Most people who want cosmetic surgery are women, but most plastic surgeons are men. It is a simple fact.
"The almost exclusively one-way relationship suggests to some the myth of Pygmalion, the king who in Greek legend sculptured a statue of his ideal woman, which then came gratifyingly to life and became his wife," wrote Alex Kuczynski in a piece for the New York Times in 1998.
Only 4 percent of all the board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States are women, Kuczynski explained at the time. "In New York, the disparity is even greater: of approximately 500 board-certified plastic surgeons, only 12 are women, and only about half of those spend the bulk of their time practicing cosmetic surgery."
Granted this article is from 1998-- the numbers have improved somewhat since then, and there are many talented plastic surgeons of both genders-- but it does beg the question: Why are there so few women in plastic surgery?
The training is long and arduous. The culture of surgery can feel like a "boy's club." And it starts young-- not enough women are focusing on science when they are in school.
Though Kuczynski's piece was from 1998, a piece in the New York Times Magazine just last week echoes her sentiment, 15 years later. It is called "Why are there still so few women in science?" Things have clearly not improved as much as they should have.
As a scientist, plastic surgeon, and woman, I hope in my lifetime to see an increase in fellow women blazing trails in these fields.