First Person Singular: Ayman Hakki, 58, plastic surgeon, CEO, Luxxery
By Amanda Long, Published: November 18, 2011
Benjamin C. Tankersley/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST - Ayman Hakki, plastic surgeon, at his practice, Luxxery, in Waldorf.
How can I be an artist at heart, someone who celebrates the human form, and be in the business of changing it? I thought for a long time that a plastic surgeon’s job was to make you look better. A plastic surgeon’s job is to make you feel
better. The only way I can make you feel better is by making you look like you
think you look. My first year at Georgetown, an NIH psychologist presented a study on plastic [surgery]. She found that people with the most confidence are those whose body image, what they see in the mirror, is very close to their self-image — what they see when they close their eyes at night. If I can achieve an approximation of these two things, then I’m going to make you feel better, and making you look better is secondary. Women want to control their own destiny — that’s all. The last thing they want is another man telling them how to look.
This obsession with looking good? Plastic surgery is a follower, not a leader in this. Women’s need to look better is driven more by celebrities, the media and cameras in cellphones. Every day, I see young women taking photos of themselves, looking at it and shaking their heads. They don’t need Botox, they need a better camera. My next career will be a plastic surgeon to pixels.
At least once a week someone says, “You probably look at people and always see their faults.” Not true. I look and think: If they were a painting, what could I do to bring out their beauty, make them look a little better?
I’m luckier than Michelangelo. When he was chiseling away at David, he made his bicep a little bigger and his nose a little smaller. I bet Michelangelo would have loved to make the model, not the stone, look better.
In Waldorf, where my first practice
opened, [a lot of] women [are] walking the streets with my breasts in them. I pretend I don’t know them. Sometimes they call and say, “We saw Dr. Hakki at Captain Billy’s. Why is he so stuck up when he’s so nice in the office?” I don’t want to embarrass them. If someone passes you on the street and can see my breast augmentation, my Juvederm, my butt lift, I have failed. Your own mother should see you and have no idea.
I say no every day. When a woman says, “My husband likes big boobs,” or “I want to save my marriage,” I will not do it. If you are changing who you are for someone else, I will not help. When a patient says she woke up with a bad feeling in her gut, I’ll cancel the surgery. I’m still superstitious; the artist always controls the scientist.
Back to Luxxery News