by Len Lear

I read recently in a business magazine that one of the newest perks for big shot corporate executives is cosmetic surgery. Apparently some companies think it is worth it to pay for their executives to look really good, that it will help improve the bottom line (as well as all the lines in the face).

This does not surprise me because I have always felt that really, really handsome men — Bradley Cooper and George Clooney types — have everything in life given to them. They get their faces on TV and in movies and magazines and get big bucks. They are let right into the most exclusive night clubs, given the best seats in fine dining restaurants, given promotions and raises without having to do much more than smile. It does not matter if they really know the business or if they can tie their shoelaces or brush their teeth. Nobody cares about that. Women ooh and aah and melt into a puddle when they show their teeth.

On the other hand, there are the men who resemble farm animals that have been taught to comb their hair. These are the men with pockmarked faces and pot bellies who have to scratch and claw and bite just to be kept from being locked in a basement. Nothing comes easy to such men, except scaring the hell out of children and pets, so they fight like wild beasts to learn actual stuff, like how to do tax returns and fix broken toilets and improve the bottom line.

These men have to fight so hard that many actually rise to the top of the corporate ladder. Obviously, once they got to the top, at least one of them said to himself, “Hey, now that I am in a position to make the rules, I am going to get this banana in the middle of my face made into an actual nose, and I am going to have my ears placed on the sides of my face, and I am going to get the company’s shareholders to pay for it all.”

The article I read pointed out that an “eyelid job” might cost about $3,000; wrinkle remover and double chin elimination maybe $5,000 each and a nose job about $7,000. In other words, based on some photos I have seen online of corporate executives, some of them would have to pay about $25,000 before they could even walk down Germantown Avenue in broad daylight. Otherwise, they will keep looking about as good as the rear end of a goat.

I also read that as a part of this male vanity trend, men’s cosmetics companies are going to be starting a major marketing campaign. I must admit, though, that I personally get embarrassed just by purchasing any kind of after-shave or other cosmetic product that I cannot find in a dollar store or at least in ShopRite.

I feel like a vain jerk in a department store spraying a lot of different odors on the inside of my wrists and then smelling them. And even worse is listening to the pitch of the salesman behind the counter: “Now, sir, this one is called ‘Macho Man.’ It has a beastly, ultra-manly scent that reminds one of wild lions leaping on an antelope and going for the kill. It is the primeval, earthy, dangerous scent of the jungle. If you wear this, you may need a security guard to protect you from the women … Do you know that the star of the TV show, ‘Scandal,’ wears this stuff all the time? Not just the after-shave but the cologne, the underarm deodorant, skin cream, shaving cream, body mousse and ear wax! So why shouldn’t you?”

What makes me a little queasy about this stuff is that I tend to associate cosmetics with women, of course, and I naturally do not like to think of myself as womanly, except on those rare occasions when I accidentally slip on my wife’s underwear.

If these cosmetics companies want to succeed with men, therefore, they will have to do some very clever marketing. I mean you could not walk into a corner bar in Kensington and tell some guy whose arms are the size of my legs that he desperately needs a smidgen of eye cream to eliminate those unsightly crow’s feet unless you have the world’s best dental insurance.

Of course, the cosmetics companies can tell men they need these products, but those companies are a long way from Kensington. So I just don’t think it will work except on those corporate executives who just had all that cosmetic surgery paid for by the company. They used to look like dogs, so now they can probably be easily persuaded to use any cosmetic product on earth that will keep them looking ‘wagnificent!’