal surgery) — and this surgery can be combined with any nasal cosmetic surgery.
Facelifts, for both men and women, should appear natural and not overly tight. Men do not mind an occasional line on their cheeks while women insist on absolutely smooth cheeks. And both sexes love a smooth, taut neck. Sometimes, men opt out of the cheek portion of a traditional facelift, seeking only to improve the neck alone and to remove the infamous “turkey gobbler.” This can be done with a neck lift operation, which includes both lipo to remove any fat and then muscle and skin tightening as well. Together, these techniques provide a contoured jawline and a trim neck. And sometimes I will add a chin implant to provide a more assertive chin profile.
Women love smooth upper and lower eyelids to facilitate application of make-up. Therefore, female eyelid surgery tends to be more aggressive in removing excess skin. Males, on the other hand, would look feminized with similar aggressive surgery. In fact, I deliberately leave a bit of excess skin (and perhaps a wrinkle or two) behind on men so that they appear more youthful, natural but not over-done.
Most important is an honest, back and forth conversation with the plastic surgeon prior to surgery. Every patient is physically different. But in addition, every patient, both men and women, has ideas about what their goals are. It is up to both the plastic surgeon and the patient to come up with a surgical plan which will achieve, as best possible, the patient’s stated ideas and goals. But this goal must be realistic and take into account the actual age and health of the patient’s skin. Not every idea can be made into physical reality!
Other than the above, which procedures are you best known for?
I have perfected the midface lift, which can be thought of as an extended lower eyelid tuck — it simultaneously improves the lower eyelid as well as the cheek below the eyelid. It works extremely well for men and women.
I have also concentrated on the male neck lift, frequently combining it with liposuction to remove the double chin and sometimes a small chin implant to add strength to a weak chin.
And finally, I have devised my own procedure and instruments for excessive armpit sweating, called hyperhidrosis. This is a debilitating condition which affects both men and women — and one that I can improve significantly in one 45-minute operation with virtually no scars.
Why should women read Mantalk: Tips from the Pros on Good Looks, Good Health, and Maintaining Your Competitive Edge – and give a copy to the men in their lives?
Women should read Mantalk because it provides valuable information that men need — and we all know that men are loathe to visit a doctor or to take care of themselves. Therefore, the women in their lives should know what is needed to keep their man healthy and vital. And of course, they should urge their men to read it themselves!
How have male grooming and fitness habits changed in recent years?
Men have finally come out of the closet. They have recognized the need for physical fitness for health and well being as well as for being able to attract the opposite sex. And in these tough economic times, it may also help one to keep a job or to find a job. The boom and availability of grooming aids have also played no small part in this male revolution.
Does the market for male-centric products and procedures reflect this change? (Note, for example, the past Super Bowl ad for Dove for Men: “Be comfortable in the skin you’re in.” This seems to be part of a growing trend of reaching the male demographic with a very specific marketing approach.)
Absolutely yes! Cosmetic companies are rushing to produce lines of products specifically for men. And this is more than just another “male fragrance.”
How do men like to be marketed to/educated when it comes to beauty and personal care products and surgical/non-surgical treatments?
Men need help in this regard because, quite simply, men do not talk to other men about these things — the exact opposite of women. Therefore, the approach to marketing and educating men must be in both magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, etc. It will not come from verbal recommendations from other men. Men also seek simplicity in their products — they get confused when confronted with multiple products which seem to do the same thing. As a man, I would like one or two all-in-one products to use — rather than half a dozen individual products.
Do your male clients generally come in by themselves or with the women in their lives?
Men tend to come in by themselves when considering surgical or non-surgical procedures. Yes, some do come with their wives or girl friends but the vast majority are alone. Perhaps they feel more secure and comfortable, talking one on one with a male physician, about procedures which might be considered embarrassing or seemingly trivial.
What prompted you to become a plastic surgeon?
From the age of 7, I knew I was going to be a surgeon — it was a calling. It is a challenge and yet thrilling to be able to change a person or affect their health and life, with your own hands, in just a few hours of work. Although I didn’t know about plastic surgery when I was a kid, I was exposed to it during my training in general surgery — and it struck a resonant chord within me. Since I had always loved music, sculpture and the arts, it seemed a perfect blend for me — a way to be artistic and creative while still performing surgery. In this regard, I could perform “sculpture” on live human beings.
If you weren’t doing this career, what would you be doing?
Early in my life, I was a professional musician. And I have always loved photography, especially portrait photography (which coincidentally is used often in plastic surgery). Landscape gardening is another passion. And I started writing fiction stories on my parent’s Underwood typewriter (using the hunt and peck method) when I was 8 years old. Honestly, I could have pursued many careers.