Mad Men vs. Sad Men
Goodbye, DiCaprio; hello, Clooney. The manly look is reportedly back in.
Aside from the popularity of the series Mad Men (starring the square-jawed, long-nosed Jon Hamm, whose manly features parallel his character’s high-stress, hard-drinking ethos as a 1960s ad exec), the trend toward a rougher-hewn countenance may have a deeper biological basis.
A 2010 WebMD article written by Kathleen Doheny describes a study documenting women’s attraction to specific masculine features. Doheny mentions a muscular physique and a deep voice as examples. She then quotes a University of New Mexico study in which researchers defined a masculine face as “one that has a more pronounced chin and jaw, with eyes not typically as wide open as a woman’s.”
The UNM study found that women tend to harbor more attraction to men with these features while in the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle — the point at which, Doheny points out, women are most likely to cheat on their partners. Wives or girlfriends of men with feminine facial features are more likely to develop a straying eye during these times.
Chin Up, Sir!
That risk of cuckoldry may be enough to give men pause en masse. For some, it may also be grounds for pursuing cosmetic surgery. Even men who aren’t worried about infidelity often turn to practitioners such as Dr. Michael Bogdan, a facial plastic surgeon in Dallas, for procedures that lend a macho look to the face.
For example, a face lift can add definition to the chin and jawline. Rhinoplasty can harmonize men’s features by creating a more balanced profile.
According to Doheny, men are commonly turning to chin implants, also available at Dr. Bogdan’s practice, to mesh with a longer or broader nose. Facial implants can serve as an effective complement to rhinoplasty for a combined procedure that further masculinizes the patient’s features while maintaining proportional balance.
Of course, it takes all kinds of preferences to make a healthily diverse population (and gene pool). Some women will always prefer the strong, silent, chiseled type, while others like more androgynous men. Those of us who fall somewhere in between may have to start worrying.