I recently came across an article titled, The Doctor Will Snap You Now in the April issue of Allure magazine that I read wide-eyed and, quite frankly, disbelieving. But, that doesn’t matter because it’s totally true and it’s happening right now in the year 2017. All I can say is that the author is a very brave soul. I’m an avid researcher BUT I would definitely draw the line at going on-site in a medical facility to research a piece like this.
AN OVERALL EXPLANATION
The introductory blurb for this article reads, “A slew of plastic surgeons are taking to Snapchat to show videos of breast-implant surgery, butt lifts, liposuction and more -- so writer, Loren Savini has stepped into a surgical gown to find out where ethical boundaries are being drawn.” That’s a clean, factual description. The real thing is quite different.
THE SURGEONS IN THE ARTICLE
The first: is a female Beverly Hills plastic surgeon by the name of Cat Begovic. See Snapchat (beautybycat) who is 40 years old and has a Harvard degree.
The second: is a male called Sejal Patel (mydrsej) a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills who has an office across the parking lot from Begovic. He has his own hashtag: #ShapedExtraJuicy, built off of the first three letters of his name and a callout to his drastic Brazilian butt lifts.
The third: is a male named Tarick Smaili or Dr. Smiley who is another Snapchat aficionado based in Beverly Hills. He refused to be interviewed.
THE AUTHOR’S REACTION
I am deliberately avoiding the parts that may make Adea readers queasy (I’ve given lots of contact info. Those who want more facts will have no problem finding them.) Savini is very forthcoming about what she felt. “I was there, hunched over in the corner of the room, wrapped in a blue medical gown, trying to breathe deeply through a surgical mask. And, despite having gotten permission from the patient to be there, I was feeling pretty creepy about the whole thing. The word ‘creepy’ seems to be the standard response when I tell people about this experience.” Note: the author had to sign a consent form in case she passed out or had an emotional reaction of some sort.
THE AUDIENCE REACTION
Begovic is in the company of a growing number of surgeons taking to social media to show their work. Given the success of plastic surgery on television (Nip/Tuck, Dr. 90210, Extreme Makeover), it should come as no surprise that their snaps have viewers – lots of them. Full disclosure: I pass right by Nip/Tuck, have never watched it and do not intend to at any time in the future.
Snapchat office in California
Surgeon Begovic says that her audience is comprised of young women who want surgery, but are scared. That’s why she provides step-by-step explanations and a Q&A session at the end of the day.
Patel is more playful. There’s music in the operating room and the occasional video of him rapping. (I find all of this astounding.) He says that an overwhelming majority of his patients agree to be on his Snapchat. The author finds this surprising and says, “Aren’t they concerned that you’ll be more focused on your phone than the procedure?”
He finds this “a hilarious concern because I’m showing thousands of people what I’m doing – it’s just the opposite.” Then he adds this zinger, “I don’t need traditional media anymore. If you’re good on social media, you’re gonna be successful.” And there you have it. I’ve spared our readers the dicey bits. Now, everyone’s on their own.Shaun Nelson-Henrick
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