The gender of a person is how they are identified, and viewed, as being male or female by others. While babies are assigned a gender at birth, not everyone is comfortable with how their features are traditionally viewed as they get older. Gender neutral cosmetic procedures can be performed to make a person feel more comfortable about their appearance and also show how they view their self-image.
Cosmetic procedures are a popular method for the public to make desired changes and enhancements to their appearance. There are a growing number of men and women that are looking to make changes in what it means to have a male or female “look” by undergoing gender neutral cosmetic procedures. For example, some women are requesting a jawline that is sharper in appearance. On the other hand, there are men that want to have lips that are more pronounced in appearance as well as gaining jawlines that have a smoother look.
One of the reasons that gender neutral cosmetic procedures have grown in popularity is the current shift away from the traditional binary view of gender among younger people. As recently as 2017, a Harris Poll showed that 12% of millennials (anyone born from 1981-1996) identify as gender non-conforming or transgender. When it comes to Generation Z (those born in the years 1997-2012), 35% of that group identify as gender non-conforming or transgender.
In addition, 38% of those in Generation Z “strongly agree” that the gender of a person no longer defines someone as much as it did in the past. It has also been reported that 27% of millennials feel the same way about the gender of a person. These statistics come from The Phluid Project which is a “gender free fashion brand” that is built on the idea of genderless dressing.
With the rise in the number of gender neutral cosmetic procedures being performed, there are some specific procedures that are being requested by patients on a regular basis. Some of the most popular choices to gain more androgynous features include:
The above examples show that the idea of having gender neutral procedures is not as “taboo” as it was considered to be in the past. They also show a movement of cosmetic procedures more towards “the middle” and being chosen by both men and women instead of the procedures being viewed as gender specific.
While there were more defined male and females standards of beauty in the past, there currently appears to be less of a desire for clear guidelines of beauty among many patients. Some people like to spotlight both their masculine and feminine sides so they often have procedures that were identified with only men or women in the past.
For example, making changes to the jawline lets patients go against traditionally held beauty guidelines. The creation of sharper angles in the jawline for female patients gives a look that used to be considered a masculine feature. On the other hand, the creation of a softer jawline that has more of a narrow appearance, in male patients, gives the jawline a look that was considered to be more of a feminine feature in the past.
A 2016 study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed that the desire for a more androgynous look is growing in popularity. The study also showed that this trend is actually one of the oldest aesthetic choices throughout history. This trend dates back some 400 years B.C. (in Ancient Egypt) when people revered androgynous gods. The study also noted that the public has returned to this type of look over the past 50 years.
The “Me Too” movement has also had an impact on gender neutral cosmetic procedures. They are often viewed as being a sign of a person having confidence in their appearance and a good amount of inner strength.
Even with the growth in their popularity, there is still a portion of the public that is not as open to the idea of men and women having gender neutral features. There are members of society that do not accept different forms of gender expression and identity. The rise of gender neutral cosmetic procedures does show that some progress is being made in this direction.
Patients that are interested in learning more about gender neutral cosmetic procedures should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified surgeon. The doctor can discuss the desired changes to the appearance of the person and suggest the ideal cosmetic treatment to achieve the final results.