Profile: Will There Be A Rush To Medical Aesthetics As Pandemic Lifts?

Practitioner Michele Rivard talks sensible and safe aesthetics

Medical aesthetics runs the gamut. For most it means Botox. Or maybe fillers. But despite adoption and advancements, it can also mean it’s something still spoken about in whispers.

And yet, at the hands of an expert, medical aesthetics is truly a marvel of scientific innovation that can make you feel more ‘yourself.’ For me, that has been to tame overly expressive eyes forever furrowed by excessive eye rolling…so there you go.

An Industry Led By Women

According to American Express, ‘State of Women Owned Businesses’ report, beauty and healthcare are the largest categories for women-owned businesses. And of course the majority of consumers (85%) in the medical aesthetics field are women as well. But women still lag behind as leaders.

So FromAtoSHE reached out last year to our favorite entrepreneurial aesthetician, Michele Rivard, to talk about her work in this field and how consumers can take full advantage of looking and feeling their best while avoiding missteps. You can read the full interview here.

What Happens When We *Face* the World Again?

The topic of medical aesthetics has only gotten more relevant as we begin to emerge from lockdown. From a slow reduction in mask-wearing to (what a friend recounted recently…) a startling realization post-all day staring at ourselves on Zoom. It was actually seeing myself on camera a few years ago that caused my brow-symmetry panic to go full tilt (if you want to investigate you can try to spot the difference in early versus later interviews…)

So it seemed relevant to revisit the discussion with Michele on how to sensibly and safely approach aesthetics.

Meet Michele…

Michele knows of which she speaks… holding a Doctorate in Physician Assistant Studies with a Fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery from the University of Lynchburg. And as an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery. Michele’s specialities also include lasers, skincare, facial filler injections and neurotoxin injections. So she is the right go-to on the subject.

SE: While it has become more mainstream to seek out both medical aesthetics and plastic surgery, why is there still a stigma?

Old habits die hard. For sometime now, there has been pressure from social media, magazines, fashion — you name it — to look a certain way. We also have been raised that we should be happy with how we look. It a constant conflict. I personally feel that surgical procedures are about enhancing what is there versus changing things. It’s about being the best version of yourself that makes that inner confidence show. I think as people see that things don’t have to be drastic these procedures will be better accepted. It is changing – just slowly.

SE: Often times it’s the “fails” that drive public opinion — which is unfortunate because when done well it’s hard to tell! Why do some go too far?

Aesthetics can be a competitive big business. You can find a Medspa or doctor’s office doing aesthetics on almost every corner. Not everyone is in the industry for the same reason. Too many are happy to comply with a patients wish even though sometimes it might not be the best procedure for them. There is a misperceived concept that more is better. Subtlety is an art. And full honest discussions need to be had to create a harmonious outcome that is pleasing.

SE: What should consumers look for in a medical aesthetics practitioner? What should they ask for and expect?

Training and background are always important. In addition there needs to be honesty in the discussions as to what the risks, benefits and expectations are. It should be educational as to what needs to be done to address what you are seeing. They should be willing to spend time with you and learn about you. You should feel comfortable with and confident in your provider.

What Do You Think?

Will a reduction in mask wearing make you rethink cosmetic work? Do you worry about picking the right practitioner (✋)? Do you think it’s still taboo? Would love to start a conversation…

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And if you are in NYC and want to connect with Michele, you can find her contact details in the FromAtoSHE Directory.