In the race with Father Time, it’s nip and tuck for some guys 6

Guys, has this ever happened to you? You’re having a nice, hot shower, flexing your best Mick Jagger chops (or your best Lady Gaga chops – I’m not judging). You step out of the shower, wipe the steam off the mirror – and there’s some creepy old dude staring back at you!

Before you reach for the phone – or a gun – reach for your glasses. That creep is probably you.

Sad but true. Father Time is having his way with us guys, making us look older than we feel. And this very thing is driving a record number of American men to opt for plastic surgery.

I read a great article the other day about the increasing number of men who are undergoing plastic surgery in an attempt to look younger. An example cited was a software engineer from California (I know, right?) named Joe.

When he was in his 50s, Joe said, he felt “young and powerful.” But when he looked in the mirror, he saw a worn-out person.

Deep wrinkles lined his face, he said. His brow drooped. He had permanent bags under his eyes. The skin under his chin sagged. Joe knew what he wanted: he wanted to not look like Benicio Del Toro.

For the record, I share most of these same characteristics, yet no one ever tells me I look like Señor Del Toro; in fact, the few times I’ve been compared to a celebrity, it’s been to Droopy Dog.

At any rate, Joe is part of a trend — a small trend to be sure, but one that is being eagerly followed by the nip-and-tuck industry — of men who are opting to go under the knife to tweak their looks.

According to this article, American men had 1.2 million cosmetic procedures performed last year. Even factoring out Michael Jackson, that’s still a shit-load of surgery.

And although cosmetic surgery – for either sex – is becoming more commonplace, it’s not without its drawbacks. For men, a little too much lift and we look like we’re standing in a wind tunnel, or piloting an airboat through the Everglades. And it can be worse for the ladies; for example, I work with a woman who has had her face lifted so many times that she’s now sporting a goatee.

A surgeon quoted in the piece said that men have historically had a more positive body image than women – maybe because we don’t grow up with women trying to peek down our shirts. Plus, according to a psychologist cited in the article, men traditionally worry more about how our bodies perform than how they look. So, in other words, where us older guys once had one thing to worry about, now we have two.

Calling cosmetic surgery part of the “normal aging process” is telling, I think. For me, the normal aging process has less to do with surgery and more to do with buying baggy clothes, turning all our full-length mirrors to the wall, and wearing a wetsuit when I go to the pool.