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Most marriages start with a promise to grow old together — but couples like Ira and Roberta Almeas have instead decided to grow young together.
The Almeases are part of a burgeoning trend: couples who have cosmetic surgery done — together. It's something that Dr. Mitchell Chasin, medical director for Reflections Center for Skin and Body in Livingston and Bridgewater, N.J., told TODAY he's seeing more often.
"Years ago, we would see a wife come in and she would say, 'I can't let my husband know what I'm doing,'" says Chasin, who consulted with the Almeases on their cosmetic procedures. "And then the husband would come in and he would say, 'You know what, this is a secret, please don't tell my wife.'"
Now, as Ira Almeas told his wife, the attitude is often, "If you're gonna look good, I want to look good!" The pair had minimally invasive work done to slow the signs of aging: Botox, fillers and laser treatments.
The uptick in couples pursuing cosmetic procedures — and more invasive plastic surgery — together is likely at least partially due to the increase in cosmetic procedures in men, explains NBC's chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Last year, American men accounted for 1.1 million of the country's cosmetic procedures, a small-but-significant 2 percent increase over 2009, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
"It's been destigmatized with men," said Snyderman, adding that this can help men compete in the workforce — if you're in your 50s and looking for work, you may benefit from looking a decade younger. As Snyderman phrases it, we used to make fun of men for coloring their hair; now, procedures like Botox and fillers have become more acceptable.
Three months later, Ira and Robert Almeas are delighted with the results of their joint cosmetic procedures. "I think it's a great experience to grow younger together," Ira Almeas says. "We feel a little bit more refreshed, a little bit more energy, and it's just another part of our life together that we're sharing."