“Creepy” seems to be the standard response when I tell people about the plastic surgeons who broadcast their surgeries in real time via Snapchat to an audience of…who knows, really. Children? Perverts? Plastic surgery hopefuls? “Is that even legal?” asks the bartender at my Los Angeles hotel. The answer is yes, so long as the patient signs a release with any personal caveats (like: “My butterfly tattoo was custom. Friends will know those are my innards”), and the doctors are free to use your unconscious body (minus the butterfly) for marketing purposes.
Begovic is in the company of a growing number of surgeons taking to social media to show off 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, and a lot of them. Dr. Miami, the Florida-based plastic surgeon widely credited as the creator of the operating-room Snapchat, is a veritable celebrity with an upcoming We TV series. There is capital in cutting people up on camera.
I first meet Begovic in her Beverly Hills office early on the morning of the tummy tuck. She’s running a bit behind, filming the intro to her Snapchat story in the back because the lighting is better (she has a ring light set up for selfies). It’s Barbie’s Dream Waiting Room — everything is white or pink or damask or glittering. And there’s a framed advertisement for her Snapchat handle on the front desk.