Would You Let Your Husband Have Plastic Surgery? More and More Middle-Aged Men Are Doing It. but Beware, It Could End Your Marriage; 'The Operation Boosted Kennie's Self-Esteem and Gave Him the Confidence to Leave Me'

Daily Mail (London), March 10, 2014 | Go to article overview

Would You Let Your Husband Have Plastic Surgery? More and More Middle-Aged Men Are Doing It. but Beware, It Could End Your Marriage; 'The Operation Boosted Kennie's Self-Esteem and Gave Him the Confidence to Leave Me'


Byline: Antonia Hoyle

AS SHE walked into the cosmetic surgery clinic, Kim Mead was overcome with nerves. It wasn't the PS7,500 cost that worried her, or the prospect of the pain.

Rather, it was the nagging suspicion that the operation she'd agreed to wouldn't solve the underlying problem.

Over the following months, she was proved right. Except it wasn't her who had gone under the knife, it was her husband David, 55. And while he may have had three-and-ahalf litres of fat vacuumed from his torso during a liposuction procedure, his vanity still knew no bounds.

'In fact, now he's had surgery, he is worse than ever. .. the effort he puts into his appearance!' says Kim.

David, the managing director of an energy company, is just one of a soaring number of men going under the knife. Just last month, a survey by the British Association Of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons revealed 4,500 men had surgical work last year a 17 per cent increase from 2012.

The most popular procedures were liposuction and 'man boob' reductions, which increased by 28 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

And, contrary to what you might suppose, demand comes not only from younger men. In fact, the mean age of patients has increased to 42. So why are so many otherwise sensible men, with stable jobs and happy marriages, going under the knife? 'The rise of the metrosexual man, personified by celebrities such as David Beckham and Shane Warne, has certainly put pressure on other men to look a certain way,' says psychologist Amanda Hills. 'There are also increasing numbers of middle-aged men reentering the dating scene who are swayed by the promises of surgery.

'But mostly I think men see women who have had surgery looking flawless and feel compelled to match them. They believe this is what women want.' David, from Basildon, Essex, is the first to admit he is vain. Since he and Kim married in 1979, he has been lifting weights three times a week to maintain his physique. Kim's exercise routine, meanwhile, has largely been limited to the odd few lengths of the local swimming baths.

'I'm only 5ft 6in. As a short man I TURN TO NEXT PAGE FROM PREVIOUS PAGE felt I had to try harder to look attractive,' says David.

At first Kim, 57 and a size 16, admired his discipline: 'I have always struggled with my own weight and yo-yo dieted over the years I just lacked the motivation to do anything about it.' But as middle-age advanced, David became increasingly unhappy. 'I started developing man boobs, love handles and excess fat on my stomach,' he says. 'I was fighting a losing battle. I'd look in the mirror and feel miserable.

'When I hit 50, I decided I was going to get fit. I suppose it was a mid-life crisis.' Kim, a housewife, struggled to rationalise how her husband was feeling. 'David always moaned that his tummy hung over his trousers, but I still found him attractive,' she says.

Her reassurances fell on deaf ears. After three years of diets during which he'd dropped from 13st to 12st David made the drastic decision to have liposuction at the beginning of 2012. 'David moaned so much that in the end I said: "Just get on with it",' Kim says.

His three-hour procedure took place at Spire Bushey Hospital in Watford in April 2012. Fat was removed from his stomach, chest and back.

Although he was badly bruised and in pain, the effect on David's body and ego were instant, as his weight dropped immediately by 7lb, to 11st 7lb.

'It was the best money I've ever spent. It spurred me on to do more exercise,' he says. 'Looking good gives me a buzz, which hasn't done our sex life any harm.' NOW David is trying to persuade Kim to follow his lead. 'We'd both be happier if Kim was slimmer,' he says. 'That said, after 35 years of marriage I love her for more than just the way she looks.' In any case, Kim has told him in no uncertain terms that she won't be following suit. …

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