What Ben Affleck's 'new face' may tell us about the future of male cosmetic procedures

Vanity gone mad, or the way of the future? Asks Lollie Barr.

Ben Affleck on stage.
Ben Affleck showed off what some described as a 'new face' at a roast for Tom Brady recently. Photo: Getty

The Greatest Roast of All Time: Tom Brady on Netflix bought with it an array of cultural talking points: Nikki Glaser's hilarious performance making her the hottest comedian on the planet; the Taylor-Swift-orchestrated demise of Kim Kardashian's stardom in the form of a chorus of boos and the debut of Ben Affleck's fresh, unlined face. It was an age away from the expressive, craggy, tired, pissed off, sometimes miserable but entirely relatable unfiltered face, Affleck, 51, is known and loved for.

Affleck's face is essential to his personal brand and has been constantly memed. So, in truth, it was a shock to see Affleck looking visibly more, shall we say, refreshed, which left X (formerly Twitter) users speculating that the actor had Botox, fillers or even a neck or facelift.

Ben Affleck meme.
Ben Affleck's expressive face have often been memefied. Photo: Supplied

Of course, Affleck's wife, the equally tight-faced J-Lo, has copped the blame. "He's furious because he's getting slammed for fillers and Botox that Jen pushed him to get," a source purportedly shared with Instyle.


Frankly, Lopez looks fantastic, so it would be understandable if she had suggested her hubs have a little do-over to keep up with her youthfulness. Little expecting he'd get roasted harder than Tom Brady afterwards.

Ben and Jennifer Lopez.
Ben has been looking more wrinkle-free since he married J-Lo. Photo: Getty

When I see a celebrity looking uncannily youthful in her fifties, I can't help but think she's had a smidgen of help. Yet these days, we're less inclined to speculate whether female stars of similar vintage have had a jib of filler here, a jab of Botox there, or even a deep plane facelift to keep their jaw looking as if it could cut glass. It's almost expected that most female celebs have had a little work done.

However, enhancing your looks as a man still comes with a certain stigma. As male beauty standards are changing, and men are more concerned than ever with their personal aesthetic. A quick scroll through Instagram proves it.

From religiously going to the gym and exercising to obsessing over their protein intake and dieting, dressing better, visiting the barbers for a sic fade more often, grooming their eyebrows and beards, waxing, lasering, and skin care, it's not such a big jump to cosmetic dentistry, hair replacement, Botox, fillers, and cosmetic, even plastic surgery.

When plastic surgeon Dr Benjamin Caughlin shared a viral video of him skipping down a hallway with the caption, "Me after creating the greatest jawline ever seen just for my patient to get cancelled right after," it received 80 million views.

The internet speculated that the incredible jawline belonged to buff-jawed comedian Matt Rife, who had been briefly "cancelled" around that time. However, Rife hit back, saying: "People's number one online insult is: 'Well, at least I don't have plastic surgery. Cool, neither do I."

Although Rife did admit to teeth veneers, joining a list of esteemed celebs, including Affleck, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, and our very own Jack Dunkley from MAFS, who got roasted like a Sunday chook for his massive, dazzling white teeth veneers this season. So much so that Jack and his choppers became a national conversation.

"Aesthetic procedures are still more taboo for men than women," said Lisa Rush, a Registered Nurse in Aesthetic Medicine who specialises in natural-looking results.

Rush, a 17-year veteran of the industry, said she has seen more men visit her clinic in Paddington, Sydney, in recent years. "We are noticing an increase in male clients coming to the practice. Middle-aged men have told me people assume they are angry or tired, or they’re worried about their double chins."

"However, men are slightly timid about what they want to go ahead with. So, we need to build trust and slowly move into procedures. My approach for aesthetic enhancements and treatments is subtlety. Just like women, men want to ensure that if they are having something done, people aren't picking up on it."

There has also been a shift in men's openness to their cosmetic work from the younger generations. After becoming the face of a brand known for its injectables, Joe Jonas, 34, has spoken out about breaking the stigma that comes with men focusing on their appearance.

Joe Jonas on stage.
Joe Jonas has spoken out in support of men getting cosmetic procedures. Photo: Getty

Jonas has shared how he's decided to use the injectables to target frown lines and a scar between his eyebrows and spoke about the stigma men receive if they change their appearance.

"There was all this talk at one point, like: 'Oh, men can't do this, or it's weird for guys to do that' and I think there's a stigma that's fading, and I like that," Jonas shared. "Guys are more openly wearing makeup, and it's great to see. Do whatever you want, you know? It's a beautiful generation that we're living in."


Rush agrees and says there is an increasing number of younger males seeking cosmetic enhancement. "I don't see many very young guys, but men in their mid-thirties are a growing demographic".

"Along with rejuvenation treatments to optimise skin firmness and health, they are also more open to enhanced contouring for more defined chiselled chins, jawlines, or lips. It's perfectly normal for men to look and feel better, invest in their skin, and become more confident. Women have been doing it for years."

She does have a point. So, if a man feels like he wants to hold back the years, then who are we to give him a hard time? I’m not so sure how good it will be for Affleck’s acting career or his miserable Ben memes, but if he’s happy, then good on him.

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