Lounging at an outdoor cafe just outside downtown San Francisco, his athletic frame filling out a slim-fit button-up, a talkative tech worker named Daniel detailed the many ways he’s optimizing his existence.
Only the previous week, he says, he returned from a 10-day trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Before that, he boasts, he journeyed to a yoga retreat and juice cleanse in Bali, the perfect setting to unload the stress he absorbs working at a well-known tech company in Silicon Valley. After ending a five-year marriage and shedding 10 pounds of subcutaneous fat several years back – his sun-kissed body now carb- and toxin-free – Daniel has reemerged a new, seemingly younger man.
The changes have enhanced his dating life, but more importantly, he says, they’ve bolstered his youthful professional image, giving colleagues the impression that he’s high-energy, hard-working and on-trend. There’s only one problem. Most of Daniel’s co-workers think he’s in his late 30s, but he’s actually 48 years old. As far as Silicon Valley is concerned, his birth date is the tech world’s equivalent of prehistory, years before Jobs and Wozniak set up what would become Apple in Jobs’s parents’ garage.
So like a growing number of male tech workers, Daniel is considering a new strategy to conceal his “advanced” age for years to come: plastic surgery, including Botox, a facelift to counteract under-eye bags and the kind of midsection sculpting that could offer the impression that washboard abs ripple beneath his tailored shirts.