Aesthetics and the Year Ahead: Tighter Chins, Smaller Breasts, and New Developments Down Under

You don’t need a crystal ball to see that healthcare marketing is rapidly evolving in the face of increased competition, new technology, and changing consumer behavior.

But for aesthetic professionals, there’s another change that’s worth paying attention to: Just as beauty ideals have evolved over time, so, too, have aesthetic consumers’ interest in particular body parts and their options for smoothing, firming, or refreshing them. And the more you understand the latest trends, the easier it is to ensure your messaging addresses them.

But first, a quick look back at 2015:

For women, butts remain a big deal: In a survey of RealSelf doctors, 47% of plastic surgeons said they received a higher number of butt-related procedure requests from women compared to 2014. By comparison, 28% saw increased interest in faces while 25% saw increased interest in necks and skin rejuvenation. And while 25% said they saw an increase in procedures for the chest, 39% said more of their female patients opted for smaller implants compared to patients in 2014.

In fact, when asked how breast ideals have changed this year, plastic surgeons were twice as likely to select “More women want smaller breast implants” over “More women want bigger breast implants.”

For men, trimmer chests were a top concern: When asked what body parts they received a higher number of requests for compared to the year before, 42% of plastic surgeons said chests, clear proof of the increasingly popularity of male breast reductions. On RealSelf, such interest has more than doubled in the past year.

Other areas where doctors saw growing interest among their male patients: eyes/eyelids (41%), lower abdomen (34%), and neck (31%).

The forecast for 2016 is more mixed but, based on surveys of RealSelf doctors, some patterns are already beginning to emerge:

A lot of people don’t like their neck:  OK, so double chins have never been particularly popular but procedures to tighten the neck are poised to boom next year: More than two-thirds (68%) of doctors surveyed (plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, and dermatologists) said they expect to have more patients requesting work done on the chin or neck in 2016. Given the development of (and media attention around) Kybella and CoolMini, that interest is only to going to increase.

Men in particular will tackle their turkey necks: While chests and eyes dominated men’s inquiries this year, 2016 will likely be the year of the neck for the increasing number of men who are pursuing aesthetic services. When we asked plastic surgeons what body parts they expected more male patients to ask about in the year ahead, 40% cited the chin/jawline and 38% cited the neck — more than chests (31%), eyes/eyelids (29%), or the lower abdomen (26%).

For women, bottoms will continue to top the charts: Comparable to 2015, almost one-half (48%) of plastic surgeons surveyed said they expect to see more inquiries about treatments for the buttocks next year. That said, the era of the bootylicious backside may be fading:  As Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Sheila S. Nazarian, MD, recently told the RealSelf Trends blog, “I think that butts will [continue to] be augmented, but with a more natural-looking emphasis.”

Other procedures doctors expect to see generating more in 2016 include vaginal rejuvenation (39%) — thanks, no doubt, to the buzz around ThermiVa and FemiLift — skin rejuvenation (30%), and treatments for the neck and face (30% and 29%, respectively).

Doctor Takeaway

Match your marketing to consumers’ concerns and it’ll never go out of style

It wasn’t all that long ago that big breasts were in; women wondered if various outfits made their butts look fat, and the prospect of actually injecting more fat into one’s body would have seemed ludicrous. But times change, as do beauty ideals, and whether it’s the result of evolving tastes or innovative technologies, the key to long-term success is to ensure that your marketing keeps up.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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