Male eyelids: why Kenny Rogers was wrong and Tom Cruise is right

There are clear differences in what are considered to be good-looking eyes for men and women.  Men tend to have less eyelid “platform” showing. Male eyebrows tend to be lower and less arched than women, and the space between the upper eyelid and eyebrow tends to be more “crowded” as a result of the lower brow position.

I am not one to criticize anyone’s looks or to judge the decisions they have made about their appearance or medical procedures.  Kenny is a great talent and has given the world some incredible music, but with his eyes, mistakes were made and he has spoken publicly about this himself.  The difference between male and female aesthetics is very important in cosmetic eyelid surgery and Kenny Rogers is an instructive example of someone in the public eye that had the masculinity and distinctiveness of his eyes altered in a way that detracts from his persona.

What is the eyelid platform?

The eyelid platform is the space between the edge of the upper eyelid where the lashes come out and the fold of skin of the upper lid.  Most (but not all) men have very little platform showing.

dr. brett kotlus eyelid shelf

Tom Cruise’s eyes

Tom Cruise’s eyes are masculine and many would agree they are attractive.  If you look at his eyes from early in his career, he had almost no eyelid platform showing, his brows were low and non-arched, and the area between the eyelid and eyebrow was full and “crowded”.

The Tom Cruise of today has the same eye shape that he did back in Risky Business. His eyes have aged but he still looks like Tom.  His brows are low, he has fullness under his brows, and there is no visible platform.  If he had any cosmetic eye procedures done, it’s not noticeable and that’s how it should be.

Tom Cruise maintains a natural, masculine look

with very little eyelid platform showing

Kenny Rogers’ eyes

The young Kenny had similar eyes as Tom Cruise.  Little platform showing and a low, straight brow.  The way his eyelids framed his eyes were very masculine and that eye shape was memorable for millions of people.

Then, something changed and everyone noticed.  This is not the goal of cosmetic eyelid surgery, especially when it comes to the eyes of a man.    The Kenny of today has a good deal of eyelid platform showing, he has a relatively high brow position, and the area between his eyelid and brow is not crowded, it is hollow.

Kenny Rogers went from low eyebrows and small eyelid platform

to high eyebrows, large eyelid platforms and fuller cheeks

Why eyelid platforms matter

The eyelid platform helps to frame the eyes and drastic changes in the platform height tend to be noticeable.  In most situations, male upper eyelid surgery should be more conservative than in females, and if brow lifting is also done, it can further exaggerate the amount of eyelid platform showing.

When I perform upper eyelid surgery on men, I take into account the way their eyes were framed when they were younger.

Dr. brett kotlus cosmetic oculoplastic upper blepharoplasty ny male

A conservative male upper eyelid lift

that preserves the natural look of his eyes