Can plastic surgery make you appear more trustworthy and likable? The answer is, surprisingly, yes–at least, according to a new survey from JAMA. But how does that work? Most patients aren’t intended to produce that kind of transformation–they just want to look more youthful and masculine. So why does that make you look more trustworthy, friendly, and likeable?

Can Plastic Surgery Make You More Trustworthy?

There’s a new study being distributed by the Journal of the American Medical Association (or JAMA) that suggests plastic surgery can change the way that men are perceived. According to the study, after plastic surgery men experienced a significant uptick in how masculine, friendly, and trustworthy they were perceived as being.

Some of that is not entirely surprising. Plastic surgery is intended to make you appear more masculine. So it’s certainly not all that shocking to see success in that arena.

It’s more surprising to find that plastic surgery for men can make them appear more trustworthy and successful. Though it’s not like that’s all that shocking either–for reasons we’ll get into later. People undergo plastic surgery procedures for all kinds of reasons. But it’s safe to say that “to appear more trustworthy” isn’t usually at the top of the list. So what does your trustworthiness have to do with your plastic surgery results? And is that something you should be discussing with your plastic surgeon?

Why Does Plastic Surgery Make You Seem More Trustworthy?

Your trustworthiness should be based on your deeds, not your looks–right? So why do men who have undergone plastic surgery report higher instances of trustworthiness and likability? Well, there are several reasons–most of them having to do with culture and society more than any actual plastic surgery techniques.

We make snap judgments about people all the time. We have to! And so our brain writes in certain shortcuts–cues it looks for. In many cases, those cues line up rather precisely with social norms (especially if you haven’t taken the reflective time to unwire this portion of your brain). That’s where cognitive bias comes in.

Here’s how it works: we’ve been trained since a very, very young age to associate certain physical features with positive qualities. Who plays the hero in all those movies we watch? A handsome man, right? A man with a chiseled jawline and steely eyes and, well, you get the idea. So when plastic surgery makes you look more like that ideal, it becomes easier to trust you–at least at first glance.

First Impressions

Because that’s really all we’re talking about here, right, is first impressions. Those first impressions are important, certainly, but your brain does have the ability to correct those assumptions should someone immediately do something to make themselves less trustworthy.

What’s really happening here is pretty simple: men are undergoing plastic surgery more often than they used to. The procedures that men are interested vary, from facelifts to chin implants, but it’s not uncommon for these procedures to emphasize the masculine aspects of the patient’s physiology.

In other words, most patients end up looking more masculine after surgery. For many patients, that’s the idea (they associate their masculinity with youth and virility). But it’s important to remember that plastic surgery may make you appear more likable and trustworthy–but that doesn’t mean it will actually make you more trustworthy or likable. It’s up to your personality to do the heavy lifting in that case.

A Rise In Plastic Surgery For Men

This recent survey was commissioned largely because plastic surgery for men has become more common in recent years. And there are several reasons for that. First and foremost, there is more pressure on men than ever before to look forever youthful (that pressure still pales in comparison to the pressure that most women face–but, still, it’s increased and that’s the point).

And, on the positive side, there is significantly less stigma surrounding plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. A facelift or a nose job isn’t looked at with the same derision it was years ago. The reasons for that aren’t entirely clear, but I think what it comes down to is more people being open about their procedures–and what those procedures do for them, personally.

The Beginning of a Trend?

I suspect that we’re closer to the beginning of this trend than the end. All of the surveys conducted and data gathered seem to indicate that plastic surgery for men will continue to grow. Surgeons are taking note of this as well, developing specialized procedures to help men achieve their desired results.

If you have questions about plastic surgery for men–or about what one of these procedures can do for you, contact your local plastic surgeon. There is always going to be variability from person to person, so an individualized consultation is the best way to see how any given procedure can help make you appear the way you want to appear–and whether that will help you look more trustworthy and likable.


About the Author: Nick Engebreston has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for over twenty years. He’s always working with surgeons to communicate the latest and most innovative procedures to patients.

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