Thursday, January 31, 2008

Do Movies Influence Plastic Surgery?

If you’ve followed our blog, you already know some movies have used plastic surgery as a plot gimmick. (See
the posts on the films Time and 200 Pounds of Beauty.)

But do the movies influence the plastic surgeries that people want?

300 Pounds of Pecs?

One of 2006’s favorite movies was “300,” about the last stand of 300 Spartan soldiers in 480 B.C. when those few Greeks held off an invading army of invading Persians, got killed in the process but saved all of Greece.

Virtually all the actors playing Greeks had massively developed chest muscles (pectoralis major). Hey, just call them “pecs” like serious weight lifters do. But to the Persians, it must have looked like they had to fight through a wall of buff chests.

In a case where life may be imitating art, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported the number of pec implants increased 99 percent, jumping from a mere 209 in 2005. (There were no reports at all of pec implants in 2004.) Read more about the Pectoral Augmentation surgery.

A pec implant is something you really, really must want. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article, pec implants alone cost $1600 a pair. The surgery to implant them runs from $7000 to $9000. Read more.

(Pec implant before and after photos, courtesy of Sam Gershaum, M.D.)

So -- movies not withstanding -- why would a guy pony up that much for a buff, square chest? Tired of having sand kicked in his face? Always the last guy picked for touch football pickup games? Need to hold off a Persian army, maybe?

Actually, a personal trainer says the appeal is projecting power, strength, health and virility. Others in the know say some other psychological benefits are providing a really nice place for the weary heads of significant others to rest upon.

And isn’t that a sweet gesture with Valentine’s Day approaching?

Any readers out there ever had a pec implant? What’s it like?

Read more about the costs of plastic surgery.

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